What a scoop!
March 16, 2012
We all try a little too hard sometimes. The Straits Times today (16 March 2012) ran a feature piece entitled “The ‘engage and consult’ route in policy review”. The piece sought to discuss how the PAP government is now engaging and consulting more regularly and intently than before, a sign, no doubt, of its newly acquired sensitivity. Nothing strange in that except for, well, it’s a Straits Times’ story.
The piece quoted or mentioned 13 people for their opinions of this new ‘engage and consult’ route. Again, nothing new, except for the fact that 9 of the 13 people were PAP leaders and MPs. The only party-neutral people were Gerald Ee, Viswa Sadasivan, Ruben Wong, and Eugene Tan. Imagine wanting to review the culinary products of a restaurant and interviewing only the chefs of that particular restaurant for their opinion and you will understand the investigative prowess of that national treasure we call the Straits Times.
“So Mr PAP MP, can you tell me how genuine your government’s ‘engage and consult’ approach is?”
“Yes, it’s very genuine. Very genuine indeed!”
“Thank you…what a scoop!”
Now of course I’m sure the Straits Times did attempt to interview people who were crucial to the story – those who were actually ‘engaged and consulted’ by the government – like say, heritage groups, disabled people, public transportation commuters or the poor. After all, their experiences and views would be salient to whether this ‘engage and consult’ approach was genuine right? How many of them were quoted? Zero.