Apparently, some n00b named Bhavani was tasked the job of giving an "official reply" to the article.
When a columnist becomes a 'partisan player' in politics
Letter from K BHAVANI
Press Secretary to the Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts
Your mr brown column, "S'poreans are fed, up with progress!" (June 30) poured sarcasm on many issues, including the recent General Household Survey, price increases in electricity tariffs and taxi fares, our IT plans, the Progress Package and means testing for special school fees.
The results of the General Household Survey were only available after the General Election. But similar data from the Household Expenditure Survey had been published last year before the election.
There was no reason to suppress the information. It confirmed what we had told Singaporeans all along, that globalisation would stretch out incomes.
mr brown must also know that price increases in electricity tariffs and taxi fares are the inevitable result of higher oil prices.
Nothing is inevitable except death. With the increase in oil prices, the government also has a choice in digging into it's multibillion dollar reserves to ensure that basic utilities like electricity and public transport remain at a constant price. Oh no money issit? Maybe it's because you guys tried to BUY VOTES with that stupid Progress Package (and still ended up with only 66% of the votes). Or maybe it's because the dumbfucks at MoT thought that privatisation was actually BENEFICIAL to us? Hello, anybody with half a brain could tell you that the interests of a company are always aligned with the shareholders, NOT the public.
These were precisely the reasons for the Progress Package — to help lower income Singaporeans cope with higher costs of living.
Gee I'm sure the $1000+ will REALLY help the needy over the next 5 years, seeing as how EVERYTHING essential is going up in price
Our IT plans are critical to Singapore's competitive position and will improve the job chances of individual Singaporeans. It is wrong of mr brown to make light of them.
As for means testing for special school fees, we understand mr brown's disappointment as the father of an autistic child. However, with means testing, we can devote more resources to families who need more help.
All means testing does is to put an artifical cap on who the government decides is needy. Who is more needy: the single man living with his parents who earns $1,000 a month, or the father of 3, who has to also support a wife, 2 aging parents, and a mentally handicapped younger brother, earning $5,000 a month? Means testing simply does not take into account billions of extenuating factors that a numerical cap simply cannot provide for.
mr brown's views on all these issues distort the truth. They are polemics dressed up as analysis, blaming the Government for all that he is unhappy with. He offers no alternatives or solutions. His piece is calculated to encourage cynicism and despondency, which can only make things worse, not better, for those he professes to sympathise with.
Maybe if you paid Mr Brown the ministers' salary so that he could DO THEIR JOB for them, I'm sure he would come up with some "alternatives or soultions". I mean, stop trying to be so fucking shameless, asking people to solve your problems for you? You made your bed, you jolly well fucking lie in it. After all isn't that why our "first class government" is paid millions of dollars? Otherwise what else are they good for? Delegating stupid tasks like writing this stupid letter?
mr brown is entitled to his views. But opinions which are widely circulated in a regular column in a serious newspaper should meet higher standards. Instead of a diatribe mr brown should offer constructive criticism and alternatives. And he should come out from behind his pseudonym to defend his views openly.
You call yourself a civil servant from MICA, when you don't even know the REAL identity of Mr Brown? I don't know whether to pity you or to laugh at your ineptitude. Mr Brown was in a CONFERENCE with Lee Boon Yang, YOUR BLOODY MINISTER, just a few months back, and you accuse him of "hiding behind a pseudonym"? Have you been having too many lunches with Lionel De Souza? And by the way, in case you people at MICA haven't noticed (which really means you guys are all sleeping on the job, which isn't really surprising for you pencil pushers), Mr Brown's column every week has been HUMOUROUS. Repeat after me, HUMOUR. Something that clearly is lacking in the civil service.
It is not the role of journalists or newspapers in Singapore to champion issues, or campaign for or against the Government. If a columnist presents himself as a non-political observer, while exploiting his access to the mass media to undermine the Government's standing with the electorate, then he is no longer a constructive critic, but a partisan player in politics.
Sounds like you're just upset that you can't "control" Mr Brown like you do with all your lackeys and goons at the Shitty Times. Cry me a river, n00b.
Lionel De Souza