After our reporting Channel News Asia’s and Today’s blacking out of the Singapore Democrats’ news Mr Mano Sabnani, former editor of Today, again failed to mention SDP’s contributions.
In his piece published last Friday, Mr Sabnani wrote that the opposition has to come up with a set of “coherent policies”. He, however, omitted mentioning that the party has in fact published our manifesto It’s About You and our Shadow Budget.
We wrote to Mr Sabnani and asked him why he did not tell his readers that the Singapore Democrats had in fact come up with a set of alternative policies:
15 March 2011
Mr Mano Sabnani
In your report Opposition parties need more than unity (Today, 12 March 2011), you wrote that parties opposing the PAP “have to bear three important considerations in mind, if they are to make any real inroads among our younger, more sophisticated voters.”
One of these considerations is that parties “have to show that they not only have coherent policies, but that these are affordable and deliverable. The PAP’s policies are tried and tested, so the Opposition faces an uphill task to improve on what is already in place in respect of housing, education, healthcare, transport and job opportunities.”
And then you stop there. Anyone reading the piece, and not the SDP’s website, will come away with the impression that the opposition, the SDP included, have not come up with any coherent policies.
Now it cannot be that you are unaware of our alternative economic programme It’s About You and our Shadow Budget 2011: Empowering the Nation.
We have emphasized – repeatedly – our alternative policies and have made it clear that they will form the central theme of our campaign in the coming elections.
Yet, you completely ignore the fact that the Singapore Democrats have done exactly what you said the opposition must do.
We show how our programmes are costed and paid for. We even discuss in detail the subjects of housing, education, healthcare, transport and job opportunities – subjects that you cited in your write-up.
You have been described as a “veteran journalist and media adviser” in the tagline to your article. Given your experience and expertise in commenting on opposition politics, it is hard to believe that you would not know that the SDP had in fact published an entire programme of alternative policies.
Why did you not inform your readers of this? Do they not deserve to get an accurate picture of the opposition especially in the considerations that you deem important?
Ironically, the motto of Today is “We set you thinking.” How do you do this when you don’t even tell your readers what really goes on?
All we ask is that you report responsibly and factually. Your readers deserve as much.
Chee Soon Juan
Singapore Democratic Party