TNP refuses to publish SDP’s response

Singapore Democrats

The New Paper published a report aboutthe SDP using former national footballers Mr Fandi Ahmad and Mr TerryPathmanathan as “poster boys” for our alternativepolicies.$CUT$

SDP Communications Head Dr VincentWijeysingha wrote a letter (see below) on the same day the report waspublished to point our the errors and inaccuracies of the report.

However, until today, The New Paper hasyet to publish our letter. Dr Wijeysingha had called the reporter MsKoh Hui Theng to enquire about the matter but was told…

This is not the first time that thenewspaper has inaccurately reported about the SDP in such a blatantmanner. During the 2011 GE, the newspaper published an article sayingthat Dr Chee Soon Juan had tried to conduct an illegal protest at oneof the SDP’s election rallies.

This was not true as netizens postedvideos and photographs of Dr Chee mingling, chatting and takingpictures with members of the public who had attended the rally.

Read also My message to The New Paper:NO PICTURE NO TALK

5 April 2013

To: The New Paper

Dear Editor,

I refer to I’m into football, notpolitics (The New Paper, 5 April 2013) regarding the SDP websitearticle ‘How SDP’s policies can help: The case of Fandi Ahmad’.

Our article cited some of the problemsMr Fandi Ahmad and Mr Terry Pathmanathan face, which they discussedin newspaper interviews. They resonated with ordinary Singaporeans.

We emphasised that the problems of highhealthcare cost, unaffordable HDB prices and influx of foreignworkers which are widespread and affect families at all levels ofsociety.

Our article stated that such problemscan be remedied by the alternative policies the SDP has proposed. Itis the responsibility of a political party to listen to people’sproblems and formulate alternatives.

We have highlighted many similarstories involving ordinary Singaporeans on our website.

We also regularly comment on eminentpersons who have made statements on public policy consistent with ourparty positions without suggesting that they have endorsed our views,eg. Prof Feng Pao-Hsii on healthcare, Prof Paul Krugman on theeconomy, and Prof Lim Chong Yah on income inequality.

Similarly, we did not indicate or givethe impression that the former footballers endorsed our policies. Infact, we refrained from contacting them prior to the publication ofour article because doing so could be interpreted as seekingendorsement from them which we had no intention of doing. Your reportthat they were ‘poster boys’, therefore, created a distortedimpression of our article.

You also include quotes from members ofthe community. For example, Prof Eugene Tan, NMP, is quoted as sayingthat it is unethical to use them to endorse the party’s views. Aresponsible journalist would have clarified with Prof Tan that ourarticle did not state that the SDP’s views had been endorsed bythem.

All the article did was to cite some ofthe problems which Singaporeans like Mr Fandi Ahmad and Mr TerryPathmanathan face and how these problems can be resolved through ourpolicies. This is a far cry from the footballers endorsing ourpolicy.

I deeply regret that your newspaper hasadopted such a tone in your article. It is inconsistent with thetruth. It is an example of irresponsible, mischievous journalism.

Yours faithfully,

Vincent Wijeysingha

Head of Communications

Singapore Democratic Party

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