ST only reported SLA’s side of the story

Singapore Democrats

The Straits Times reported the Singapore Land Authority’s (SLA) Facebook comments about the SDP Young Democrats’ (YD) report of Pulau Ubin’s residents and their residential status but failed to do a follow-up report on the YD’s response.$CUT$

Titled SDP youth arm’s article ‘misleading’:Singapore Land Authority, the ST report, published on 6 August 2013, carried much of what the SLA wrote, including the accusation that the YD report was “misleading” and “mischievous”.

The YD had pointed out that the SLA had tried to paint the picture that after it had clarified that the Government was not evicting anyone on the island, the residents were assured and that everything was okay.

This was obviously not the case as the residents readily related their fears and anxiety – not just about the uncertainty of their future but also their having to pay rent on land that they have lived on all their lives – to the YD when we visited them.

They showed the YD the notices from the HDB and SLA, and one of them, Madam Samiyah, even recounted her legal tussle with the Government over her land.

What the YDs saw and heard was not the picture that the SLA is trying to paint – islanders whose future seemed serenely certain.

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The Straits Times’ failure to report on the YDs response to SLA has led its readers into thinking that the situation on Pulau Ubin was the way the SLA described it to be which is untrue.

In addition, SLA’s clarification that the residents were not being evicted came with qualifications such as “in the foreseeable future” and “for as long as possible”.

Again, by not reporting these facts contained in the YD’s statements, the Straits Times has not given its readers a full and accurate account of the situation in Pulau Ubin.

We hope that this will be rectified.