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Following our letter to Yes, we know that from the Media Development authority (MDA) officials who have been repeating that line for the past three months. What we really want to know is the outcome of that process which is already three months overdue. Dr Chee Soon Juan called up Mrs Hang and spoke to her assistant Pat, who said that the press secretary was at a meeting.He left word for Mrs Hang to return the call. She didn’t.
When Dr Chee called again a day later (this morning), Pat said that Mrs Hang was at another meeting. She told Dr Chee to call Mr A R Madiee at the MDA as he “has been given the info”.
“What info?” Dr Chee was skeptical.
“Just contact him and he will have more info for you on the matter,” Pat promised.
And so Dr Chee called Mr Madiee.
“Can I call you by the end of the day?” Mr Madiee stammered.
“I spoke with Mrs Julian Hang’s assistant and she said that you could give me more information. Why don’t you tell me whatever information you have now that we’re on the phone?” Dr Chee said.
“I can’t. I need to call you back.”
“Why? Don’t you have the information?”
“No, I don’t. I have to call you back. I’ll do it by the end of today, I promise.”
Dr Chee immediately called Pat again: “Pat, I just spoke with Mr Madiee, he says he doesn’t have the ‘info’.”
“Oh,” Pat replied, followed by a pregnant pause.
“Why did you ask me to call Mr Madiee for whatever information when he wasn’t given them?” Dr Chee enquired.
“I was just given the instructions by Mrs Hang to ask you to call Mr Madiee. I’ll relay the message to her,” the assistant assured.
“Why don’t you ask Mrs Hang to talk to me directly instead of going through you.”
“She’s at a meeting and I think its going to be a lengthy one,” Pat attempted.
“She’s going to have to take a break at some point. When she does, tell her to call me,” Dr Chee pressed. “It won’t take more than a couple of minutes. I just need a simple answer as to whether our application has been approved or not.”
“Yes, Dr Chee, I will let her know. I understand your frustration.”
“Please ask her to call me directly instead of playing silly games like this was some sort of top secret spy ring. I just want a straightforward answer to a simple straightforward application. Just a yes or no will do,” Dr Chee insisted.
“Yes, I will relay the message.”
Stay tuned for the continuing buffoonery.
MICA’s reply to SDP
Dear Mr Chee,
The application by the Singapore Democratic Party (‘SDP’) for the renewal of the newspaper permit for ‘The New Democrat’ is being processed. We will get back to you on the outcome in due course.
Mrs Julia Hang
Press Secretary to Acting Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts