Feb 3, 2007

Boxing with the Shadows

A startling article from the Straits Times. All bloggers must read.
    ST Feb 3, 2007
    PAP moves to counter criticism of party, Govt in cyberspace
    By Li Xueying


    THE People's Action Party (PAP) is mounting a quiet counter-insurgency against its online critics.

    It has members going into Internet forums and blogs to rebut anti-establishment views and putting up postings anonymously.

    Sources told The Straits Times the initiative is driven by two sub-committees of the PAP's 'new media' committee chaired by Manpower Minister Ng Eng Hen.

Two big surprises, in the 1st three paragraphs.

The 1st surprise is that the PAP would resort to this strategy of covert operations on the Internet. It's very unlike the PAP. Certainly it's very unlike Lee Kuan Yew. LKY is the kind of leader who always does what he thinks is right, even when he knows it will be unpopular. Next he will come out into the open to robustly defend and argue his own position - and that's when we get to see his mighty intellect in full swing.

Through the years, that's how Lee Kuan Yew has traditionally tackled all his critics - whether they were foreign journalists, human rights groups, or local small fry like
Ken Kwek. If nothing else, you have to give LKY credit for the strength of his personal convictions.

And now ... the PAP is going to resort to anonymous postings? Oh dear. I don't think I am the only Singaporean who will find this a little sad. I wonder what LKY's personal opinion on this new strategy really is.

The 2nd surprise lies in these words: "Sources told the Straits Times ...". In mediaspeak, this means that someone leaked the information to the press, on condition that he not be named. The Straits Times, seeking independent verification, managed to get it. That's why the article refers to "sources" (the plural indicates at least two sources).

In the first place, only PAP members would know about this new strategy. So we can make a good guess that it must have been a PAP member who leaked the story. Why would he do so - what is his motivation? I could speculate, but let's not go that far.
    One sub-committee, co-headed by Minister of State (Education) Lui Tuck Yew and Hong Kah GRC MP Zaqy Mohamad, strategises the campaign.

    The other is led by Tanjong Pagar GRC MP Baey Yam Keng and Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC MP Josephine Teo. Called the 'new media capabilities group', it executes the strategies.

    Both were set up after last year's General Election. Aside from politicians, some 20 IT-savvy party activists are also involved.

    When contacted, Mr Baey declined to give details of the group's activities, but he outlined the broad principles of the initiative.
Well, of course Mr Baey "declined to give details". It's supposed to be a secret strategy, remember? Alas, Mr Baey is also a member of the P65 blog. So far it has not really taken off, and now it probably never will.

After this ST article, the P65 blog will probably find itself endlessly dogged with conspiracy theories. Every time anyone says anything nice about P65, someone else will say: "Bah, it's probably a P65 member anonymously posting compliments about himself." Credibility destroyed.
    It was necessary for the PAP to have a voice in cyberspace as there were few in the online community who were pro-establishment, he said.

    As such, the committees aim to 'observe how new media is developing and see how we can use the new media as part of the overall media landscape', he added.

    'How do we facilitate views that are pro-party and propagate them through the Internet?'

    The approach reflects comments by Rear-Admiral (NS) Lui at the PAP's party conference in December. He called on younger activists to put up views 'to moderate the vitriol and balance the skewed comments' on the Internet.
Yes, the comments on the Internet are very skewed. PAP MP Denise Phua mentioned it before and I agreed with her. In fact, I had previously written a long post about it. An extract from that old post of mine:
    One point to note is that the Internet is accessible to everyone, regardless of his political inclinations. If you are pro-PAP, you can hop onto the Internet and write pro-PAP comments. If you are anti-PAP, you can also hop onto the Internet and write your anti-PAP comments (albeit with slightly higher risks of being monitored, prosecuted or sued for defamation).

    No one forces anyone to say any particular thing on the Internet. Thus what people say on the Internet tends to be what they really think - that is, they're expressing their honest personal views. It's truly the masses' media.

    Since the views that Singaporeans express on the Internet are their honest personal views, the PAP, acting sensibly, would probably want to give consideration to those views (the pro-PAP ones as well as the anti-PAP ones). Not to say that the PAP must agree with all of these views, but at the least, the PAP could get some quick, instant insights about what Singaporeans, or the Internet generation of Singaporeans, honestly think and feel about them.

    Alas, this won't happen. Why?
If you want to know, click on the link and read my old post. Moving on, let's look at the next part of the ST article:
    But this can only work if activists are not 'too obvious' about it, Mr Baey said yesterday. Otherwise it comes across as 'propaganda'.

    'The identity is not important. It is the message that is important,' he added.
Oh dear. It sounds like instead of getting mere "propaganda", we may soon be getting lots of "non-obvious propaganda". But I wonder whether the PAP will really be able to handle all these subtleties. So far their manoeuvres in cyberspace look singularly unsuccessful. For example, see here for a typical blogger's view on the Internet adventures of PAP Minister George Yeo. The general consensus in the blogosphere seems to be that they aren't doing well at all.

So far, the PAP's problem is that they simply has no instinct for making a statement, any statement, on the Internet. In the online world, they are clueless on how to engage; how to build an audience; how to persuade and convince; how to be interesting; how to demonstrate a personality. Xiaxue beats them hands down - and she doesn't even need brains to do it. Rockson beats them hands down - and he doesn't even need grammar. If only the PAP could hire the super-savvy Mr Brown as their Internet PR consultant, they would be instantly saved - but after the Bhavani incident, I don't think they can manage to pay him enough.

    One activist who is involved said that when posting comments on online forums and the feedback boxes of blogs, he does not identify himself as a PAP member.

    He tracks popular blogs and forums to 'see if there is anything we can clarify' on hot-button topics such as the impending hike in the Goods and Services Tax.

    But he added: 'We don't rebut everything. Sometimes, what is said is fair enough, and we send the feedback on to the committee.'
Better watch the activists you send to my blog, dear PAP. Mr Wang may end up persuading and convincing them, heheh.

In my opinion, bloggers (I mean real bloggers, not the anonymous PAP posters) should not be afraid, angry or alarmed by the PAP's new strategy. In fact, you can see this as your valuable opportunity to give feedback to the government via the Internet. You know - for sure, now - that they're lurking around, secretly reading your posts. So blog on, don't hold back.

74 comments:

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Mr Wang Says So said...

This is a serious blog. Spam will be deleted.

Kelvin Lim said...

Could this read as a sign of desperation especially in the face of such polarization?

In any case, I'll applaud their efforts (although much in vain) to engage the cyberspace.

But I guess it'll take some time before PAP is enlightened that they have been missing the bigger picture all this while.

Agagooga said...

I find it delicious that they who have decried anonymity so much, are now becoming anonymous themselves.

If you can't beat em, join em!

And the next time we hear about anonymous opinions being non-credible, we will bitchslap them to hell.

Mr Wang Says So said...

To be fair, it wasn't so much the PAP that decried anonymity, but the press - journalists like Andy Ho & Carl Skadian, if my memory served me correctly.

Of course, I expect that these journalists will hereby immediately cease decrying anonymity on the Internet.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Wang,

Although I understand you may have your own very valid reasons for removing some those comments before allowing them to be published in your blog, can you consider giving us some insight as to why you choose to have them deleted in the first place. I believe any brief explanation will augur well for your blog which I don't think is that "serious" after all. It can be both be fun and serious when it comes to bashing the Gahmen.

X said...

Hehe, I am watching this space with bated breath for any new anonymous commenters on the ingenuity of such a strategy.

Seriously though, I think it is more an issue of credibility rather than "the message is more important than the identity". Rightly or wrongly, people are still going to diss pro-establishment views. It's not going to be a simple matter of saying, "oh dear, you seem to have misunderstood our new tax plan. Actually, by 'tax', we actually mean..." and thinking that it will resolve the issue.

It's hard to persuade one who have come to the conclusion that they are on the losing end.

Anonymous said...

Nah, not surprised at all. I am sure some of us have encountered commenters who sounded similar and some even tried to threaten and intimidate or force their ideas onto others.

In fact, I even have some bloggers in mind and I do not leave comments on their blog.

Therefore, I am really looking forward to Mr Wang's seminar entry for tips on taking advantage of free speech.

wj said...

Kelvin Lim said, "In any case, I'll applaud their efforts (although much in vain) to engage the cyberspace."

I beg to differ- there is a difference between posting anonymous, non-obvious propaganda and using one's identity when posting comments.

I think that their "efforts" are sneaky. Why not set up a blog and rebut the articles like Mr Wang does (against some ST articles)?

ben said...

funny...where can i apply for a job like that?

probably hard to imagine the divide the PAP ministers see surrounded by supporters on a daily basis, while reading/knowing the predominant opposition online - and the realisation that perhaps the people who write and read such blogs might one day form a large segment of the electorate

But this call for young activist of the PAP, I am afraid will force them to recognize another side of democracy that I think, sadly, some PAP ministers do not really understand.

There are people who will vote/support PAP but disagree with many of their policies. There has never been politics that have the attributes of absolutely toeing the party line . That is communism. In US, there are democrats that resemble republicans and republicans that resemble democrats.

If the PAP as government perceive this to be a problem, the cure I think, is to allow PAP members to be able to disagree with the party line despite being PAP members. It is not possible within the current climate, I think, because there is a need to show unity??

In other words, to see the blogs as mostly 'anti-establishment' is simply wrong. My conjecture is that most bloggers vote the PAP when you randomly select a PAP candidate and an opposition party one. So there are probably more 'pro-establishment' bloggers than less (although that is not very cool).

For example, if being pro-establishment means you cannot be critical, what can these people write about?

But what the PAP are doing, I feel, is a bit like spamming 'pro-establishment' views. After a while, people get sick because one can always detect insincerity and the establishment cannot always be right.

Charissa said...

I nearly fainted when I heard and read about this piece of news. Talk about bad PR skills and being desperate! Goodness gracious me.....

Anonymous said...

I find it disturbing:

1. that the PAP thinks just by being "not too obvious", it doesn't count as propaganda? Must propaganda be overt? Isn't covert propaganda worse?

2. that the PAP thinks the answer to rebut anti-establishment views is via covert propaganda. Sounds rather communist if you ask me. What's next? A secret police? (Hmm. Or do we have that already? Only that it's secret?) What happened to persuading or convincing citizens? (Or that that involve too much transparency?) Didn't LHL say he was going to spend his time "buying" his supporters? (I can't remember the verb he subsequently changed it to). I'm still waiting to be "bought" leh...

3. that the PAP thinks Singaporeans are stupid enough to buy into propaganda. Do they really think that Singaporeans will change their minds or believes because of some anonymous post on the internet? Can they be any more insulting?

4. to read about the PAP's understanding of the internet. The internet, like the real world, is full of pro-estab, anti-estab, liberal, conservative, disaffected, can't-be-arsed views. The difference is that people now have the choice as to what they want to read, which inevitably will be in accordance with what they already think. They will not read, much less believe, what they do not agree with.

MPs Lui, Zaqy and Baey are new MPs. It is extremely worrying that this is best they can think of to rebut anti-establishment views. But I suppose asking them to lobby for transparency in government is too big a task. Imagine what the future holds...

Anonymous said...

I find it disturbing:

1. that the PAP thinks just by being "not too obvious", it doesn't count as propaganda. Must propaganda be overt? Isn't covert propaganda worse?

2. that the PAP thinks the answer to rebut anti-establishment views is via covert propaganda. Sounds rather communist if you ask me. What's next? A secret police? (Hmm. Or do we have that already? Only that it's secret?) What happened to persuading or convincing citizens? (Or that that involve too much transparency?) Didn't LHL say he was going to spend his time "buying" his supporters? (I can't remember the verb he subsequently changed it to) I'm still waiting to be "bought" leh...

3. that the PAP thinks Singaporeans are stupid enough to buy into propaganda. Do they really think that Singaporeans will change their minds or beliefs because of an anonymous post on the internet? Can they be any more insulting?

4. to read about the PAP's understanding of the internet. The internet, like the real world, is full of pro-estab, anti-estab, liberal, conservative, disaffected, can't-be-arsed views. The difference is that people now have the choice as to what they want to read, which inevitably will be in accordance with what they already think. They now have a choice not read, much less believe, what they do not agree with.

MPs Lui, Zaqy and Baey are new MPs. I find it extremely worrying that this is best they can think of to rebut anti-establishment views. But I suppose asking them to lobby for transparency in government is too big a task. Imagine what the future holds...

Anonymous said...

And they get paid a million bucks to come up with this laughable, pathetic and unoriginal idea??? As if the bloggers don't know that Big Brother has been spying on them...tsk tsk.

Anonymous said...

The Internet is truly a masses' media (many-to-many, not the same as mass media i.e. one-to-many). So it allows everyone to choose to be authentic or not. When PAP chooses to step in in this manner, then it makes no real difference as it likely carries the current state of the mass media into the blogoshere etc. It is just one voice no matter how soft or loud in the midst of so many. The state of the P65 blog, ministerial blog, Young PAP web forum etc is indicative enough that there won't be much difference. The only possible difference is how the PAP are going to now cope by going into the platforms of the masses' media. They will get lost as it is impossible from a numbers n resources viewpoint to be engage. That's democracy as everyone has a chance to be involved in freedom of expressing views.

Radikaz said...

Complete waste of tax payer $$, insteads of spending time developing policies to help the people and win hearts and mind.

They insteads spend time rebutting "policies" which are unpopular to counter blogger's view.

Worst, they did it anonymously...so looks who talking behind the monitors..

Anonymous said...

Radikaz, this has been on my mind for some time now. Where does PAP get its money and funds from? Surly it cannot be from the govt or public funds. That would be illegal. But people i have met, PAP grassroots types, revealed to me that they get paid a salary just for being members and doing party work. So that makes me think... "NKF"? slush funds?

Mr Wang Says So said...

I think that the PAP MPs contribute a portion of their salaries back to the party.

Anonymous said...

You really, really wonder about the pedigree and *talent* that are recruited into the ranks of the PAP these days when they can come up with blunderbuss tactics and strategies like these. And they get paid non-peanut wages too!

Anonymously Disappointed :-)

P.S. I am not a member of the propaganda squad. Honest. Really, really honest. ;-)

netlander said...

I think that they have been monitoring the net for quite a long time and doing some small amount of rebuttals. The internet in SG has not reached a critical mass to affect their control over the "available voters", till now. Recently, the arguments against their policies are getting better and convincing enough to sway rational pro-establishment people. This is the danger to the "I know what is best for you" mindsets. People now know what is best for themselves by themselves.

The "news" should not be seen as "surprising". I believe that it is a calculated move. They are trying to minimise the effects of well-thought out agruments against their policies.

They provided general information of the policies they want to implement. But the internet disects the information and asks hard questions about the policies. Hard questions that cannot be ignored and they are not willing to respond as it may not worth their million dollar salaries.

This is also made people goes on their guard for this roaming squad. But, the moment they sound like the party, they will receive "responses" from the masses.

My 7 cents...

http://i-came-i-saw-i-solved-it.blogspot.com/ said...

RH: This is nothing new. For nearly a decade, I had been arguing in soc.culture.singapore against PAP activists and govt paid agents who monitor every newsgroup and forum to defuse criticisms.

They are very sneaky and always proclaim that they are "not PAP" when they undoubtedly are.

They inhabit every online forum and newsgroup and use every tactic to overcome genuine posters, sometimes impersonating them, sometimes even sending them viruses.

Ask any longtime forumer from soc.culture.singapore or Sammy Boys Kopitiam and they will point you to many of these PAP govt paid agents.

The PAP has never allowed free discussion online from Day 1 and never will.

All this is nothing new.

Robert HO
S0197974D

The Galoisian Radical said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

The saddest part is actually PAP's motive for their presence here - it is for propaganda purposes, not genuine listening or feedback that they want. Could be a reflection of how desperate they are to remain in power.

sapmme said...

Ok... anyone wants to start with a list of the bloggers that we think belongs to this online strike team??

I will start the ball rolling with 2.

1. KTM
2. Gerald Giam - singapore patriot

The Galoisian Radical said...

Eh come on, Singlish is grammatical, it's just a different dialect of English, merging different influences from different grammars into one creole. Singlish has an English vocabulary base with Hokkien-Malay syntax. What do you mean Rockson doesn't need grammar?

Got grammar what. If Singlish didn't have grammar, it'd be incomprehensible.

Everything has a grammar - unless you're speaking in a language you're trying to learn. Chomskyian universal grammar, in fact. Grammar is how we organise linguistic principles.

But that aside...

The Galoisian Radical said...

I don't get why PAP officials can't just rebut things publicly one (I wonder if that putain of a suckup Easternwind is one of them plants?).

The p65 forum is the perfect place to publish those views, because I would at least respect it as an establishment point of view, e.g. I respect their opinion, though I may not accept it as fact.

But here they want to go post anonymously.

The message is more important than the personality. But often, message and personality go hand in hand. Otherwise where got audience, if got no sense of continuity or where to return for more? It would seem pointless.

The other thing is that the "pro-establishment" "rebutters" often use gross fallacies in logic to try to prove their point. Having everything rest on the weak crux of "omg must not allow anything that risks harmony or stability [i.e. anything that harms us], or a tsunami will wipe away the nation", for example.

I don't mind the PAP entering the blogosphere. That fosters communication, it provides a means of resolving the debate, because policy change is where we want to go, a chance to convince both sides, or at least see each other's point of view better.

But anonymously? Why anonymously?

Anyhow, Teo and Zaqy are both p65 members too. It seemed to me that Teo was always an arrogant, smug, sort of a person, the way she treated responses to her comments (as well as her writing style).

I'm only concerned because of all the people who might read their fallacious "rebuttals" and be convinced by their nonsense.

Anonymous said...

sapmme,

whybegay
the loy guy
shianux

YCK said...

To act so stealthily does not strike me as fitting behaviour for a governing party.

On your point on the story as leak to the press, are you suggesting that their might be plurality of views in the party if not schism?

On the bright side it is good they have diverse views.

Mabel said...

"probably a P65 member anonymously posting compliments about himself" sounds like a repeat of the NKF letters Durai asked his staff to write.

Anonymous said...

It is a funny trait that many uninformed singaporeans rely on the MSM for the "truth". Their opinions get shaped without so much as questioning the arguments behind each fact the MSM feeds them.

I suppose this group of singaporeans may feel conflicted to read anti-establishment opinions on the blogsphere. If PAP's strategy is to overwhelm anti-establishment opinions by out-numbering and drowning the majority of voices in their favor, then they would have given the uninformed singaporeans the impression that the blogsphere is pro-establishment. The internal conflict of the uninformed singaporeans will not arise as such and therefore this alternative media is "Managed". Precious votes of uninformed singaporeans are saved.

Anonymous said...

Bhavani should shut her mouth up about MB hiding behind his cloak of anonymity when the PAP has been doing so for quite a while it seems!

PAP is hypocritical and desperate.

Yep, we will now have the elite AOs writing anonymously to defend the very same idiotic policies that they help to craft.

Not bad, getting paid big peanuts for doing so little. Meritocracy, the uniquely singapore way.

Mr Wang Says So said...

I don't think that the elite AOs, in their capacity as AOs, will write anonymously to defend the PAP position. :)

The elite AOs can be quite snooty. I am aware that a few of them have turned up their noses and said, "No way" when invited to join the PAP and run in the electons.

That is why the PAP has problems recruiting new blood. :)

Ugly said...

I like this ST report. Better than what mr wang. she says this in the open, and suddenly mr wang takes this as the gospel truth without questioning. Other more appropriate issues, mr wang will come up with conspiracy theories that puts the X files to shame!

Anonymous said...

I also liked this open report too, I liked the opening headline. She has openly reported that PAP has been engaging bloggers and forummers in a unopenly way. She has openly get the open-minded officials to admit that the party has opened a monitoring department in the party. We can now openly tell everyone that the party wants to open up our minds to their style of "open" thinking. Openly, bloggers has this conspiracy theory that they are being monitored unopenly. This theory is no longer a theory, it becomes a open fact. We should open a bottle of wine to celebrate the party's new found "openness". We should open our arms to the party.

Are their minds open on Sunday?

I am so openly happy, they have opened their hearts. OK, where is that bottle opener?

Anonymous said...

The very first sentence in the ST article is:

"THE People's Action Party (PAP) is mounting a quiet counter-insurgency against its online critics."

If there's a conspiracy theory here, I don't think it's Mr Wang who came up with it.

Anonymous said...

sapmme,

agree about KTM, shianux.

The Galoisian Radical said...

"On your point on the story as leak to the press, are you suggesting that their might be plurality of views in the party if not schism?"

In the establishment at least.

The Today newspaper for example, seems to be less controlled or monitored directly than the Straits Times does. The establishmet has shown it's not monolithic, and internal clashes do seem to occur.

But they occured within the CPC too, just like between Deng Xiaopeng and Mao Zedong.

Love that anonymous' poster "open report" comment.

Do you think their ulterior motive may be to sow discord within the Singaporean blogosphere community? Already we're pointing our fingers at well-established bloggers who (I at least) respect. There are debates, but a conflict in opinion does not necessarily fall into pro-establishment/anti-establishment llah. After all, some people just offer caveats - to prevent us from pursuing the wrong solution.

Besides, some of them - despite criticising solutions that other people have proposed to fix various problems - also share opinions the government isn't likely to share, such as stance on copyrights.

Anonymous said...

sapmme,

Maybe a fella called Hai Ren @ Tomorrow.sg

Haha, even XX.

Anonymous said...

Actually so far, can easily spot the activists. They are so un-subtle. Already advertising for CIP and adjunct teachers @ Tomorrow.sg

Anonymous said...

In the 1960s - 1990s, didn't the Gahmun employ agents to track and spy on its citizens, esp. overseas graduates? even tailing dissenters to see where they were going or doing?

Zen|th said...

I think now whenever an anonymous person posts pro-PAP comments, we're all going to ask, "Are you secretly a PAP member?"

Haha.

Anonymous said...

Not too long ago, George Yeo asked a Harold Fock to post to SCS, to counter the vitriol in that newgroup. Trouble is, everyone thought the name was a play on "F#*k Harry", and that didn't go down well, to say the least.
P.S. This is not a PAP anonymous post

Anonymous said...

hey, wait a minute, if pappy mps are obligated to give up a portion of their earnings to the party, isn't this unethical?

i mean, where is the check and balance to stop pappy ministars from raising their salaries so as to fatten pap coffers????

Anonymous said...

Actually I think it is too late for PAP to employ their usual means of shutting people up, that is, threatening with lawsuits, amending Penal Codes, etc because we have reached a stage where many have seen their hypocrisy and locking up "insurgents" will only be seen as an underhanded means by the PAP to cling on to power. That will lower their credibility and political capital even further.

Talking about political capital, where is KTM? He seemed very fond of that term.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous February 3, 2007 10:43 PM

Are you trying to imply that Mr Wang is hiding something so as to question his credibility?

You go to try much harder.

The Legal Janitor said...

whoever can actually think that a minarchist libertarian is a member of the PAP must be a moron.

Anonymous said...

'The identity is not important. It is the message that is important,' he(Mr Baey Yam Keng)added.

Quoted from ST article

How come double standards one? Bhavani criticized Mr Brown for hiding behind a moniker but Mr Baey can ?

Anonymous said...

The Legal Janitor,

Whoever resorts to personal insults, albeit in fanciful language, is doing discredit to himself.

Anonymous said...

"mounting a quiet counter-insurgency against its online critics."

The use of this term is seditious and inflammatory. It likens all who dare to criticise the PAP as insurgents, in other words 'terrorists'! What's next? Jihadist?! This is typical of the PAP, a la baby bush and LKY style - you are either with us or against us, and if you are against us we will do all that it takes to crush you and wipe you out. Bloggers have been warned.

coward said...

Oooh, I am so scared I am peeing in my pants!

moron janitor said...

So, The Legal Janitor, how's your first day at work as a SPAPy?

How many morons did you manage to hang so far? And your pal KTM?

The Legal Janitor said...

fanciful language is not the point. any sane person reading the substance of what I write on my blog could never believe for a second that I'd have anything to do with the lightning bolts. You can ask Mr Wang if you want, he can clarify for you.

just because someone does not agree with you in your criticism of the gahmen doesn't mean that they are automatically pro-pap. read my blog. I have plenty of my own criticisms for the powers that be.

the Stark in Winterfell said...

Perhaps this move has a purpose of divide and conquer...it seems that there is a witch hunt going on with regards to who is pro establishment and anti....

PAP do a great disservice by merely dividing people into two camps...i believe most of us here are sitting on the fence...though we tend to lean to one side at times...

Aaron said...

My my, the blogosphere has already been thrown into turmoil. People are starting to suspect one another already. I don't think I need to wait for someone to nominate me into the PAP camp. I'll save whichever anon's trouble and nominate myself.

Meanwhile, I shall keep faith in the Singapore education system in producing Singaporeans who can think.

Kitana said...

Hey guys, interestingly, one of the fall outs people like Aaron and myself had considered, is tt the "leaking out" of this "counter-insurgency" information would lead to people in the online community accusing each other of being PAP activists and thus, dividing all of us.

Thing is, we cannot be divided, because divided we are easy to overpower and demolish. I think that to point fingers at one or another now is silly and does not help anyone. We should not be raising suspicions among ourselves, because we will be doing the job of counter-insurgency for them.

Furthermore, if this plan is not yet underway, how can existing bloggers constitute part of the PAP online activists now?

(And Legal Janitor a PAP activist?! Seriously.)

Anonymous said...

The Legal Janitor,

Now you see what a difference it makes to explain yourself rather than just calling people morons?

Anonymous said...

As expected, we are falling into the trap. Please do not distract yourself from the noise. Think harder. It is their fears, we work on their fears.

Remember, our numbers are much, much larger.

Anonymous said...

Aaron,

This is not to be treated lightly as a joke, your credibility is at hand! Your jestful "self-nomination" (though no one suggested anything) perturbs me on why and what you're opening yourself to in this jest. kitana's reply is a lot better for the good cause of this issue at hand, though his/her statement on the impossibility of existing bloggers could be flawed.

Anyway, better be straight and very clear about the motivations in the first place why you want to blog, say perhaps is to use your talent/intelligence to voice out your true view and others which otherwise, have no real means of being truthfully heard. You could build further the movement of this blogosphere for singapore when you're clear. Mr.Wang is one good example.

_______________________________

Sappme,

singapore patriot answered categorically that he is independent...see http://singaporepatriot.blogspot.com/2007/02/no-pork-podcast-proves-racism-is-alive.html

I was tickled by your suggestions and decided to take a simple approach - ask directly from the horses's mouth and let the person be accountable to his/her own answer.

shoestring said...

Focus on the comments, not the person because SPAPys can always change their monikers. Already there are really strange ones cropping up. Don't bother identifying them.

Also, disregard those who post irrelevant content to stir up trouble. Just ignore them.

After all, it is true engagement that we want. If SPAPys are just clowning around, no point engaging them.

I have decided to treat all trolls as SPAPys :D

shoestring said...

"let the person be accountable to his/her own answer"

I am not doubting anyone but would like to highlight that SPAPys are unlikely to tell the whole truth even if you ask, like the way they cherry pick information to be presented in the MSM. So this is not a fool proof way.

In fact, a group of people who declare themselves independents may be accused of "illegal assembly".

Anonymous said...

"let the person be accountable to his/her own answer"

that won't help IMO. The PAPies are untrustworthy and proven bald face liars, u-turn masters and re-think-ers. They will more likely deny or disown their own parents if it suits their agenda.

Aaron said...

Hi Anon,

Thanks for the concern about my credibility. I've been labelled as a government stooge before, so it's really nothing new to me. I just wanted to pull the rug from under the feet of those dudes. If I help them say it, they have nothing else to say mah. :)

In anycase, whether I am a government stooge or not is up to the readers. As far as I'm concerned, I write because I think there's a need for me to contribute to the discussion for the better of everyone. No matter what my affiliations are, this will not change. However, not everyone sees it that way. Some people assume that when you are affiliated with an organisation, you lose your individuality and become some mindless idiot.

Lastly, if people think that I'm a government agent just because I jokingly declared myself as one, their intellect is highly suspect, and there's probably no benefit engaging in a discussion with these people anyway. :)

Bogan (Apprentice) said...

Isn't it absolutely fascinating that all those who accuse some of being PAP insurgents all posted anonymously?

Anonymous said...

bogan (apprentice),

What is your name and I/C?

Bogan (Apprentice) said...

Soo Kwok Heng
S8023360D

And you, dear Anon?

Bogan (Apprentice) said...

Well, if you won't let everyone know your name and I/C -- as you asked me -- then what is left of your own credibility?

Anonymous said...

Bogan (Apprentice),

Don't fall into the trap. Don't give your particulars that easily.

I am anonymous, so it is up to you to believe whether I am credible.

Anonymous said...

One of those stooges went to Tomorrow.sg and tried to trick people into thinking that it is useless to submit their letters that are rejected by ST forum to a new online forum (Straight Times forum) that will publish those letters.

Not so subtle leh. Cornered by fellow anonymouses.

Spread the word to help them if you can:

http://straighttimesforum.blogspot.com/

kwokheng said...

Dear All,

My apologies: I see that one of my chat-bots have been bothering you.

Bogan (Apprentice) is just one of the naughtier ones.

Each, a different side of me.


Best Regards,
Public Relations daemon
Soo Kwok Heng Pty. Ltd.

Bogan (Apprentice) said...

Oh, kwokheng!

You blistering idiot! See what you've done... to MY credibility!

You... you... You, poofter!

Anonymous said...

Haha.

In a way, the PAP's decision is good because it forces us to think critically which in the long run will only benefit us.

I am glad there is humor too. I will be paying more attention to the message rather than the messenger so that my judgement will not be skewed or clouded out by the noise.

Anonymous said...

Why the MIWs want to compromise their decorum> sincerity and integrity by hiding their identities is beyond my comprehension> If they can substantiate their talents and intellects directly to bloggers and commenters with their true identities> I am sure those swimming in cyberspace will surely appreciate

Anonymous said...

What's new about PAP's Internet anonymity?

It had always been sneaking around like a "Xiao Ren" creating chaos & conflict especially in the soc.culture.sg.

It "control freak" character is nothing new. Only S'poreans have not fully known the full aspects of it.

Presidential scholars for instance are inducted into ISD to do secret works the general nature of which cannot be revealed even to their closest family members.

Anyone who has surfed that said S'pore newsgroup many years back knows how horrible the situation was. It was pure chaos and cesspool.

They deleted, countered, faked users, flame newsgroups users, creating division and conflict, destroy any legitimacy of it, so that eventually it did not matter anymore to serious users.

Speak of the work of a devil.

Besides ISD, Young PAP and others connected with that party, this had always been done, from all indications.

Just that with the rise of blogs, they are facing an insoluble problem because blogs are not under their control.

So the announcement now about their anonymous activity is just a hollow threat to bloggers that they are monitoring them and perhaps can even track them down.

Just an act of desperation. Blogs really screw up PAP's control of minds over the Internet.

It is still possible though for bloggers and commentators to be traced if someday PAP works with its Big Brother US to force Google which owns blogger.com to reveal its blog servers' traffic data.

For now, sour grapes, Minister Vivian Balakrishnan said that anti-govt blogs do not matter.

Haha!

Mahesh said...

Mr. Wang - I reckon you have nothing to do than falsly spewing out crap.

Have you ever been outside Singapore ? Have you seen what happened in Myanmar a couple of months ago ?

No - you are just a toad, who is bored of whatever good he has.

The fact is - Singapore government is one of the best governments in the world in terms of caring about people.

And mind you - every organization, I repeat every Organization cares about its image.

However, you have unnecessarily tries to sensationalise an otherwise non-existent issue.
All the ifs and but's, 'I am not sure's - proves that all your talk is baseless.