An estimated 3,000 attended the protest against the Population White Paper at Hong Lim Park on 16 February 2013. This was the largest non-political gathering since Singapore independence in 1965.

This, itself, is a story worthy of the cover page. Hong Kong's South China Morning Post thought it was, but Singapore's Straits Times felt Girl Guides visiting Gardens by the Bay would be more deserving of the front page.

Source: Occupy Singapore Facebook Page

If The Straits Times, with the circulation of 300K plus, intent was to bury the news, 75% of Singapore's population having access to the Internet (Source: World Bank), it would be difficult any of these 75% to avoid the stories and photos posted on social networks and news sites from overseas.

One commented that The Straits Times had role to play in "Psychological Defense" and thus is defending the mind of Singaporeans. But doesn't too much of good news lead to complacency that all is well, when actually it is not.

This has also created an illusion that the protest in Hong Lim Park is worth hiding and not displaying.

Saying this, did The Straits Times' poll just before the Punngol East by-election lead to complacency in the PAP's strategy for the by-election?

Source: Yahoo

Although it was decided before the Writ of Election that Dr Koh Boon Ping would be the candidate for Punggol East, he was left to campaign by himself with only the PAP heavyweights coming in to provide support towards the last days of the elections. Was it too little too late?

There are many stories that tell us that such "feel good" stories to create the illusion that all is well often end up in disastrous results. 

Hans Christian Andersen gave us the story of "The Emperor's New Clothes". The Emperor was given brand "new clothes" by two weavers. All the loyal subjects refused to highlight to the Emperor about the negative aspect of the new clothes, which was invisible to the naked eye, out of fear of making the Emperor angry and only gave positive commentary of the new clothes.

This resulted in The Emperor parading in his birthday suite in town till a boy shouted "There is no clothes on the Emperor and he is naked".

We,Singaporeans, are ready for the hard news. But is Singapore mainstream media ready to give them?

In case you weren't at Hong Lim Park, here's a video of our own National Conversation. .



Read "Reporting Hong Lim Park".

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