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Summary: Molly Meek on PM Lee’s blogger engagement

Posted on 03 September 2012

Read the original blogpost here. And do let us know if we’ve got the points right. Because this is an important piece of work. Really.

PAP’s Engagement Yields Results [Or: Who is afraid of being radical?]

1) The PAP realised that they were unpopular after last year’s general election. And because changing perception is easier than changing policy, they decided that they should engage a few prominent people to reverse their growing unpopularity.

2) So they decided to invite a few famous bloggers like Mr Brown and Andrew Loh for tea with the prime minister, to show them at Lee junior was not what his detractors made him out to be. These bloggers are not radical, though they sit on the critical side of the fence. Why would these bloggers be interested? Molly says that they long for visibility and are naive of the PM’s intentions to co-opt them into his dark dominion.

3) The PAP is crafty: instead of targeting the PAP fundamentalists or the devout non-believers, they decided to redefine “moderation” via engagement, so it will be impossible to be a moderate and to be constantly critical of the PAP. For example: If I keep inviting you over for dinner, and your friends have come over before, but you keep refusing to, you have a personal vendetta against me. And personal vendettas are childish so over time, you will lose your friends.

4) The PAP has outsourced its popularity campaign to naive citizens, who are now demanding on their behalf for other citizens to provide “constructive criticism”, or face a lengthy tirade about not being moderate.

5) Proof of this process taking place lies in the blog of one young blogger called Visa, whom Molly has never followed before. Molly thinks that Visa is actually a self-hating PAP supporter because he puts too many disclaimers about not being pro-PAP, because admitting that he is a fanboy of PM Lee.

6) Molly thinks it is people like Visa, who make it seem like he would be attacked for making one positive comment about the PAP, that are the most potent weapons of the establishment. Why? Because he makes it seem as though people criticising him for liking the PAP are nasty people.

7) According to Molly, Visa makes it seem as though the right track taken by a political commentator must be one approved by the PAP. Or at least, one who has been invited for tea.

8) Vile comments are not ok, but support for vile policies are even worse. Eg. Pro-establishment facebook group Fabrications about the PAP posted an article about a family of eight that manages to survive on a $1,500 salary a month. But the purpose behind the post was to suggest that those in financial difficulty are whining because its perfectly possible to survive on a low salary. The page is tame and the comments are not insulting — but they are reflective of a vile heart.

9) Visa is crazy for praising PM Lee to the skies after one superficial meeting.

10) The PAP’s engagement is a show of their willingness to engage — and not because they actually want a conversation. Molly thinks that the PAP already knows what is on the ground (because Singapore is kind of like a police state), and they can fix the flaws in their policies if they want to. But they don’t really care. And they’re choosing instead to convince naive bloggers that they care.

11) These people are offered a space in front of PM Lee to air their views, but only if they contribute to the PAP’s image building. Repeat point 2: only pick loud bloggers who sit lightly on the critical side of the fence.

12) Ergo: PM Lee’s engagement was not really engagement as it is an attempt by the PAP to convince moderate bloggers that the only by listening to the PAP and speaking well of them, can one be really ‘moderate’ .

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- who has written 268 posts on New Nation.

Joey is an intern at New Nation. He hopes to be as funny as Belmont one day and get laid at least twice a month.

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  • Molly

    Hello,

    Could I just make certain clarifications?

    1) Not just prominent ones, but a mix of prominent and lesser known ones.

    2) What I meant was that the visibility of the event is what matters for the
    PAP and not that the bloggers longed for visibility.

    Neither did I say that the bloggers invited were all naïve. What I did
    suggest was actually that it did not matter even if these bloggers returned
    home and ranted about the meeting. A positive take on it is just a bonus.

    4) Not necessarily outsourced to only naïve citizens.

    5) I don’t think Visa is a self-hating PAP supporter…

    6) Huh?

    9) I said he’s “crazy” if he actually thought that PM Lee did not know what’s
    going on in the ground, not that he was crazy to praise the prime minister
    after one meeting. Of course, I only meant that it would have been wrong to
    think so.

    10) Actually, Singapore doesn’t have to be a police state before the PAP
    knows what is going on in the ground. I’m not sure if they could fix the flaws
    in their policies though. It is probably possible for them to fix certain
    problems, but the biggest systemic problems are bigger than the PAP itself.

    11) It’s not necessary to pick loud bloggers, I think.

    12) The engagement is not really engagement, but I’m not sure if I agree
    with the rest of the summarized point.

    The Meek Molly