Tag Archive | "New Nation"

New Nation reader: New Nation article contains wrong information, can take down?

New Nation reader: New Nation article contains wrong information, can take down?

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Can, if you can point out which part is wrong.

A New Nation reader wrote a heartfelt message to us and put it in our inbox:

Reader: Hi New Nation, I feel that this post contains misleading information. I don’t think that it should be on Facebook. Could you please take it down?

New Nation: Oh dear. Can you inform us which part is misleading so that we can make the proper correction to inform our readers? Thank you

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New Nation launches Outfluencer Network Advertising™, by and for people without influence

New Nation launches Outfluencer Network Advertising™, by and for people without influence

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Finally, advertising by nobodies for nobodies.

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Press Release

Watch out, ladies and gentlemen, because here comes the latest advertising network to take Singapore by storm.

Singapore’s only almost real news website New Nation has launched a brand new groundbreaking media product called Outfluencer Network Advertising™ on Feb. 4, 2015.

The term “Outfluencer” is a brand new marketing term created out of thin air, so there is nothing like it that has been conceived until now.

In short, Outfluencer Network Advertising™ will rely on Outfluencers who are, in reality, similar to Influencers in being nobodies, except that Outfluencers know that they do not have influence and have a hard time convincing others.

The best part? Outfluencers won’t act like they are convincing even if they are given a lot of money — like how Influencers will.

Outfluencer Network Advertising™ executive director, Wang Pei, said Outfluencers aim to nudge the online advertising industry to the next level of banality, which will only serve to increase authenticity: “Since there are so many useless people and nobodies acting as Influencers, we need to break away and differentiate Outfluencers from the rest of them by making it clear that Outfluencers are like Influencers, except more honest because they know that they suck at this spreading the word thing but don’t pretend that they don’t.”

The strategy for Outfluencer Network Advertising™ will be simple: Crowdsource everyday regular people who have no influence to provide honest reviews of products and services to be read by other everyday regular people who have no influence.

This will ensure authenticity as there is no need to sugarcoat and upsell anything. It is a case of What You See Is All There Is. Nobodies convincing nobodies.

Outfluencers preferably should not have any track record of sampling and reviewing products and services. They should avoid having a following.

Outfluencers will be recruited via a vast network — basically anyone on Facebook and Twitter — where anyone who looks in need of social media friends will be randomly messaged to ask if they are keen to review something.

Merchants with products and services to advertise can contact Outfluencer Network Advertising™ at editor@newnation.sg

 

Do you have more questions?

Here is a handy cut-out-and-keep guide to questions pertaining to Outfluencer advertising.

Frequently Asked Questions.

Who is an Outfluencer?

An Outfluencer is an Influencer who knows he or she does not have much influence.

In other words, an Outfluencer is you and me, a nobody: Anyone who has no particular identifiable talent, like Influencers, but who knows their opinion is not important.

 

Who can be an Outfluencer?

Anyone. There are no age or dietary restrictions.

Basically, anyone who is not self-conceited or an Influencer. Outfluencers are nobodies.

 

Why be an Outfluencer?

It is the same as asking why be Catholic or Christian or Chinese. You just are.

 

What’s the difference between Influencers vs Outfluencers?

Influencers are people without discernible talent but who think they can influence other people because they think they can sway others with their own opinions, when in fact, no one cares.

Outfluencers are those without discernible talent and who cannot influence others but do not believe for a second they can sway other people’s opinions, because no one cares.

 

Will Outfluencers get paid?

Yes, there will be profit-sharing if there are clients and merchants who wants products or services reviewed.

 

Why should I trust Outfluencers?

They are the most authentic voices out there as they can be anybody, unlike Influencers, who are known to pretend they can sell products or services. Outfluencers don’t even need to pretend. They are nobodies.

 

Is this Outfluencer thing a joke?

No. But it can be pretty damn funny.

 

outfluencer-network-tm

Product description: Always wondered what kind of air New Nation writers breathe? Why not try some of New Nation’s hot air? Produced and packed fresh daily!

Email editor@newnation.sg if you’d like to buy one jar of New Nation hot air, yours for only S$29.90.

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Outfluencer review: “Isn’t this the Ikea jar?”
Wendy Koh, 28, Banking Executive

Powered by Outfluencer Network Advertising™

Man named Bai Ting charged with biting police officer

Man named Bai Ting charged with biting police officer

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No, New Nation is not responsible for this news.

Story from here

Story from here

New Nation responds to Breakfast Network, The Independent

New Nation responds to Breakfast Network, The Independent

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Even though nobody even addressed us, but we still want to respond.

By New Nation

newnationman - cropped

No, New Nation hasn’t been asked to register our site. Not under the Broadcasting (Class Licence) Notification or as a news site under the recently implemented licensing scheme.

Is this good or bad?

Well, if we could tell you the pros and cons and provide an intellectual discussion about it, I guess you could say we would have overstretched ourselves.

But what we do know now is that the Media Development Authority has demanded that the yet-to-be launched news site, The Independent, to be registered.

And what can we minimally say about it?

Well, registration itself is a big deal, if it ever happens to New Nation. Make no mistake about that.

Because it means we have to fill up some forms and send some written emails back and forth and these take effort.

Taking foreign money

But yes, the concern that any website will fall under foreign influence and taking money is pertinent and should be addressed. Let us explain why.

While The Independent has made it clear that just because people may want to put money in the business, it doesn’t mean the money will be accepted. It will remain a Singaporean-funded initiative.

I say this is ridiculous. For New Nation, the deal has always been simple: Show us the money. And we drop our pants.

But seriously, what really Singapore needs is more, rather than fewer, news sites that are on a professional footing, employing professionals who can do a professional job of reporting and commentary.

It is no cheap exercise and too often, some people think that putting together a few mass communication graduates and journalists with a couple of years experience and giving them fancy titles like Editor, Chief Correspondent ecetera, will do the trick. It won’t.

Because what you really need is to take just two graduates from NUS, who have 2nd-lower degrees preferably, give them a website and a web domain, and unleash them on an unsuspecting world.

How much cost is that? $45 a month?

So we’re happy enough to first put out our content and let you judge our work. If more people like what we do, we’ll start thinking about whether we can do even more. It means that sooner or later (probably very soon), we would have to deal with the business aspects.

But that would also mean we will have to fill out more forms and send more emails. Which is tiring. So we’ll probably not go there.

New Nation’s purpose

So let this be New Nation‘s undying rally cry: We shall, till death do we part, do all that’s important and popular on the Internet: Spreading nothing but lies, fabrications and blatant falsehoods. Because that is what sells, right?

Does that mean that we are playing to the gallery some times?

Does that mean we are taking advantage of people’s weaknesses, follies and inability to tell truth from falsity?

Does this mean we are taking the piss out of everyone, including ourselves?

Yup.

Here at New Nation, we’ll simply aim to keep to what got us started in the first place – our passion for 50% investigative journalism and half-truths.

For the mathematically-inclined: 50% investigative work x 50% truth = 25% accuracy

If you can’t deal with this, you can always read Breakfast Network and The Independent.

Brunei loves New Nation…

Brunei loves New Nation…

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… wait, what…

By Belmont Lay

BUT WAIT, IN THE MEANTIME…

2011 in retrospect

2011 in retrospect

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When New Nation started out a year back, nearly 90% of people polled said it wouldn’t take off. One well-known former entrepreneur (and now regular speaker at various entrepreneurship conferences) even said not to waste time and money to start it because it was doomed to fail to begin with. Because no one will pay for “citizen journalism”.

Of course he was right. One year on, we’re barely breaking even with ad sales. Google adsense even blocked us recently for click fraud; someone clicked incessantly on the ad so of course, our account was blacklisted.

It was a roller coaster 2011. Besides doing some ‘coverage’ (I’m using the word loosely because we satirise things on this site) of the General and Presidential elections, we were also hacked once and DDoSed.

To cope with the heavy coverage during GE, we tried enticing university students to contribute by holding weekly essay competitions with $60 as a cash prize. Didn’t work. We also tried paying writers $60 per piece to contribute. But some pieces that came in were so bad, we had to rewrite the whole thing so it became a waste of time AND money. Needless to say, we’re not paying writers anymore.

To cope with the tech demands of a site that many people strangely seem to hate, we had to shift servers until we found a load management system that matched our readership spikes. Upsize, downsize, change companies, clean the code… all this takes time and money.

The guru was right. New Nation can’t function as a company, not yet at least. Because no one will pay for online content today. Unless we start selling merchandise, or accepting donations, there’s no way, in the short term, that New Nation could ever function as a full-fledged company/organisation with full-time staff.

But we’re not beggars and therefore we can be choosers. We choose not to accept donations because that would put us at the mercy of our donors. And there’s also the thorny issue of accountability. Should we be accountable to our paymasters, our readers, ourselves, or the general public? Being self-funded gives us editorial independence. We can choose what we want to write, how we want to cover it, and if we want to change our image overnight there’s no one to say no to it.

Our readership has grown to 30,000 unique visitors a month over the past year. A definite down from our peak during the 2011 General Elections, but still not bad for a blog that makes infantile cracks at local politics.

Still, we have a long way to go.

Our 30,000 a month is pitiful compared to xiaxue, who gets 40,000 A DAY. Even her nemesis Dawn Yang gets 60,000 a month. I would gather that Mr Brown’s readership floats somewhere between those two numbers.

If you’re wondering why I’m using them as a benchmark, it’s because in the blogging realm, they ARE the benchmark. Terence and I may have our roots in The Online Citizen but it is the 5 million Singaporeans out there that we’re targetting, and not those already convinced that political coverage online is essential reading material. By the way, even the readership for Temasek Review, I’ve been told, doesn’t come anywhere near Xiaxue.

Believe it or not, the majority of people out there don’t give a hoot about politics or social issues except maybe for the week prior to the elections. It is the nature of the internet and facebook to convince you that there are many people around that sympathise with your cause, whatever that may be. Try sympathising with Dr. Chee on the PAP facebook page, or saying that women should stop dressing like sluts if they don’t want to be mistaken for prostitutes, on the Slutwalk page.

100 ‘likes’ does not make for majority opinion. Neither does 10 comments about “Stinkaporeans” versus one lone dissenter show that a revolution is on its way.

2011 has been a fun and occasionally expensive year. 2012 will be a challenge considering that there are no major events on the calendar. How’s a satirical site going to survive without politicians tripping over themselves?

That’s when you, yes YOU come in. Write in, take pictures, let us know if there’s anything worth sniggering about about on this island. Half naked men, broken down trains, flooded shopping centres.. share the fun.

After all New Nation is only as good as its audience-participants. YOU, my dear readers make the New Nation.

Newer websites aim for balanced, diverse views

Newer websites aim for balanced, diverse views

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Brave new wave of sociopolitical websites in Singapore pave way for more diversity.

The two strapping young lads at the top centre and top right are from New Nation.

There is a new wave of sociopolitical websites in Singapore and former The Online Citizen blog contributors are behind two of these sites

One of these sites, New Nation, was set up last December by former TOC contributor Terence Lee and two other writers.

Dismissing the view that he might be an angry, anti-government, left-leaning, tree-hugging, bleeding heart, trendy liberal ranter, Lee says very smartly: “There are online forums which can be very spiteful. But we are not angry people.”

His New Nation co-founder Belmont Lay says rather intelligently about the state of speech: “TOC and Temasek Review fill only one part of the spectrum, and there needs to be other kinds of sites and ways of expression.”

A TOC spokesman, whose name, like Voldemort’s, must remain unspoken, says the site’s volunteer members are happy that alumni have branched out to make the blogosphere more diverse.

In other words, they are probably also glad that those before them have gone on to greener pastures.

It has been agreed by the potentate, public-at-large, professional media watchers, academics, civil society-types, activists, opinion leaders, bloggers, journalists, water cooler conversationists and plenty others that these so-called “third wave” of alternative online media has attained a new level of acceptance among even the establishment based on the path bashed through by the first and second wave.

Note: The first wave comprised old guard sites like now defunct Sintercom, mrbrown’s BrownTown and Mr Alex Au’s blog Yawning Bread, having sprung up in the mid- to late-1990s just as the Internet was conceived in Singapore.

The second wave built on those early efforts. TOC, Talkingcock.com and Wayang Party – which then morphed into Temasek Review – arrived in the 21st century’s first decade.

And this past Presidential Election – just to give you an idea of how much influence blogs can wield – all four presidential candidates had to show face at a forum arranged by TOC, or else, they might lose brownie points with the new media-consuming crowd.

Pardon the backtracking above, but another new site, Publichouse.sg, which former TOC chief editor and freelance writer Andrew Loh set up last month, aims to discuss social, economic and political issues in a ‘positive way’, with a focus on ‘inspiring and empowering stories’.

Loh said he became disappointed with the increasingly xenophobic tone of Internet discourse during and after this year’s general election.

“Right now, the Internet does not reflect the wider community of Singapore. So we need to have more people to come out with blogs, and give the other sides of the stories, instead of just depending on just these few blogs telling us what life in Singapore is like,’ he says, sounding hopeful and very clever.

Besides these two sites started by ex-TOC folks, fact-checking sites such as You Say I Say Who Confirm (YSISWC), which attempts to sort fact from rumour in online chatter over controversial topics, such as the Formula One race and a recent WikiLeak on the citizenship of a minister’s children, have also joined the fray.

SYISWC joins Facebook pages like Fabrications About The PAP and Fabrications About The Opposition, in an attempt to dispel rumours.

Now here are some facts/ opinions you must know if you wish to be proud that you can hold a three-minute conversation with anyone who thinks you might be worth your salt in being well-versed in matters pertaining to new media.

1. Readership of sociopolitical blogs is on the rise. An Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) survey found that from last December to May this year, some 17.3 per cent of Singaporeans read blogs on election issues. The figure jumped to 21.4 per cent during the general election period.

2. The bid for more balance and accuracy is just one way in which online alternative media may be becoming ‘mainstreamed’, as its influence grows.

3. One characteristic of some of the third-wave sites is that they want to correct what they perceive to be an imbalance within the blogosphere itself – less one-sidedness and more diversity, please.

4. One existing challenge is to develop a clear branding in terms of what the new sites are about and what they offer, something which Institute of Policy Studies senior research fellow Tan Tarn How says the younger sites lack.

‘That could be a problem in standing out from the crowd, which is necessary for developing and maintaining a loyal following, assuming that is what these sites want,’ he says.

5. IPS deputy director Arun Mahizhnan says that sustainability of websites ‘would depend on how interesting and effective those voices are’.

6. Both veteran blogger Alex Au who operates the Yawning Bread blog and Tan Tarn How are also of the view that such growth of new sites is to be welcomed as online discourse still lacks diversity (we take this as a ringing endorsement. Whee!).

Says Tan: “The more different websites are situated at both ends of the political spectrum, the more they offer different ideas, perspectives and different approaches to journalism, the more enriched we would be, so that we can become citizens by debating over and choosing from a whole palette of ideas, rather than becoming certain kinds of citizens by default because we have limited choices.”

This echoes what Belmont cleverly mentioned at the beginning of the article. Wow.

This article is a 60-second reduction of the original article by Tessa Wong, our favourite reporter, published in The Straits Times on Oct. 7.

New Nation is not your run-of-the-mill news blog

New Nation is not your run-of-the-mill news blog

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Haters are gonna hate, but we believe in what we’re doing.

Terence

Recently, New Nation had the privilege of being featured in the Straits Times alongside blogging luminaries like Andrew Loh, formerly the Chief Editor of The Online Citizen, and Mr Brown. We appreciate the coverage, and the reporter who bothered to interview a bunch of nobodies like us.

To be frank, when we started New Nation, we had no freakin’ clue what we were doing. None of us knew how to modify a WordPress blog, let alone start a new site from scratch. We fumbled and stumbled along the way, making mistakes here and there, and even got our site wiped out once due to a hacker attack.

And to think we actually tried to seek an investor for our project. How naive we were!

But soon, we found our voice. And it is not a voice that everybody likes. While we write about serious issues, our goal is not to reach out to people who are already actively reading the socio-political blogs out there. We don’t need angry feminists and preachy activists reading us.

Our goal is to reach out to the common man (and woman): People who care somewhat about politics, but aren’t interested enough to read in depth, as well as people who don’t give a shit about politics. These are the folks that serious political blogs aren’t reaching out to.

We know that we have to write differently. We have to entertain.

So we tweaked our editorial style. Socio-political bloggers often take themselves too seriously. So we don’t. Socio-political bloggers write in cheem language that no one understands. So we write simply. Socio-political bloggers preach about the same narrow issues that cater to a niche audience. So we broaden our scope. Socio-political bloggers have a political stand. So we make sure we have none.

Our articles are kept short, informal, and entertaining. We go for the talking-at-a-bar kind of feel, where we can talk about anything and be politically incorrect. We’re casual, tongue-in-cheeck, irrelevent, irreverent, ironic, and serious, all at the same time. We don’t have a political agenda or social cause we advocate as a publication, because we feel that alienates many readers.

Anyone can write for us, whether you’re misogynistic, polygamist, or a believer of other weird shit like aliens. We only discriminate against boring, pretentious writing. And angsty writing too.

Some people find us too crass of course. They think they are above us. So be it. When you do things your way, some folks are bound to hate it.

But we’re gaining an audience. We’ve got a Worker’s Party supporter who volunteers with us. We’ve got a girl gamer who wrote something for us. We’ve even attracted a bboy who don’t give a damn about politics.

They all have one thing in common: They’re all young and passionate. And many of them have a life.

At New Nation, we keep things loose. We’re free to publish whatever we want, and we only send stuff to one another for vetting when we’re not sure.

We break boundaries between news and opinion, between serious writing and humor, because we believe in breaking rules. We break decorum too, mostly for the heck of it. No rule in journalism is safe from us.

We meet every week at an ice-cream place. Our meetings are casual, and we chat and gossip about everything. Nothing is taboo for us, that’s part of the creative process that leads to stuff that’s actually different.

But we know we’re not there yet. The Straits Times report is good for us, but our primary aim is not to get news clippings. It’s to grow and sustain a crapload of readers.

And have lots of fun along the way.

National Day giveaway! GE2011 commemorative book up for grabs

National Day giveaway! GE2011 commemorative book up for grabs

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Behind every picture is a story. So here’s one…

By Belmont Lay

The book cover. Click image to see page samples.

A picture paints a thousand words. Which is why you should get a copy of GE 11: We Were There.

It is filled with nothing but page after page of glorious pictures. Translated into words, it can outsize the Bible. Or Kishore Mahbubani’s post-White-Man-triumphalism thesis.

This commemorative magazine is shot and published by the finest talents to have come out of NTU’s Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information (yes, they have more talents besides cussing). It shall be destined to be a collectors’ item — in about 50 odd years’ time.

Which is why New Nation is putting one copy – valued at the original price of $11 – up for grabs.

(Details of contest at the end of this article. If you asked, politely, yes, it can be arranged. I can ask Nicole to sign it.)

However, in this day and age of 140-character prose, a thousand words is a tad long-winded.

So I’ve no choice but to narrate the following story using 150 words per picture.

Just to convince you how poignant images can be. And how there is in fact a story behind every picture.

—–

Check out this screen shot of Nicole Seah taken from this RazorTV video.

It is misleadingly titled “Nicole Seah downcast after election” because “downcast” should have been substituted with “willing to cut a Faustian bargain if she could sleep for just two hours more”.

This half-minute interview segment is shown from 1 min 02 sec to 1 min 36 sec.

Now check out this picture: This was the scene about 15 minutes before the press got a chance to speak with Nicole.

About seven reporters and their crew gathered at the lift landing of a rental block of flats in MacPherson estate, obviously looking not very pleased (except maybe one of them).

This was, after all, May 8, the day after polling results were out and the Opposition were victorious because they secured 39.9% of votes.

Elections were effectively over but the poor reporters could still get no rest.

They could have been home making love, nurturing their children or eating chips while watching TV half naked, but no, they had to be out and about to interview Nicole.

But before they could even do that, they had to deal with her two-bit election agent (that would be me, yours truly).

On a Sunday. Imagine that.

Anyway, the story was that the press were really desperate to speak with Nicole because they needed a quote and some footage so they could go back to the office and string it into something coherent enough to be published or uploaded.

And they were hell bent on getting it.

But my task was to stall them because Nicole had to speak privately with a resident and the press was intimidating.

So after I beat them to the sixth floor lift landing by using the stairs while they breezily took the lift up, I pretended I knew which way Nicole went as the corridor split two ways.

“I’m sorry, I cannot let you all through”, I said pointing to one corridor randomly, before continuing, “you all will have to wait here…”

So for 15 minutes everyone stood around whinging until a half-naked old man came out of his apartment wondering just what the hell was going on.

Which is why you see this creepy-looking half naked dude in the background of the RazorTV interview.

He was doing what the press probably wished they were doing: Spend Sunday at home half-naked, eating chips and watching TV…

And having obviously picked the wrong corridor to barricade using my skinny-assed frame, Nicole emerges from behind everyone after another five interminable minutes of waiting and at that moment I could sense at least seven people wanting to throw me off the building…

———-

Contest details: Tell us what’s the funniest thing that comes to mind when you think of Dr Tony Tan’s hair and mark your tweet with @newnationsg and #tonyhair. Deadline is August 13.

Best answer wins. You’ll be asked to email us your address so we can send the GE 11: We Were There to you.

Or, you can simply purchase a copy online at MixMedia.

Our views on MM Lee and SM Goh’s exit

Our views on MM Lee and SM Goh’s exit

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Let’s be frank: We’re skeptical about their departure from The Cabinet.

By the editors of New Nation

Lovingly captioned from www.news.gov.sg

MM Lee Kuan Yew and SM Goh Chok Tong called it a day as cabinet ministers on 14th May, 2011.

This is a momentous day, no? Honestly, we don’t know and we have yet to find out.

So does this mean both ex-PMs can no longer go around beating the other parliamentarians over their heads anymore? Or can they?

We can only wait to find out.

We have heard quite a bit from the mainstream media about what old, stuffy foggies have to say about this occasion.

Here at New Nation, the three editors with a combined age of 77 years old (which is only 10 years older than an average Straits Times reader), pick each others’ brains for the answer.

Here are our responses to four basic questions:

1. Where was I when I heard the news?
2. What does it mean to me?
3. Why now?
4. Is there an alternative meaning?

Lovingly captioned from www.asiaone.com

Terence’s response:

1. I was at home minding my own business. The first thing I remember doing after hearing the news was telling my dad about it.

2. I hope the move is just the first of many changes they’ll make. I think it’s an effective move, a sure crowd-pleaser for a population hungry for change. But the PAP cannot stop there; they need to dig deeper into existing policies and address issues Singaporeans are concerned about. Like skyrocketing HDB prices. Otherwise Singaporeans will move to JB.

3. I don’t find the timing at all surprising. The move is an admission that the two giants have lost touch with the ground. It’s just a pity they didn’t recognise this earlier; it’s like they have finally woken up from their slumber after being bitch slapped by a legion of Singaporeans.

4. The pressure is now on our Prime Minister to deliver change. Tactically, the move by the two Guardians of Singapura would force the government in a different direction. That’s because if Xiao Lee doesn’t deliver, the dramatic gesture would then look like mere tokenism, which wouldn’t sit well with the electorate. This is a moment that could define his legacy.

Belmont’s response:

1. I was in the car when my girlfriend got on and alerted me about it. That was about 630 p.m. (a bit late, I know) because I am usually woefully ignorant of anything earth-shattering as I still refuse to carry a smartphone.

2. The surprise of the announcement turned into skepticism in about three seconds. Why now? That’s the major question still bugging me since Saturday! Because does it really make a difference if both ex-PMs operated from outside the Cabinet? If Hu Jintao showed up next week bringing tea looking for His Leeness, it will still be official but in an unofficial manner, no? Business as usual in all aspects but title, right? Up till now, I’m still considering the shrewdness of such a move. This is politics so no one can ever take anything at face value.

3. The timing of such moves are always suspect because almost nothing in politics is not deliberate. Yes, the ground sentiment towards the PAP has turned foul in recent years, but both men could have ride it out, no? Reading the speculations online and the official explanation from the joint press statement released by both ex-PMs did not do much in sensing something else is brewing. Maybe I’m just paranoid.

4. I feel that His Leeness simply cannot exit this life holding onto the title of Minister Mentor because it just does not look good in his biography. What would historians say? They’ll say he is a tyrant. Or something like that.

Instead of controlling his people, SM Goh can now focus on controlling his weight.

Shihan’s response:

1. I stepped out of the shower and was watching a Taiwanese variety show while letting my hair dry. Partner’s mum broke the news to me and compared MM Lee stepping down to Japanese Ministers quitting after something goes wrong.

2. It means leadership renewal. Like really, instead of merely paying lip service. It also means that the PAP is finally taking voter sentiment seriously. On the other hand, it doesn’t mean anything much in terms of concrete change because the two fellas will still be serving as MPs, and will still command a sense of influence within the echelons of the elite. But a symbolic change is still better than no change at all.

3. Nao, because GE is just over and change just gave the PAP a big tight slap in the face. They have finally woken up their idea after a shocking 60% win and they’ve realised they somehow need to appease the masses. The online media has been building up MM Lee as demon without par so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that he’s the first sacrifice. Also probably because he’s been making inchoate remarks to the international press the past few years and the foreign ministry’s tired of cleaning up his piss.

4. An alternative meaning to the retirement of MM Lee and SM Goh? Maybe MM Lee just wanted to retire and the cabinet didn’t want SM Goh to be promoted to MM. Might as well retire the both at once.

What are your thoughts on their exit from The Cabinet? Do share with us!

Join our community on FacebookTwitter, or follow us on the S.alt app for Android.

Confessions of the Virgin Voters

Confessions of the Virgin Voters

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New Nation presents a unique way of covering the elections.

By Terence Lee

Here's our first Virgin Voter graphic - the Schoolgirl Virgin Voter! Put this up on Facebook and make your confession.

THIS year, I will be voting for the first time, and so will my fellow editors (except Belmont, who’s an old timer). There are about 100,000 people like us; maiden voters who are about to catch the excitement of the polls.

While one of our writers has said that voting is like having sex, I disagree.

Voting is better than sex. Or chocolate. Why? Because while an average person is likely to do the dance countless times, contingent on the fact that he or she has the EQ to get laid, that same person may reach 80 and never get a chance to vote. Ever.

That’s especially true if you live in a constituency where no opposition dare to tread.

For the luckier ones, assuming we live till a 100 and the elections happen once every five years, we’d get at most 16 shots at the voting booth.

If I were you, I’d be super invigorated.

Therefore, we folks at New Nation want to celebrate the fact that we’ll be Virgin Voters. From today onwards, you’ll be hearing from many first-timers about their thoughts towards the elections, the candidates, and the proceedings.

Some of us will even be providing coverage of our respective constituencies, speaking to MPs, candidates, and voters. We’ll be attending rallies and walkabouts, giving you our unique take on the elections, through the eyes and dirty minds of a virgin voter.

Now, as you know, it takes two to tango.

While, we, the editors and writers of this humble online magazine, are eager to get off the starting block, we are counting on you, the reader, to contribute with us. Whether you are a virgin voter or a second timer, it doesn’t matter. And if you’re 60 and doing it for the first time, there’s no shame in that.

And we don’t care whether you’re pro-PAP, or anti-PAP, lesbian or straight, passionate or blah. Here’s how you can help:

1) Write for us. Or help with photography and making videos. Share your thoughts about the elections, and we’ll publish them. If you’d like to take this one step further and cover the elections in your constituency, do let us know too. Email us at editor@newnation.sg if you’re interested.

2) Follow us on Facebook and Twitter, and share the gospel of the Virgin Voters with your heathen friends.

3) Share the pride of being a Virgin Voter using one of our unique Facebook display pics. We will be launching new ones every week on our Facebook page. Don’t like them? Why not create your own, and share it with your friends, and us?

Together, let’s make our first time a less scary one!

New Nation brings the blogosphere into your pocket

New Nation brings the blogosphere into your pocket

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Free Android app “S.alt” aggregates the best in Singapore alternative media for current affairs, food, tech, and more.

STRAITS Times has an app. So does Today newspaper. Why can’t blogs have them too? First of all, you need money and know-how to make one. And besides, why would anyone want to download an app just to read Mr Brown or Xiaxue, save for their most ardent fans?

But we at New Nation have a solution: Why not just bring the best blogs into one app so that readers can find out what’s happening at one glance? That’s why S.alt was born.

Currently available for Android phones only, you can download the app at this URL: https://market.android.com/details?id=com.appmakr.app150914&feature=search_result

Or, you can download it directly from your phone. Depending on feedback, we might just launch the app on the iPhone or Windows Phone platforms. For a full list of blogs included in the app, scroll down to the bottom of the page.

So, how might the app benefit you? Read on to find out:

For media consumers
– Find interesting articles on popular blogs like The Online Citizen, Temasek Review, Xiaxue and more while on-the-go.
– Share content easily using Facebook and Twitter.
– Read the entire article in the app, no need for opening cumbersome browsers.

For publishers
– Allow readers easy access to your articles.
– No need to spend money developing your own app; we’ve done it for you.
– Generate more awareness for your brand name and content.

For journalists
– Keep up to date with online sentiments while on your way to the editorial meeting.
– Great source of ideas for your next big story.

For queries and feedback, do contact Terence Lee at editor@newnation.sg.

Included publications and categories in first build:

Current affairs:
Yahoo FTP Newsroom
Yahoo FTP Singapore Scene
The Online Citizen
Temasek Review
Mr Brown
Yawning Bread
New Nation
New Asia Republic
SGPolitics
Lucky Tan
Rockson Tan
Icarus
Guan Yin Miao

Political peeps:
Young PAP
Khaw Boon Wan’s blog
Worker’s Party
Singapore Democratic Party
Reform Party
Kenneth Jeyaretnam’s blog
Goh Meng Seng’s blog

Food:
ieatishootipost
ladyironchef
camemberu
Mothering corner

Lifestyle/entertainment:
CNNGo
New Nation
Twntysmthg

Tech:
Yahoo FTP Tech
Techxav

Sports:
Yahoo FTP Sports
Redsports

Finance and biz:
Yahoo FTP Finance
SGEntrepreneurs
New Nation

Frivolous:
Xiaxue

I judge thee to be winner of round three…

I judge thee to be winner of round three…

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Belmont ‘Caustic’ Lay gives his royal verdict.

The worst show in the world.

YOU ever watched America’s Got Talent? You ever wondered how ridiculous the judging criteria is? It’s worse here at New Nation.

Every other week I am reduced to coming up with temporary and flimsy categories just to attempt an act of judging involving entries for this website’s writing competition.

And every other week I am stumped.

If you’ve ever watched America’s Got Talent (if you haven’t, don’t), the funniest part about the whole enterprise is how an ex-editor of tabloid newspapers, the wife of a metal band vocalist and a C-list ex-Baywatcher decide what is entertaining.

So you have fire-eaters competing with the talentless, contortionists going toe-to-toe against harpists, harmonicists outplaying the gormless and generally a lot of booing for people who go on stage and pull faces.

Did someone mention that’s the whole point because having people of diverse talents (or the lack of) playing against one another is entertaining due to the incompatibility of comparison?

No, I’m sorry, but I beg to differ. It is entertaining precisely because there isn’t even a compatibility with any known criteria.

But here at New Nation, we can try to have none of that. So, here I offer you this week’s judging decision with arbitrary categories imposed (with good reasons who wins, of course):

Saying something old about something old: Love of the unromantic kind by Rachel Teng

Every year, around Valentine’s Day, I never tire from reading about the many facets of love. Why this indefatigable interest? As I’m always acting like a twerp, which means someone has harboured the desire to kill me, but since I’m not dead I can still give the gift of giving or have always had and that diminishes my standing as a public shit.

Reading about a timeless issue is, therefore, always a gentle reminder I’m still alive. And there’s time to change.

Saying something new about something new: Beware the Octopus by Kwan Jin Yao

Information and communications technology (ICT) is just stuffy speak. Its rise can be traced to the advent of the WWW. Basically, it is a high and mighty way of saying “Internet” and “computer”. No, really. Just because you can transmit ones-and-noughts from one end to another and have it reconstituted into a “file” with “information”, someone somewhere, who is most likely sexually frustrated, has to acronymise it.

And I think this pretty much sums up the scandal that is ICT.

Because practically, major institutions, such as schools and the education ministry, are the laggards who are worst at utilising ICT resources. They are basically people. when given a hammer, will hit every nail they think they see.

So, while schools in Singapore can insist all they want that students make Powerpoint slides or do up fancy videos that will never go viral and teachers put up lesson plans in digital folders that will end up underviewed anyways, I know practical, resourceful people – who happen to be musicians – who learnt everything about recording a song on an iPhone and building a virtual cult around their melodies online.

ICT, to say the very least, is a tool for people who know what they’re doing and to what ends they want to reach.

But as the Tree Octopus has shown, don’t take everything said online at face value.

Ok, I was just dishonest about the public shit part. I’m really very nice.

Winner: Kwan Jin Yao!

You’ll be hearing from us because you will be $60 richer.

And the winner of the writing competition is…

And the winner of the writing competition is…

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I don’t know how the Booker Prize and Nobel Prize judging panel do it, but picking a winner is hard stuff.

By Belmont Lay

THIS year, something farcical will happen within the literary world again.

Out of thousands of books published, only one will net the Booker Prize and another will bag the Nobel Prize in Literature.

And get a load of this: At last count, in 2007, more than 50,000 works of fiction are published in the United States alone.

God knows how many more are inked throughout Europe, Asia, Africa, Middle East, prisoner-island Australia and Lord of the Rings film set, New Zealand.

So it is fairly obvious that with so many books lying around, not all will be read by the five judges on the Booker Prize’s panel or the 18-member committee at the uber-prestigious royal Swedish Academy who bestows the Nobel on only the worthy.

Even if they were all read, how does any one judge chalk against cheese against verisimilitude against literary merit?

Yet, here I am, reduced to scratching my head and rubbing my chin incessantly trying to judge between two submissions, where the winner shall be awarded the $60 grand prize for New Nation’s first-ever writing competition.

It is an unenviable task.

Conform or be whitewashed, by Syafiqah Omar is about how the politics behind graffiti is undermined and elevated at the same time.

It puts authorities in a classic Catch-22 situation: Outlawing it through hard or soft sanctions will only bring to bear the implicit message of the graffiti.

Inaction in dealing with it is to evoke the belief of silent complicity.

Therefore, I like graffiti, especially in Singapore, because it makes the authorities look stupid. I still don’t understand why the authorities cannot just allow graffiti, in this case regarding the Palestinian cause, but distance themselves from that particular political or social message the graffiti champions?

Maybe, that’s another article in its own right.

However, here’s a red flag alert: I have read extensively before about Kalle Lasn and his Adbusters campaign and Naomi Klein’s sociological anti-corporatism spiel, No Logo.

Without a doubt, I appreciate subversion.

Like “hell on earth” is by a 23-year-old Singaporean male who has Asperger’s Syndrome and is writing under the pseudonymous Aaron Kok.

The last time I read anything about Asperger’s Syndrome was in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, a work of fiction by Mark Haddon.

It was hilarious in a tragic, twisted way. And of course, not very real, I must add, in case my detractors think I am into mocking disabilities.

The story’s protagonist, who has AS, introduces the reader to his emotionally dissociated mind and explores his behavioural difficulties.

But based on your effort, Aaron, you deserve to win. You’ve made a poignant point. In a non-fiction kind of way.

Your piece started a lenghty discussion that even had MP Denise Phua chipping in.

And here’s the irony: The Curious Incident was longlisted for the Booker Prize in 2003. That’s why I heard about it in the first place.

A note from Terence: Either writer could easily have walked away with the $60 cash prize. Syafiqah’s entry on graffiti art censorship is fresh, insightful, and pleasant to read. We are all well aware of the government’s touchy sentiments regarding sex and politics, but to hear from graffiti artists themselves about being watched by ISD agents really drives home the point. A decent piece of journalism.

Aaron’s piece on autism, at first glance, doesn’t qualify as reportage. It sounded more like a letter fit for the forum pages of a newspaper. But considering his background, circumstances, and lack of media training, the piece is an excellent effort in describing lucidly his personal experience as an autistic Singaporean.

He scored brownie points among the editors when he unexpectedly generated a furious discussion that got MP Denise Phua involved (she did not read our letter when she wrote the comment). In that sense, Aaron’s article is journalism: it educated Singaporeans on the plight of their autistic countrymen; it facilitated dialogue between different parties; it presented a point of view in a raw and honest manner. That is why he is the first winner of our writing contest.

Congratulations, Aaron. You will be hearing from us soon. Thanks also to Syafiqah for a well-written piece of journalism which sets the standard for the rest of us. Readers, do keep the entries coming for our weekly contest!