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Conviction Journalist

Conviction Journalist

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Can’t find any at the ST


Dear New Nation,

I refer to the above article by the deputy political editor of the Straits Times Lydia Lim, published April 20, 2013. While I do agree with the essence of the article, that the world needs to be ruled by superheros and not people, I am terribly disappointed that Ms Lim copped out halfway through the article.

This is clearly a sign of censorship at the paper, when even journalists are unable to stay true to their beliefs.

As a huge fan of Singapore’s gold standard journalism, let me show you what Ms Lim actually said.

1. Autocracy was the golden age of politics

This is true indeed. Gone are the days where the terms “strongmen”, “feudal lord”, “Dear Leader” or “Mein Fuhrer” could be used with impunity.

Never mind the myth of authoritarian growth has been torn to shreds over the years statistically and conceptually. For every Lee Kuan Yew, there are several Robert Mugabes.

The strength of one’s convictions is what matters most in any politician.

2. Good politicians ain’t got no time for this

Lee Kuan Yew and Thatcher succeeded as prime ministers because they used to take a “my way or the highway” approach to political leadership.

Because they are always right. Period.

Singapore for example, would have a much better leadership if only unmarried citizens were not allowed the vote and if only graduate women were allowed to reproduce. The United Kingdom would also be a much better place if healthcare, transport, housing and other basic necessities were privatised.

Good politicians decide based on their convictions, and not the wishes of the people who they govern.

If Ironman wasted time listening to the shareholders of Stark Enterprises before he created his nuclear heart, the world would have been destroyed by Loki.

3. Last time less complicated

Ms Lim did not explain how this complexity arose, so let me hazard a guess. According to the history books that are always written objectively without political influence, the world operated in black and white in the past. For examples, all communists were evil and all politicians from the colonies who fought against the British were necessarily the good guys.

Long hair was also a sign of delinquency and potential criminal activity.

But now times have changed and have become confusing for people trying to comprehend it without a prior narrative. The fact that people have more access to information does not help matters – “axis of evil” and “weapons of mass destruction” no longer serve to rally people toward a cause, or journalists to a story.

Therefore, it is difficult to hold on to make split second decisions, and that sucks.

4. Democracy is Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney’s flip-flopping during the US presidential campaign is a sign that democracy has gone too far. Where previous republicans like George Bush Jr could be honest about his inner swashbuckling cowboy, Romney had to hide his inner CEO. No longer was he able to talk about outsourcing and his disdain for the lower class moochers proudly, and loudly.

Nevermind that Obama won the elections squarely by being firm on his policies, and being sensitive to the needs of voters. Obama isn’t what democracy is about. Mitt Romney is.

Likewise, the PAP must hold true to their convictions and push forward their policies no matter the opposition to it. Because that would be a sign of weakness. And they will not get supporters.


I applaud Ms Lim for having the courage to write about the need for conviction politicians, or what some may call autocrats, in this age where liberal elites have dominated the discourse. It is time for superhero fanboys to enter the fray – with conviction.

Yours truly,
Citas Cras Ton

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