Chinese tabloid Lianhe Wanbao the unlikeliest hero?

Posted on 26 January 2012

How did Lianhe Wanbao get their hands on what could be the story of the year?

Although news media in Singapore tend to be dull and not very stimulating most of the time, they do throw up some oddities once in a while.

Take the recent high-profile arrests of the ex-chiefs of the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) and Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) under the Prevention of Corruption Act:

Anyone familiar with Lianhe Wanbao, the technicolour Chinese evening tabloid filled with exploding fonts, scandalicious headlines and pixelated eyes, will know that a typical front page looks something like this:

Or like this:

So it comes as quite a big surprise that Lianhe Wanbao is the first newspaper to break the news on Tuesday regarding an uber-newsworthy scandal involving senior civil servants that should have been right up The Straits Times’ alley.

In other words, shame on The Straits Times for getting owned by a Chinese tabloid!

So, here’s just four questions that can be asked about this incident:

1. How did Lianhe Wanbao even get wind of this story in the first place?

2. Considering that one arrest was made in mid-December and the other in early January, why was the Ministry of Home Affairs sitting on this news for three weeks? Because they are awaiting General Election 2016?

3. As far as industry people are concerned, there has always been some kind of semi-friendly competition going on between all the major newspapers in Singapore. So, if this story was let out of the bag for bragging rights by Lianhe Wanbao, can The Straits Times still claim to be the Gold Standard in journalism?

4. Should this piece of news serve to show that there really isn’t a well-coordinated effort within Singapore’s news rooms to keep anything too scandalous involving civil servants under wraps?

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- who has written 2685 posts on New Nation.

Wang Pei can be considered a new citizen of Singapore. She has been here all her life, just that her environment's changed beyond recognition.

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  • DiarySG

    kinda reminds of the nightingale nursing home abuse where Mediacorp kept the news for months…