Straits Times article; Facebook

Senior PAP official and long-time diplomat Professor Tommy Koh hit out at government newspaper Straits Times for biased reporting over the Minimum Wage. Prof Tommy Koh pointed out that Straits Times published the one-sided report featuring Manpower Minister Josephine Teo’s argument against Minimum Wage, but not his response slamming the Minister for propagating fake news:

“I would also point out to my friends in the ST that their biased reporting on the conference brings discredit to our media. For example, the paper reported Minister Josephine Teo’s argument that minimum wage could cause unemployment and illegal employment but not my rebuttal that that narrative is contradicted by the experience of Japan, South Koreas, Taiwan and Hong Kong which have adopted a minimum wage. I think the current income disruption of singapore is a moral disgrace. Many of our working people do not earn a living wage and live in poverty. The Progressive Wage Model has improved wages in certain sectors of our economy but the workers in those sectors still do not earn a living wage. Mr Lee Kuan Yew envisaged an income distribution which resembles an olive.Today, our income distribution resembles a pear. Think about it.”

The post from Prof Tommy Koh went viral with over 1,943 shares, with many condemning Straits Times for being a propaganda mouthpiece.

Alongside other state media papers like ChannelNewsAsia and TodayOnline, Straits Times collectively ranks 153rd in the world for credibility. The national newspaper is controlled by the Ministry of Information and Communication, where Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s 31-year-old son Li Hongyi sits as “senior consultant director”.

The ruling party PAP is currently facing an internal leadership split, where supporters of former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew actively protest and, sometimes publicly criticise, the Lee Hsien Loong administration.