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Singapore is rich city-state with high technology in the south eastern part of Asia. It is known for its conservative leaders and highly rigid communal controls. It is connected to the Island of Malaysia through a walkway and viaduct to the south. The general population in Singapore is dominated by the Chinese and has a minority of the Indians and the Malays. Singapore is known as the tiger of the Asia’s economy. The economy of Singapore is driven by the manufacturing of the electronics and financial services. Singapore is a multiparty nation of which the dominant party has been known for using denigration to silence their opponents (BBC News, 2010, Para 1-3).
Relationship between Media and politics
There exist a strong regulation of media in Singapore to ensure there is no misconduct . According to Rafferty (1989, 34), they have regulated internet access and no one is allowed to own a private satellite dish and censorship is high and common. The media environment is dominated by two major players. A closely linked partner to the party ruling the Singapore Press holdings which has monopolised the newspaper sector and the MediaCorp an affiliate of the state investment which operates the TV and Radio stations (Esposito, 2006, 30).
Media and politics relates interchangeably in that the media have a very great impact on political arena and politics highly influence the media. In Singapore, politics have highly affected the media for example the strict regulations put by the ruling party are for maintaining their political interest. They deny their people the right to information by confining the media to certain interest and information. As it is well known that in Singapore there is right to expression which has been suppressed in one way or another by this huge regulatory policy (BBC News, 2010, Para 4-5).
In 1959, the ruling party in Singapore got rid of free media. The popular Strait Times was among the media that were got rid off. Today the publications in this nation are used to voice out the government’s interest and voice only. The Straits Times has consequently become an operation under very serious regulations. The media was therefore fully suppressed leading to media expertise moving on to other nations.
Those who tend to try their luck end up closing due to the government threats as they try to maintain their interests. Taking an example of the Chinese language newspaper, their four senior staff members landed in jail due glamorizing communism and also due to their involvement in black operation. Most of those newspapers thought of been involved in black operation they were brutally shut down. This was oppressive to the media sector. Consequently, today the media is run by two companies which are under direct control by the state government (Atkins, 2002, 61).
The government of Singapore has not only limited its local media but also this control influence from foreign media. They amended the Broadcasting Act such that they would be able to persecute the foreign broadcasters if they interfered with domestic politics. This arose as a result of what was happening to Indonesia and Malaysia. Therefore political interests have suppressed the media liberty in Singapore.
The government of Singapore has obtained a cover to their presumed mission and regulated media operations for their own personal interest under the umbrella of issue of freedom given and freedom taken. The removal of censorship for the internet services is been offered when every individual in the whole of the state has been subject to fear threats and turned in a particular way of handling the media. This means most of them are under a force that cannot allow them to change to full liberty pertaining media usage. The governments’ system of believe has detached Singapore of the parley about free speech though it is a rich modern state internationally. This denies it an opportunity to offer help many countries which envy racial harmony which Singapore have excelled in maintaining (Daine & Mauzy, 2002, 32).
The relationship of media and politics can be viewed in another way that the media in Singapore has played a major role in enhancing governance. Media and advanced technology has been used as a tool of campaigning by different political leaders. The media in Singapore is a government tool that has been used to promote government financial excellence and political stability. This has been achieved through restricting it to what the government plans. The leaders in Singapore have restricted on to the bloggers. This has in deed affected the politics of Singapore in that they governance seem unquestionable and mostly never challenged. Taking the view of the greater part of Singapore population which is totally educated, they have the knowledge and the skills to use the media constructively (Romano, 2007, 29).
The opposition parties in Singapore have made efforts to use the internet to proliferate their messages. This have seemed as the only way of engaging the citizens for the other types of media are highly restricted and put on check by the government hence can leave out information meant to go to the citizens (Daine & Mauzy, 2002, 32). Media plays a major role in education and enlightening the citizens about the political leaders they are committing to lead their state.
Though for many times the media is blamed of much propaganda they publish and they broadcast, they are very crucial for several reasons. Ignoring the fact that they are set in place to harm each other they help the population to be able to know the character of the leaders. The well portrayed discussion on the visions the leaders have and the record through media helps everyone in the population understand who will take the nation the direction they desire. The denial of some details to the population disables the population in some aspects when it comes to decision making in politics. This kind of politics can therefore be termed as self centred and selfish politics (Atkins, 2002, 62).
The mentality of the governance about why most of the population does not use the internet as a matter of freedom taken and freedom given seems to have a lot of hidden missions. They have been able to contain the different character that would use media to interfere with the election and other government activities and plans using media. The leaders have developed and imposed the culture of media regulation in the nation making the nation used to it hence they have no problem with the situation. Also due to what has happened in the past they are left with no choice but to submit unquestionably to the law of their nation or left with the option of leaving the nation. This has also closed out media practitioners from other nation seek opportunities in Singapore.
Unlike other state where media has played roles for and against politics which is a good grill to make and mend a nation, media has leaned on one side. The government of Singapore has denied media its positions in the affairs of the nation not only politically but also economically and socially. Though this has been positively enhanced and knitted the cultural, it has closed many other avenues for state growth.
Atkins, W. (2002). The politics of Southeast Asia’s new media. New York: Routledge.
BBC News (2010). Singapore country profile. London: BBC. Web.
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Esposito, G. (2006). State and media in Malaysia and Singapore: In Contentious Journalism and the Internet. Singapore: Singapore University Press, 2006. pp. 23–54.
Daine, K. & Mauzy, R. (2002). Singapore politics under the People’s Action Party. New York: Routledge.
Rafferty, K. (1989). Asia & Pacific review. California: World of Information.
Romano, A. (2007). State and media in Malaysia and Singapore in Contentious. Journalism and the Internet. Singapore: Singapore University Press. pp. 23–54.