Spotted another mischievous headline in the Straits Times today. It states “Aljunied-Hougang Not Raising S&C Charges Yet” .
Why is it mischievous? Well, this report was based on an interview that their reporter did with the Workers Party which said it had no plans to increase the service and conservancy charges in the Aljunied-Hougang GRC which it manages. The report had come about because 7 PAP-run town councils that had just announced that they were increasing the S&C fees.
From what I had read in ST and online, the WP statement to the press never said anything about it not increasing the fees “yet”. It had said it will do its best currently to find other ways to keep costs down and that if costs keep escalating it may have to review again.
And yet, ST snuck that word Yet into the headline which gives WP’s stance a completely different negative meaning ie ..the increase is coming soon.
Interestingly, the report mentioned that 4 other PAP-run wards also said they had no plans to up the charges. Yet, they were not mentioned in the headline with that damaging “..not raising S&C charges yet”. Ironic?
But of course state-controlled ST could not run the headline without the “yet”. To do so would have made the 7 guilty wards look bad for upping the charges.This latest shenanigan reminds me of another headline which ST ran some time ago that said “ONLY 1 in 5 Youths want to Emigrate” for a statistical report that showed that a high percentage of young Singaporeans want to leave the country for good. Adding such subjective words like Only and Yet in news reports is seriously unprofessional and unethical.
Such constant bending of the truth just proves what many of us firmly believe – that one really needs to read the mainstream media reports with a sharp eye and discerning mind.