09 November 2007

Nasal straws in the wind

What does the threat letter to Thio Li-Ann really represent? What's the significance of 2 recent articles - in the Straits Times and Zaobao respectively? Full essay.


yuen said...

may I provide a few simple answers to your points - no need for sophisticated analysis:

why the anonymous letter was sent to press: someone wanted to do some ranting and relieve his feelings - it was safer than using a blog

why Andy Ho's report seems unusual: he is a reporter completing an assignment, and the report reflected the material he could find

was anti-gay attitude Christian: Rome had tried to ban homosexuality (it was quite common in Greek and Roman times) because of low birth rates affecting army recruitment

Alan Wong said...

I must say that I hardly understand what Andy Ho tries to write in his column to the point that whenever I see his name, I just give up.

I just can't believe how the ST can allow such a senior writer to be writing on issues that doesn't make any sense at all. And what is even more amusing is the fact that this "Doctor" professes to be an expert on medical issues but end up churning half-baked nonsensical articles which is neither here or there.

And more often than not, I find other articles written by the many junior writers at ST to be more digestable and sensible, at least to me.

Hope the ST editor will pay more attention to the quality of their articles especially those written by Andy Ho.

Yawning Bread Sampler said...

Yuen wrote: "Rome had tried to ban homosexuality (it was quite common in Greek and Roman times) because of low birth rates affecting army recruitment"

Source of this info?

jun said...

Just curious:

Have you asked the editors or any journalist at Zaobao if it is really the case that the debate about 377A is a 'non-issue to the Chinese-speaking section of our population'? Or is it simply because they have not been printing letters they receive on the deabte?

Also, how about the Malay and Tamil press?

Anonymous said...

Letter from Singapore: racial discrimination?

A Chinese colleague of mine - a fellow columnist named Mr. Andy Ho - had changed the thrust of my column on Diwali, which happens to be a national holiday here. While his technical editing was superb - and I told him that - what appeared in the paper subsequently simply wasn't my voice.

When I approached Mr. Ho about this, he waved me away in our newsroom like one would a persistent beggar. Perhaps he did not realise the significance of that gesture when directed at a Hindu-born person like me, however secular I may be in my sensibilities.

But he repeated his gesture in a manner that was so dismissive that I then addressed him by the only appropriate response, a barnyard epithet. I was struck, not by his gesture alone - I've seen worse during a career in journalism spanning four decades - but by the expression on his face. It left no doubt in my mind whatsoever that he would qualify for what my friend, the Indian cabinet official, would most certainly call a racist.

Yawning Bread Sampler said...

In case readers are not aware, the above is actually a quote from a long complaint written by one Pranay Gupte who used to work at the Straits Times. Gupte published this on his blog after he quit the newspaper. That was some years ago.

Personally, I don't think citing that complaint is appropriate to the issues discussed here, contributing little to the matter at hand. It strikes me that bringing up this unsubstantiated allegation is an ad hominem attack.

yuen said...


has a review, in which the author, like many gays here, blame christianity, but like in current singapore, I dont think the church has that level of influence but might be used as a convenient excuse; from time of constantine onward, the emperors were based in the east because italy was less good for collecting a citizen army, and increasingly barbarian mercenaries were used for defense, while today singapore has a low birth problem; I dont think these are just a coincidences

Anonymous said...

"Today singapore has a low birth problem; I dont think these are just a coincidences"

The a/m "fact" is used as a reason to keep 377A and history to persecute gays?

Geez..I am speechless!

Are consenting no longer having sex because of 377A and non-gays and ex-gays having more sex to procreate?

Anonymous said...

Bringing up wild theories that the second letter to Thio was actually a conspiracy by anti-gay forces to paint pro-gay forces in a bad light is "really grasping at straws".
Much like those who say that the downing of the WTC was a zionist plot and so on.
I'm sorry to say this, but shame on you.


Robert L said...

To Edgeforall

If you can consider the possibility that the Americans purposely allowed Pearl Harbour to be attacked...

If you can consider the possibility that Singapore's Hock Lee Bus riots were started by British agents...

If you can consider the possibility that May 13 was a scheme of senior UMNO politicians...

If you can consider the possibility that 911 was purposely allowed to proceed by the American government...

... Then you will understand that a conspiracy by anti-gay forces is standard operating procedure. Nothing unduly imaginative or clever, merely routine.

We need to wise up and not take things at face value, there's no shame in that. Indeed, the shame is if you get suckered time and time again.

As an endnote, I find it remarkably significant that the person who sent that second email did not distribute it to any other blogs or forum, like this YB blog or the Sammyboy forum. Are we permitted to conclude that it was intended for only the eyes of Thio and that particular newspaper? And that that alone had already fulfilled the intention of that email?