Like many singaporeans, I was taken aback when MICA (Ministry for Information, Communications and the Arts) chose to respond so swiftly to offer critique on Mr Brown's article in the "Today" newspaper not too long ago. The lesson to be learnt from the incident is that the mainstream media has a crucial role to play in influencing Singaporeans and should be responsible for the messages (hidden/intentional or otherwise) it sends out.
That was why I was caught by surprise when I tuned in to the "Superband" finals last night.
Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister For Community Development, Youth & Sports and Second Minister For Information, Communications And The Arts (MICA) was the guest of honour for the show which was broadcasted "live" via Channel U. I can't be sure the exact number of people tuning in to the show but I reckon it was ALOT, judging from the hype about this show on the internet.
Now there was nothing unusual about Dr V. Balakrishnan's presence. What I found unusual is that he has no issues over this:
There was a heated debate in the forums about this issue but apparently, MICA is not as concerned about a male celebrity judge crossdressing as a female in a show that was watched by so many Singaporeans as it is about an article that a blogger wrote in the national newspaper.
What kind of values/messages are we promoting/conveying, especially to the highly impressionable teenagers watching the show?