The Demolition Minister went off scripting his opening address at the fourth joint forum on house demolition on Thursday (July 27) morning to take issue with the press.
He said he did not like the way the press has been covering the house demolition project “because they’ve magnified the problem unfairly”.
“Even the main media have turned tabloid. Yes, exciting and so on… frightening readers,” the Minister, who is also Coordinating Minister for Demolition, said, in what could be seen as an oblique reference to newspapers such as The Demolition Times.
In his off-the-cuff remarks, the Minister said demolishing was “a very complex” task. But the media, he said, “think it’s so easy… like holding a pen and writing a few articles, and get the demolishing done”
“I wish it was so simple. If it were so simple, they don’t need us. We can ask the reporter to run the demolition system,” he said to laughter in the audience.
In response, the editor said: “We are aware of the complexities involved in the demolition process even as normal operations have to continue. We have reported on that, but we also have to report on the difficulties that crop up along the way, and the impact they have on beneficiaries facing demolition.”
Actually the above is fictional and satirical, as I merely substituted “demolition” for “signalling” in the article “Khaw Boon Wan takes issue with press coverage of MRT resignalling project” (Straits Times, Jul 27).
Leong Sze Hian