Conversations: What does MP Baey Yam Keng feel about new media, censorship and anonymity online?

MP Baey Yam Keng

Part of our occasional Conversations series, mrbrown has a chat with Mr Baey Yam Keng, Post-65 Member of Parliament for Tanjong Pagar GRC in Singapore, about many things, including the media landscape in Singapore. We also touch on old vs new media, censorship and anonymity on the internet.

Podcast iconPodcast: Conversations: mrbrown interviews MP Baey Yam Keng (MP3, file size: 14.6mb, Time: 00:30:31)


Technorati Tags: , ,

47 Responses to “Conversations: What does MP Baey Yam Keng feel about new media, censorship and anonymity online?”

  1. DOM the clown Says:

    Dear Mr Brown,

    You interviewed Pocky Pig? This guy “supposedly that MP”, stammered like mad man! How did he pass his English Oral Examination??? His stammering even rubbed off on you at the 17th minute.

    “And the and the and the and the…er…er….er……tch tch tch…….is is is is is is is is….if we if we if we if we……er…er….er……”

    He must as well end the interview with: “abadabadabadabadabadabadabadabada that’s all folks!”……and then your studio guys can add the Loonie Tune too.

    Thanks for this show! I’m going to miss my dinner……puking like mad now……


    Your humble clown cum internet insurgent,

    ps: ….but he’s quite honest with the boundary he’s working within…..

  2. DOM the clown Says:

    eh? no comments allowed for this podcast?

  3. DOM the clown Says:

    oh….one more thing……he must as well end the show by doing….”abada abada abada abada abada abada abada…that’s all folks!”……then your studio crew and add the Loonie Tune.

  4. DOM the clown Says:

    Dear Mr Brown,

    Sorry! I miss out something very important……the sharpness of your question might have made Mr Baey nervous and it is this type of sharpness, clear and truthful one, that the voters of Singapore are looking for to represent and protect their interest in the parliament.

    Thank you for speaking out for the people who are rob of their right to the freedom of speech!


  5. lee Says:

    I don’t know whether is he trying to accommodate with mrbrown or the mrbrown show listeners by speaking half Singlish half English .
    If he is not, then I suggested that he should speak Chinese in Parliament forever.
    That will be better.
    Or maybe also in the mrbrown show.

    I think can la.
    mrbrown just make a Chinese podcast.

  6. Anonymous Says:

    He mentioned about Crazy Horse. Comparing Crazy Horse Singapore with Leslie’s book? He must be joking.

    I guess if Leslie’s book is gonna be sold in Singapore, the celebrities will need to do a new photoshoot with “special lightings”?

    Ha! Ha ha ha ha ha!

    He do sound really nervous. Aiyah brown maybe you were too harsh on him lah…

  7. Joker Says:

    it is so obvious he is trying to avoid the sharp questions you had bombarded on him. Basically, i have been hearing political correct statements after statements.

    If only you can do a 60 mins on him… haa…

  8. Cyanide Says:

    Come on guys, give ‘ah baey’ a break lah. I think he’s been objective in the answers he’s given. The chap’s willing to try. You think a Minister will give u face?

  9. Overseas Signapore Beng Says:

    Be kind to people la… Objectively and jokes aside, he not bad liao…and the things he said quite sensible (whether you agree or not)…especially willing to entertain those hard questions…

    Mr Brown, who is next? :D

  10. Anonymous Says:

    Stretch creativity in a box….think INSIDE the box….lol

    On creativity: is it the society that not tolerant or >>SOME OTHER PEOPLE

  11. offspring Says:

    this is by far the most boring (i.e. not funny) podcast ever! oh wait, the guest not fictional ah?

    no wonder

  12. HaHaHa Says:

    mb, can archive this? good reference point compare how baey will be bleached whiter-than-white further down road, like vivian

  13. Anonymous Coward Says:

    creativity within a box? i am soo close to touching the boundaries of courteous speech here.

    how smart one is? How well one understands the hidden rules?

    I don’t know about this. Either Baey is not too highly intelligent and/or well informed about many of the issues that he was confronted with, or he was caught completely off guard, for example, if the questions were not run through with him first. If I were Baey, I would not have accepted an unprepared interview; but even if one was caught off guard, how poor must one’s general knowledge and understanding of the social situation be, in order to mess up an interview like this?

    It is almost as if he has said nothing new; we know not much more than that he is a bad stutterer, he only has the well rehearsed scripted “right” answers to give, and he unquestioningly (or at least gives the impression that he unquestioningly) accepts and professes the party line: that offline media is Good (and new media is bad), one must learn how to think within the confines of a (ultimately unmarked) box, the silent majority is conservative (where do they come up with this?), and that we need to “teach the kids” what is right (yes I am an educator, and I am offended).

    The disappointing thing is that this is a member of parliament, who should know much more about these issues, should be able to defend his stand, and must know where the compromises are, and yet here we have someone who is this unquestioning, uncritical and (dare I say it) and ignorant.

    How long before people start realizing that there exist people who get into politics, not for the change-the-world selfless zeal that were exemplified by the old retired (yes, even that one who should be, but isn’t) but for self promotion, the million dollar salaries, and pure, unabashed greed?

  14. Anonymous Coward Says:

    oh, and before i get sued for defamation. let me be explicit and say that I am NOT referring to Baey as an example of one who is greedy, hungry for self promotion, etc.

    One never can underestimate the thin skinness of politicians in singapore.

    Oops, did I just imply an insult again?

  15. longlong Says:

    seems to me that MPs nowadays are not as media savvy as they should be. Must be the result of not campaigning during election time.

  16. UK Singaporean Says:

    My God what kind of MPs are we getting?

    Geeze, he must really go back to school to learn to speak like a person befitting a member of a national legislature.

  17. dato Says:

    This is the only MB podcast which i will never download and listen. Go figure :)

  18. Jon Lim Says:

    Kudos to him for accepting the interview, knowing full well that everything he says is going to be scrutinised and vilified by the public. While he will not win any prizes for public speaking, its nice to know that the interview is probaly not scripted. I would be more suspicious if he was silky smooth in all his answers.

  19. Dezzo Says:

    I watched him dumbfounded during “Crossfire” (On channel 8) when some of the members of the panel, critised the MPs for doing the hiphop dance.

    Hearing him talk (again) he struggles being honest but yet optimistic. He knows the problems but he CAN’T address them directly. He tries very hard to answer various questions “politically correctly” but he also injects some personel opinions in his answers.

    I think if he is able to stay as an MP and gain more experience, he might be a frequent spokesman for PAP.

    Mind you, if you ask a Minister the questions in this interviews, all you might get is politically correct answers.

  20. Ng Says:

    people, give MP Baey a break lah.
    If he says something favour to the mrbrown show listeners, the men in white will kill him.
    If he says something favour to the PAP, the mrbrown show listeners like you all will kill him.

    He is like stuck in between the PAP and the people.
    It already took a lot of courage for him to come to this show.

    You ask other MP to come, they will tell you to get out of his elite uncaring face.

  21. kiat Says:

    good attempt.

    bad interview.

  22. Really Says:

    kudos to mr baey willing to risk his political career by coming on the show. hey guys, he was trying to be politically correct, don’t be too hard on him, otherwise you won’t see his face in next GE.

    as for the questions, i believe most of us know the answers. and you get the usual denials and side stepping in the interview.

    if you look at most ministers’ speeches, they read it from script written by probably high profile scholars or professional. dont think they will take the challenge of going interview without you telling what the questions would be.

    i think sharmugan would be a good speaker, saw his performance on budget speech. tackled difficult questions with ease, no wonder he was asked to present.

  23. Andy Yeo Says:

    Dear Mr Brown

    You really shot MP Baey down with those sharp questions…..

    Stretch creativity in a box….think INSIDE the box….then how to think out of the box…..perhaps they should start drawing more yellow boxes…..:P

  24. imwarren Says:

    very educational podcast, a real good insights into out MPs and political situation in certain issues, have more podcasts in future interviewing other MPs too :)

  25. kwonghou Says:

    As a party member, I believe he has party rules to obey and bosses to please. Don’t think he can say anything he likes, especially in public, if he wants to remain in the game. We see here an example of “thinking inside the box”. I won’t say it’s an excellent play but some example lah…

    It is not easy to set policies affecting all, from the ultra-conservative, to the ultra-liberal, from the very narrow lift-style to the very exposed and well-informed. And most policies are not win-win. They inevitably favour some group and disfavour some others. And the policy-setting process is also seldom unbiased (let’s not kid ourselves, there are always groups which exert more influence than others). The questions are, “Are the ’silent groups’ being taken care of?” “If some hitherto unheard groups start to get a voice, what do we do about it?”

    I don’t think the policies and the principles behind are discussed transparently. Often I don’t feel that they are even been discussed. My faith (I can’t prove it, OK?) is that our policies are not ones that is set to benefit the policy-makers (I hope we will never go there) but the official “conversations” so far smacked of a “scripted” feel and always gives a sense of condescension and cover-up, as if weaving some story to “pian ghin na”. And the unofficial “conversations” usually sounds more like flames than an honest urge to work things out. Is it because neither side has the tremendous urge to work together? Is it because we can’t find a way? Are we given the same information to “dialogue” on the same level?

    Now, discussing policies (I’m not even talking about discussing agenda, sometimes unconscious) is tough work (don’t talk about national policies, just look at a company policy setting process if you have ever been in a company with more than 50 people). And it’s often very tempting for someone to say, “Fuck it! My way is the way.” Can we avoid that? Can we dialogue? Do we reserve a truncheon behind so that if the “noises” began to get out of tune, we bring it forward and bludgeon it out, then find some PR to smooth it away?

    This conversation is, I think, a good example. I hope, it may continue. And, if they can, put up a better play next time.

  26. Ida Lee Says:

    well, it is brave of MP baey to be interviewed by mr brown…probably shot himself in the foot for this… BUT we need more MPs to come out and participate in such sessions. It gets people thinking and hopefully this creates a platform for discussion that is meaningful and productive. we’ve to start somewhere; times have changed…

    mr brown is a good interviewer. MP baey should hone his skill in speech delivery. Losing credibility through bad delivery is really such a shame.

  27. dato Says:

    oh well i cant resist downloading and listen..

    oh this Mr Baey really our MP, with all the and unconfident answers and tone of voice. Great job MB for grilling him, you sounded like an Opposition MP yourself. MB should be in Parliament man!

    Hope MB can bring in all 84 MPs into the show (dream on.)

  28. James Teh Says:

    You know, Mr. Baey got balls. I was thinking why would he want to do this interview knowing that brown fans surely slam him left right centre. But he still did it. For that, I give him credit. At least he came out in the open to tackle all the questions. That’s cool. I don’t want my MP got no balls. If he can face this crowd here, he would surely have no problem in parliament. Mr. Baey, if you are reading this, counting on you to speak for us ok !

  29. Ida Lee Says:

    Well said, James Teh!

  30. UK Singaporean Says:

    I find it strange to read comments such as “give Baey a break”, “kudos ” or “got the balls” for appearing on Mr Brown show. He is after all an MP not an ordinary.

    In the case of an ordinary citizen, who is not expected to do this as part of his/her role, one can find it justifiable to see an act of appearing with the “intimidating” Mr Brown as courageous. And it would seem heartless to be criticising such a person harshly

    But a MP. Someone who is expected to be doing this as part of his/her role, then why should we “give Baey a break”?

    Don’t forget, an MP also has some power to approve, if not pass, laws that will affect others. This means a person of such stature must make sure he has clarity of mind and the ability to convince people he/she lord over. After all, he is already well compensated with his MP allowences.

    Therefore, Beay must show that he can communicate well and, on the performance in this show, he cannot expect anything less than harsh criticisims. Mind you, Mr Brown is already tame by comparision to other interviewer!

  31. Gerald Says:

    Great initiative to interview Baey, mr brown! It was a good interview, with incisive questions that your MSM counterparts would probably not dare to ask. Now how about getting one of the Opposition MPs on the show to balance it off?

  32. Thinking Aloud :: Podcasting and politics… :: March :: 2007 Says:

    […] Over at the, Mr. Brown interviewed MP Baey Yam Keng. […]

  33. Matthew Says:

    Well done, mrbrown, for getting the stammerer on record. I second Gerald’s suggestion to follow up your triumph with someone from the Opposition.

  34. Buay Ta Han Says:

    Mr Brown sir, you are yourself one “MP” already in the hearts of many. Keep up the good work. cheers.

  35. Buay Ta Han Says:

    Mr Baey says presentations/views on the mainstream media are more objective compares to some alternative online media (skewed).

    The question really is who is the judge to whether the contents is skewed or objective. And as objective as the mainstream media is, nobody is fool enough to test the boundery there.

    Whether it is skewed or not is for the people to decide. Silence does not mean consent. It is just being “conservative”.

    Fact is, many of my peers like me have stopped subscribing to mainstream media. Maybe we are not objective enough. So be careful when using “objectivity” as a policing factor, it is a double-edged sword.

  36. boredtodeath Says:

    this mp probably doesnt singaporean law: prostitution is illegal (yes, even in geylang). pl check with your dear colleagues hor.
    heard that he is doing corp com in a glc, hmm….strange isnt it, judging on his communication skills.
    brown, bring them on!

  37. H Says:

    Good work, mrbrown. Questions were very thought provoking and I must aplaud you for asking these… I guess MP Baey was quite frank; at times when he tried stated party policy and he himself perhaps was not very much in support of it, his voice clearly indicated… Nevertheless, let’s hope he presents his true picture and viewpoint in internal party discussions, to enlighten them…

  38. J Says:

    You guys don’t get it. The P65 are tasked to do stunts like these. That’s what the central committee chose them for. If the P65 can pull it off, good. If they can’t (as we just heard) well they will just keep doing it until the next batch comes along (re: PAP renewal). There is really nothing brave about it, and the P65 certainly don’t need any breaks from the people… they need it more from their handlers.

  39. Wait and See... Says:

    “when he is able to stay as an MP and gain more experience”

    We used to some “white then white” new babes angels, now they are kinda-of-Grey/black after having “lots of experience”.

    So, lets wait and see, if he is another NATO/back-benchers or worst!

  40. xy Says:


    I think wrt language, being effectively bilingual in both English and Chinese, and having the ability to understand the line of thinking of both native English and Mandarin speakers can’t be equated together.

    And unspoken work ethics that are intrinsic to Singaporeans (due to the education, and expereiences locally) may also be plus points, besides having the language advantage.


  41. monkeyking Says:

    I think, I think….I think what I think… (there’s probably 70 of them in the conversation)

    Perhaps Singaporeans really think too much …

  42. Herman Yeo Says:

    Mr. Brown, just do a good job with your site. Its cool. Be objective and don’t be fooled by so call supporters over the cyberspace. We can say all we want and you don’t know who. Don’t depend on these supporters to come out. Just note that when you are in trouble, you will be the only one in trouble…….

  43. May Ho Says:

    I’m overseas Singaporean. It’s disappointing. He’s a scholar and supposedly has been posted for an overseas Scholar.

    That’s all we’re getting?

  44. May Ho Says:

    I’m a Singaporean overseas. It’s diasppointing. He’s a scholar and supposedly had the opportunity to work abroad for a good number of years. Thanks to our elistist education system.
    That’s all we’re getting?

  45. mark chow Says:

    people, MP is speaking our english in singapore. if he slang slang, we sure no understand. then ho, again, why complain? and complain? got MP then no MP.

  46. secondclass citizen Says:

    I just came across this page and read the 45 comments without first listening to the podcast. I wanted to give the listeners of the mrbrown show my attention first. But there is nothing but sadness by the time I reach this part of the page.

    It is very disheartening to note that after 45 comments, nobody gives his own views about the issues and topics that mr brown and Baey are discussing in the programme - namely “the media landscape in Singapore… old vs new media, censorship and anonymity on the internet” and “about many things”.

    If one were to read the comments without looking at mr brown’s intro paragraph, one will have absolutely no idea what was discussed in this interview.

    Do Singaporeans think? Do Singapore think beyond their emotional and sentimental responses to stammers, stutterings and conversational malfunctions by an interview subject? Why are Singaporeans unable or unwilling to discuss substance and the subject matter, but prefer to go round and round about grammar, pronunciation, “slang” (meaning accents), manner of speech and delivery and so on, while saying so painfully little about the media landscape in Singapore, old vs new media, censorship and anonymity on the internet? Why this silence?

  47. poor_student_in_ntu Says:

    i agree with secondclass citizen’s opinions. the main point is on the discussion about Singapore’s media landscape. it’s not about faulting the MP and his (lack of) language skills. more importantly, we need to look at the crux of the issues mentioned in the interview. why do you think mr.brown did this for?

Leave a Reply