berthahenson

Why is MDA making a meal out of BN?

In News Reports on December 17, 2013 at 7:19 am

 I am going to KPKB here. I will make sure that I do not defame anyone, including the MDA (even though you can’t defame a G agency). I will not touch on the judiciary. And I will not advocate disobedience – civil or otherwise. 

In other words, I will do my best to be nice. 

What the (insert your choice swear word here) is MDA up to? Why me? Why BN? Isn’t it enough that we write responsible stuff? With bylines and all? We even correct mistakes openly!!! What makes you think we want to take foreign funding?!!! We’re Singaporeans, for crying out loud! We just don’t want to sign your papers! Cannot ah?  

Sorry. I simply had to get that out of the way….

I am floored, flummoxed and flabbergasted at the MDA’s twists and turns. So its replies have NOT been “curiously vague’’ but crystal clear? Gimme a break. Anyway, I leave it to readers to cut through the bureaucratese below:

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I think almost everyone, including the MDA, thought BN would register. I was given a two week deadline (please remember that The Independent was notified in July) to think things through and get my people to agree that we should be registered. 

All I have gotten so far is grief from MDA.

I asked for one month, it gave me one week, because it reckoned the forms were straightforward. You’ve seen those forms on BNFB.  

You would think that with a two-week notice, it would be able to give you quick replies to calls for clarification. It would know what to do/say. I can only guess that it didn’t cater for a “rejection’’. Instead, it was a step-by-step dance. If it had said BNPL should close, then we would have closed it. Instead we closed the site, and left social media to function.Then comes this silly tango about mode of operation, corporate entity etc etc.

So I closed the company, and now it says I should have told them who owns and runs BN’s social media platforms? Well, it’s not BNPL. It’s not me. I’ve quit. As for who the people are, I am tempted to say, what business is it of MDA? If the problem is whether the volunteers are getting foreign funding to run social media, then may I respectfully point out that there are plenty of social media groups which have political and religious content? 

So what in heaven’s name is this? Persecution?

Is MDA making up rules as it goes along?

Frankly, everything is getting stranger and stranger or curiouser and curioser. So if it’s not a company behind it, but an association, a society or an individual– foreign funding issues will not arise? It knows that this would be crazy, and maybe that’s why it wants to know who owns and runs BNFB and Twitter as well. 

If so, then it really has to net every site, social media platform that has political and religious content – never mind that there is no corporate entity behind them.

Is this why it hasn’t answered the critical question of whether the main BN site can be resurrected? Or that BNFB and Twitter can be continued by volunteers using the BN name? Is it still figuring out the answer?

I don’t know whether to laugh or to cry at this state of affairs.  

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  1. Chicken Farmer replies:

    You should know by now that we always speak a unique language which some call doublespeak. Frankly, that’s not true. It’s closer to ‘multi-speak’ in keeping with our ‘multi-everything’ culture.

    In case you’re wondering why we address every query with the opener ‘With regard to’, well it’s not that we’re not creative but most people abhor change. Plus that’s what they taught us at an expensive seminar we attended.

    With regards to the – notice that opener – gist of your query, we think asking the right question is more important than getting the right answer to the wrong question.

    The question then should be – How do you quieten a chicken coop filled to the brim with increasingly well-fed, idle and noisy clucking chicken?

    We realise this is a tough question as most of us – oops, sorry – most of you, don’t even know what a chicken looks like. Pssst! It actually looks quite different from what they serve up in MacDonald’s.

    Trust us, we know as we all attended another expensive two-day seminar at a local five star hotel on the subject of chicken management.

    With regards to the question – don’t you love that opener, it provides a sense of stability, a sense of comfort, home even – first pull out a chicken, the more feeble, frightened and lonely the chicken, the better. Remember to stay clear of the big roosters – they peck! Don’t you dare go near the geese, unless you’ve a death wish!

    Next, make an example of the said feeble, frightened and lonely chicken. If you don’t how that’s done, ask grandma or grandpa.

    Voila! The entire coop falls silent.

    Money well spent on that two-day seminar, don’t you agree. We trust we’ve addressed your query.

    Look at it this way – one fried chicken meal already served up! The other farmers can’t even agree on which chicken to slaughter.

    Please feel free to contact us if you need further clarifications. After all, we’re here to confuse you.

    Remember, a quiet chicken coop means – a good night’s sleep. Something that all Singaporeans are entitled to, you’ll agree.

    Silent night — Ah, ‘tis the season for such melodies.

    And in passing, please don’t cry. That was never our intention. Enjoy your vacation and upon your return, you’ll realise that it’s not all that bad – really, it’s not.

    Meanwhile, enjoy the fried chicken!

    Initial scribbled by and on behalf of the acting temporary assistant to the deputy, on contract person, to the assistant to the acting deputy person-in-charge of the Farm, who will remain unknown in case this backfires.

  2. They give you a deadline and (to use MDAspeak) deliberately egregiously obfuscatory misdirection knowing that they had absolutely no intention of replying to (inevitable) pleas for clarification within that deadline. They can do that because, what are we going to do? Vote their bosses out and clean out the professional hangers-on? Not within your deadline, and that’s really the point. They’re not responsive, or reasonable, or even intelligible because, why do they have to be? It’s much more fun for people of a certain psychological bent in unanswerable power to watch us “mere heartlanders” scurry around like ants from a kicked-over anthill set upon by a leaf blower.

    We deserve better.

  3. I share your frustrations at what MDA is trying to do. A Chinese saying “an official 官 has 2 mouths”, so you cannot beat them in reasoning.

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