Wednesday, 18 July 2007

Digital Life article on 17 July 2007

Today's edition of Digital Life ran an article about politicians who blog. It quoted from a post of mine from 27 March 2007. This article probably resulted in that post being Tomorrow-ed complete with what is essentially the same quote.

However, both quotes were not complete. They were not misquotes as such, but I feel that they were both sensationally selective. They ended up taking things out of context and being perhaps a little misleading in their selectiveness.

I think to be fair to the Minister, I should highlight what the article and the Tomorrow quotation omitted, in particular the underlined portion. And no, this is not in response to anything or anyone, other than a sense of fairness. I will begin with the last sentence of what the article quoted:

"I think the Minister basically dodged the question, in particular the follow-up portions about extrapolating the numbers from income tax and CPF data. I believe that the MOM doesn't have those figures, and I suspect it is because they are not set up to collate the numbers that way.

It is easy to do a local-vs-foreigner split, simply because the foreigners need employment passes, S-passes and work permits. But from the MOM's perspective, there is no differentiation between citizens and PRs, and no way for them to collect data.

It's different for CPF and income tax though. It would be possible to correlate that (although for income tax, the figures would be 2 years old). But I think it would require a massive undertaking, and I am honestly not sure if the cost is justified. So I didn't push the Minister on it. Plus I see the merit in his response, even though I think it does fail to address the very important issue of the quality of jobs going to locals."

PS. Someone told me that I suffer from "misquotofobia". Perhaps. But in this regard, I really would rather be safe than sorry.


at82 said...

Mr Siew, I might be wrong, but if I wasn't mistaken, there USED to have separate statistics for citizens and non citizens.

However that format had been changed to the current format a few years ago, even the previous years statistics had been change into current format.

You might want to check it out yourself to see if it is true.

Anyway, I am apologize if the quote caused you any discomfort.

Siew Kum Hong said...

To at82: No worries about the quote. So long as I can clarify what I really wrote, that's fine.

As for the statistics -- that would be interesting. I'll try to find out.

at82 said...

That will be great!

Thank you for the hard work you have put into your performing your as a NMP.

I hope we can hear more of you from in the future.

Best regards,

Ng Yi-Sheng said...

Thank you.