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Taiwan airs the darndest things about Singapore

FAR-FETCHED: The truth tends to get stretched when the news is dramatised on News Tornado.


    Dec 20, 2013

    Taiwan airs the darndest things about Singapore

    TAIWANESE media is known for its freewheeling reporting, but one news programme's sensational broadcasts this month raised the ire of the Singapore authorities and some viewers here.

    TV station CtiTV, which produces News Tornado, apologised yesterday for the episodes broadcast on Dec 9 and 10, which mistakenly said that Little India rioters will be caned, and that government officers here could break into homes indiscriminately to check for stagnant water during dengue season.

    The episode on Dec 9 also went into Singapore's history, and linked the riots in Little India to racial riots of the 1960s which "turned Singapore into hell on earth", according to the programme's hosts.

    Mr Jay Huang, a spokesman for CtiTV, told MyPaper yesterday in an e-mail message that they were "very sorry" for the lapses, and will make more rigorous checks on the content of their programmes in future.

    The show claimed that Singapore's strict laws were inspired by the lack of crime during the Japanese Occupation.

    It also said that their claim that one can be arrested and fined for speaking loudly on the MRT was based on the Rapid Transit Systems Act. But in clips uploaded on YouTube, the agitated hosts tended to stretch the truth as they dramatised the news.

    Their off-hand remark that rioters would be caned was the opener to a graphic description of caning, using video footage that was not from Singapore.

    News Tornado said in a Facebook post that they used Malaysian footage as they could not find any from Singapore.

    The show also mentioned that one could be fined for sleeping in a park or arrested for walking around naked in one's own home in Singapore.

    In its Dec 10 episode, the show alleged that Singaporeans did not even have rights to their own bodies, citing the Human Organ Transplant Act.

    Text displayed on the screen during this segment said Singapore was more oppressive than the totalitarian society George Orwell depicted in 1984.

    While striking an apologetic tone on Facebook, News Tornado also defended itself by saying they have done ample research on Singapore.