Temasek Review No More
The Temasek Review story unfolds. SWF Temasek Holdings, no relation to the Temasek Review, issued a poorly veiled threat that Temasek Review has to change its name. The online tabloid quickly agreed in principle and insisted to its readers that it does not want to drag the SWF into a lengthy lawsuit. The warning to change the name was sent to Dr Joseph Ong and yet, this is the interesting part, Temasek Review agreed to the request. Someone online so anti-regime who is anonymous is usually not spineless. So that means it is the other way around. Someone online so anti-regime who is not anonymous is usually spineless. Therefore, either Joseph is still behind TR or somehow has influence over the people behind TR. Actually, quite silly of the regime to give Joseph Ong more publicity. He and his blog thrive on sensationalism and this was what the regime precisely did for him.
However I doubt this is the end of the tabloid and how it pitches itself as the main alternative media vs the government-owned media. This was the theme recently when Joseph Ong defended himself and his blog after the TNP hounded him. This was the theme constantly throughout Temasek Review and Wayang Party’s existence. It would continue to be such even after Temasek Review repackages itself into something else.
On the tension between biased anti-regime blogs and biased pro-regime newspapers, Joseph Ong or his Temasek Review bragged before that he has journalist contacts. Besides the vindictive attacks on a TNP journalist who exposed his identity, he has always been critical of almost every journalist and the media as a whole. However, if you can remember, he was uncharacteristically fair to Zaobao journalist Yew Lun Tian who tried to corner SDP Chee Soon Juan for his suspected foreign funding and backers a few months ago.
It was extremely unusual for Temasek Review to have kiddie gloves with a local journalist. It is almost as if Temasek Review or Joseph Ong knew the journalist personally and had to defend her. If I got it right, another interesting bit of information in the print version of The New Paper article on the Joseph Ong scoop was that a fellow journalist knew Joseph Ong as the guy behind Temasek Review. So is this Zaobao journalist perhaps a Temasek Review contact who snitched on him as well? If this theory is true, then we can guess how TNP knew that it was Joseph Ong behind TR all along and ambushed him. It was Joseph Ong’s own SPH contact who turned him in? This affair is getting more and more captivating and more twists and turns will come along. So the bottom line, some media contacts can be wolves pretending to be sheep, some are not, and the skill is to how to tell the difference.