Pravda ran a puff piece on Monday to commemorate the twenty-fifth birthday of its parent company, Singapore Press Holdings. Yawn.
The only interesting bit was an aside in the speech by Singapore’s President Sellapan Ramanathan (SR Nathan to the plebs), who was plucked from the upper echelons of Foreign Affairs to serve as a Director and Executive Chairman of SPH back in the mid-eighties. Get a load of this:
‘The day before I started work, the then Prime Minister, Mr Lee Kuan Yew, told me: ‘Nathan, I’m giving you The Straits Times. It has something like 150 years of history. It is like a bowl of china. You break it, I can piece it together again, but it will never be the same. Try not to.’
Think about that for a sec.
Readers from Australia, what would your reaction be to reading:
Readers from America, what would your reaction be to reading:
The day before I started work, the then President, Mr Barack Obama, told me: ‘Hillary Clinton, I’m giving you The New York Times. Don’t Change it.”
Readers from Britain, what would your reaction be to reading:
The day before I started work, the then Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, told me: ‘David Miliband, I’m giving you the Times – and the Guardian for good measure. Don’t make a dog’s breakfast of it cor blimey oo er are you being served.”
Damn right. Your first phone call would be to Reporters Sans Frontières.
But Lee Kuan Yew has no time for those reactionary meddlers at RSF, and bravo to him for it. His wise appointments have turned The Straits Times into a shining beacon of truthiness in an ocean of… erm… truth.