Cheong Yip Seng: Inside The Straits Times

There is a tide in the affairs of men Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune. Those lines from Julius Caesar certainly apply to Cheung Yip Seng, who loves Shakespeare. His musician father brought the family over on a ship from Penang to Singapore, where in 1963 Cheung, then 20 years old, got […]

Joseph Conrad and Singapore newspapers

I was pleasantly surprised to see the Straits Times mentioned in Joseph Conrad’s first novel, Almayer’s Folly. It’s at the beginning of Chapter 4: That year, towards the breaking up of the south-west monsoon, disquieting rumours reached Sambir. Captain Ford, coming up to Almayer’s house for an evening’s chat, brought late numbers of the Straits […]

Indira Gandhi and Lee Kuan Yew

  Singapore's Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew is compared to Indira Gandhi by the Indian journalist, Sunanda Datta-Ray, who once worked for The Straits Times. In his book, Looking East to Look West, exploring India-Singapore relations, based on his interviews with MM Lee, he writes: Lee and Indira Gandhi shared a brutal commitment to power, […]

Free because we blog, tweet, in an attention economy

Singapore's Straits Times and Hong Kong's South China Morning Post are the only English language newspapers I know that do not allow their stories to be read online for free. Even the Financial Times allows some of its stories to be read for free. Not the Straits Times. All you can read for free on […]

Men In White: More

Officials fallen out of favour were said to be airbrushed out of pictures in the Soviet era. Something similar happens in Men In White, the history of Singapore's ruling People's Action Party. Devan Nair vanishes from the pages of this book after he gives up his seat in parliament to become president in 1981. His […]

Men In White

Stop press! Men In White, the history of Singapore's ruling People's Action Party, has been flying off the shelves of local bookstores and a third printing of 10,000 copies has been ordered, reports the Straits Times. Er, wouldn't it be better to correct a few spelling mistakes and grammatical errors first? There are mistakes even […]

A handy guide against howlers

What The Straits Times needs is a language guide like Bill Walsh. Singapore’s main newspaper is prone to the kind of howlers Walsh is paid to prevent. Walsh is the Washington Post’s copy desk chief for national news. He has to edit the news, correct mistakes, trim the fat and polish the copy. He enjoys […]