Shame on you TNP! Shame on you!

I don’t buy The New Paper on a regularly basis. But I purposely went around searching for a copy of 28 May 2009 issue of TNP after hearing from someone on twitter saying that TNP published the name of the first Singaporean girl who caught the H1N1 virus. At first I didn’t believe the twitter-er. I thought the media were told not to publish the name of the lady who caught the H1N1 virus. I thought they would be responsible enough. I was wrong. TNP really published the name of the lady who caught H1N1 virus.

Shame on you TNP!

Why is there a need to publish the name of the girl who caught the H1N1 virus? Is there a need to publish her name? We all know your reporters are good at news investigations. There is no need to proof to us that you have the abilities to find out the girl’s name. It is not her fault that she caught the H1N1 virus. You think she want to catch the virus? You think she want to bring the virus back to Singapore and spread it in Singapore? Come on, she is the victim here. Why did you publish her name and subject her to public shaming when she is not at fault? How do you think her family and love ones will feel? What will her friends think about her after this incident? I’m very disgusted by the irresponsible reporting by The New Paper. Shame on you!

And to add on to the article, TNP also reminded us the name of the first Singapore gal who caught SARS by publishing her name again after 6 years. For those who have forgotten, she caught SARS at a time when nobody knew anything about that virus. She was the BIGGEST victim of the SARS virus in Singapore. Not only has her name been published by all the mainstream media in Singapore, she was also labelled as the “super spreader” because she spread the SARS virus to many other Singaporeans. Her father, mother and a few friends passed away after they caught the SARS virus from her. But if you think about it, it is totally not her fault for catching the SARS virus. It is also not her fault that she spread the virus to others. It is not her fault that the SARS virus killed her loved ones. She is the innocent party and the biggest victim. Why did the media publish her name back in 2003 and label her as the “super spreader”? Put yourself into her shoes. She has already lost her love ones because of SARS. How would you feel if you in her position? Why is there a need for TNP to publish the name of SARS patient 0 again? Why is there a need to make reference to her? Why the need to publish her name again? Did TNP think about her feelings when they were writing about her? Shame on you!

I still remember someone writing to the mainstream media and criticized all the media for their irresponsible reporting during the SARS. It is totally unnecessary to name the first person who caught the SARS virus and subject her to public scrutiny and shaming. I thought the mainstream media already learn the lesson from their past experience. Well, most of the mainstream media did learnt from the lesson and decided not to publish the name of the first H1N1 patient. Except for TNP. Shame on you!

And to sensationalize the story, The New Paper wrote this on the front page: “ZERO TOLERANCE? NETIZENS FLAME S’PORE’S FIRST H1N1 VICTIM. SUE HER, SAY SOME”. I was quite shocked to see this. I thought Singapore netizens have become more mature and responsible recently. In fact, I didn’t came across any blog/forum/twitter that flame the girl. Curious to find out who is the black sheep among the netizen, I read the article. It appears that all the netizen being mentioned in the article are from Stomp. My first reaction was “What else do you expect from Stomp?”. Stompers are famous for such irresponsible posting. Just browse thru the site and you will surely shake your head in disbelief. There have been calls to shut down stomp because of all the irresponsible posting by the Stompers and lack of regulations. Stomp is not a representation of the Singapore netizen. The culture there is totally different from what you see in the rest of Singapore blogs/forums/twitter/plurk. The rest of Singapore netizen are becoming more and more mature and responsible in the things they say.

And like many Singapore netizen, I heard about the first H1N1 case from Twitter. Everyone on twitter is re-tweeting about the first H1N1 case to warn the rest. One of the most re-tweeted message is a message by FluSingapore, a twitter account set up by Singapore Health Promotion Board.

RT @FluSingapore Passengers on SQ25 on 26 May from NY to SG (arrival 6.30am) seated in rows 52 to 58, pls contact MOH at 1800-333 9999.

A lot of Singapore Twitter-er re-tweet that message because we know that we need to find those people as soon as possible to prevent the H1N1 virus from spreading in Singapore. We know that it will be too late to wait for the main stream media. We re-tweet that message so that those people who are following us but not following FluSingapore can get the message too and pass it around. Hopefully thru the word of mouth, this crucial information will reach those passengers before anymore damages are done. Did TNP report about these responsible netizens who play their part in the fight against the H1N1 virus? Does TNP know that Singapore Health Promotion Board has already been prepared for the H1N1 virus by setting up @FluSingapore twitter accout a couple of weeks back so that they can broadcast information about the H1N1 virus to Singapore twitter-er? Does TNP knows that more than 300 Singaporean Twitter-ers are following @FluSingapore so that they can get first hand information about H1N1, and when there is a need, help spread the message to the rest of Singapore? No, TNP doesn’t know that Singapore netizen has been mature and responsible during the H1N1 crisis. All TNP does is to report just the irresponsible comments in Stomp and sensationalize the whole story. Shame on you!

And the entire TNP article didn’t even provide the most important information: Her flight number. As a responsible media, it is your duty to broadcast important information like these so that the people who might have close contact with patient 0 can take extra precaution and visit the doctor immediately if they have any flu like symptoms. But no, TNP didn’t report the flight number and row number. All they are interested in is to tell the whole world the name of the first Singaporean who caught the H1N1 virus. Shame on you!

Everyone played their part when news about the first H1N1 case in Singapore broke. The patient did the right thing by going to the doctor when she is feeling unwell. The doctor did the right thing by sending her to TTSH. Health minister did the right thing by getting everyone prepared weeks before the incident. The patient’s boyfriend did the right thing by isolating himself because he is afraid he might had caught the H1N1 virus too. HPB and MOH did the right thing by being well prepared for the first H1N1 case. Netizen did the right thing by spreading the message on twitter, forums and blog. The mainstream media did the right thing by reporting the story responsibly. All except for The New Paper who choose to publish the name of H1N1 patient 0, the name of SARS patient 0 again and slamming local “netizen” for flaming patient 0. Shame on you! All the reporters and editors involved in this article should be ashamed of themselves for such irresponsible article!

I stop reading the rest of The New Paper after reading the 4 page H1N1 report. I feel very disgusted by the irresponsible reporting by the reporters at The New Paper. I’ve thrown my copy of The New Paper where I think it should belong.


I’ve decided to stop buying The New Paper from today onwards until TNP apologise for the irresponsible reporting on 25 May 2009. Join me if you think that the H1N1 article by TNP is irresponsible. Help spread the words and say no to irresponsible reporting.

Update 29 May 2009, 12pm: Someone just told me that the article is now available on the online version of TNP. Which means that if someone google on her name, they might see that article by TNP. Shame on you TNP!

Update 29 May 2009, 3pm: The girl who caught the H1N1 virus requested not to reveal her identity. But TNP did not listen. Shame on you TNP!

96 Responses to 'Shame on you TNP! Shame on you!'

  1. Ngauw says:

    anyway, you do realise that you are adding fuel to the fire with all ur discussions right?

    It could have been a ‘let bygones be bygones’ thing, but instead you guys choose to continue writing about this and its only gg to make things worse.

  2. peetnp says:

    u could have given it to me so that my dog could pee on it, it’s a bit wasted when i see it lying in the dustbin.

    who is flaming her, I don’t even know her name till TEE NEE PEE reveals it.

  3. dk says:

    Dear Mimosa, also known as hello?, also known as Ngauw

    It doesn’t matter if TNP knows or don’t know about the request to keep her identity a secret. As a responsible media, TNP should known that they should keep her identity a secret. Clearly TNP did not. It seems to me that they are more interested in sensationalizing the story rather than provide useful information.

    Oh, by the way. In case you still have no idea how blogs work, everytime you submit a reply, your IP address is being logged by the system and I can see them clearly. All 3 of you share the same IP address (, commented on my blog within 15minutes span and defended TNP’s irresponsible action. How interesting. Since yesterday till now, the “3 of you” are the only people who step out and defended TNP.

    You should check out the amount of backslash TNP is getting on twitter and other blog. Try convincing those people that TNP is innocent.

  4. Hong says:

    Typical mankind, only care about themselves, blame others for bringing trouble while not putting themselves in the person’s shoes. I’m glad that people still have morals to pity that girl.

    Never did buy TNP and never will buy TNP.

    I only knew that Singapore had 1 case, but did not know the name of the person. I ain’t interested in knowing anyway.

    What’s the point of knowing her name? Put her name in the middle of some sort of ritual in hope to make the disease not spread?

    What’s the point of blaming her for bringing in the disease? To protect ourselves from the disease we have to blame her so?

    Reasons to label those people as stupid, selfish and inconsiderate.

    It’s not as if the disease will be controlled if we blame her, hate her and insult her. Why not just do your own part to protect yourself from the disease? It was only a matter of time Singapore would have its first case, confirmed. There has to be a person to start everything, including the start of the whole H1N1 incident. She’s just another person who brought a start to it for Singapore.

    In this case, I can’t really hate TNP for publishing her name. What’s more important is educating those inconsiderate people. They deserve to be the ones insulted and hated.

    This is why peace and harmony can never happen in Singapore, only caring about themselves.

  5. DC says:

    Xinmin paper printed her blurried photo…

    DC’s last blog post..端午节快乐!

  6. dk says:

    IP Address belongs to SPH.

  7. ra says:

    OMG! Scandalous! SPH pawned!

    ra’s last blog post..Wonder Girls – Nobody

  8. DK says:

    Ok there could be a possibility that it is 5 people from SPH replying. Not multi nick

    DK’s last blog post..Someone using SPH IP Address to multi nick on my blog and defend TNP

  9. LEEporter says:

    >>I’ve thrown my copy of The New Paper where I think it should belong.

    Hey…can my dog have the paper

  10. LEEporter says:

    >>Does the editior of our local papers follow any code of ethics on news reporting?

    One of the Chinese daily published a pic of a dead man’s body who committed suicide …WTF damn insensitiive

  11. Raymond Tham says:

    Anyone want to join in putting a formal complaint to the minister about TNP’s reporting? I think we must not let irresponsible media get away with this kind of unethical reporting time and time again.

  12. vince says:

    responsible journalism does not only constitute answerability to the individual in question but also the masses who read the article – if names of victims are published and sensationalized, the ill will be reluctant to come forward and seek treatment for the fear of public shame. Will this not then in turn detriment the control of the flu? An act of bravery and responsibility by this girl is treated as a shameful crime, thanks to vultures in the form of our wonderful press.

  13. D Aw says:

    if you got issues with tnp, bring it up to the right authorities. write to the editor.

    dont rant behind a computer screen.

  14. Quinn Delacroix says:

    Good one dude. I seconded that.

    But one thing’s for sure, an apology isn’t enough. Because it’s too late. Everybody knew who was the so-called “Super Spreader”, and people started flaming her. I was taken back by this irresponsible act of TNP for revealing her identity. They ought to do some soul-searching, seriously.

    I also agreed on the closure of STOMP. People are abusing it, thinking that they can rant about trivial matters encountered. If foreigners were to explore the STOMP website and see so many complains from Singaporeans, what would they think of us?

    Then again, good job on writing this amazing wall of text. You have my support.

  15. trefoil@sixshot says:

    I have to agree to TNP news coverage… sometimes they blow the top.

    But prevention is always good than anything else. Why in the first place this lady went to a country for a leisure trip when we all know it is not safe there? It is her fault.. even though she is the victim, i bet she knows the consequences. With her name listed, at least those who had conversation with her anonymously at any official counters might want to consult with a doctor if there is any chance of contacting the virus.

    Perhaps, not only her alone… the rest had to be quarantined because of her.

  16. DK says:

    Trefoil: it’s because of people like you that’s why we need to protect her and not let the media release her name.

    What do you mean by it is her fault? NY is so big and only a small number of people caught H1N1. Life still goes on there. She is there for a study trip. It’s unfortunate that she caught the virus. But you can’t blame her. It’s not her fault.

    And MOH is doing contact tracing. There is no need to reveal her name. MOH will find you if you have contact with her.

    There is no need to kick a big fuss just because we have 5 confirmed H1N1 case. We just need to be more careful with our hygine. With our experience during SARS, I’m sure we can control this easily.

  17. trefoil@sixshot says:

    chill mate. theres no nd the high flux. im saying, prevention is better than happening. she could opt not to go either. like i said… TNP blew the top.. and i am sure, she herself knows whats going on. like you said it… we nd to be more careful with our hygiene..

    I am super dooper sure she has a high class hygiene than any of us. ;)

    Oh yeah life still goes on… definitely SG can handle.

  18. Defector says:

    Trefoil, i tend to disagree with your statement “she cuold opt not to go either”.

    its easy for a 3rd party person like you and me to say she could opt not to go this and that.

    Put you in the shoes of a SMU student who is offered an opportunity of a study trip what’s your decision?

    Put you in the shoes of a MNC employee who is offered a choice to go to the states for professional upgrading, what is your choice?

    I’m quite sure she is there with all the precaution. given the case to you and me, we would still choose to go and yet take all the precaution we can. and if we still catch it in the end, what would you say?

    I’m sure everyone who knows they have it would want to quarantine themselves at the earliest time possible. The problem with this Flu is that we wouldn’t know we have it till we have symptoms. and it spreads way before symptoms shows. unlike SARS or any other kind of flu bugs.

    Anyway. just be on the alert and keep a record who you have met or where you were on a daily basis. Last thing is you have met with a host and you dont know that you did. cheers to all with good health.

  19. Bernard says:

    I’m gonna support Trefoil and say that everyone has a right to know information like what the TNP published. As for the potential negative reactions, thats reflective of society more than the fault of patient zero right?

    This is not a regular disease. Its potentially as deadly and virulent as SARS. How I choose to react to patient zero is my choice, and I should have the information to make my decision. Censorship of information is for the benefit of the few, and no gain to the majority. How is this value-adding for society.

  20. dk says:

    Bernard: If that is the case, then why do they block the court from revealing some of the victims name?

    You don’t need the name to make a “decision”. Like I’ve said, the MOH tracing team is tracing the people whom the H1N1 patient has contact with. Revealing the name doesn’t do anything at all.

  21. trefoil@sixshot says:

    Defactor: nah. i opt not to go. i know the consequences and i do not take the risks or chances of harming the people around me or any anonymous personnel i approached or make contact with even i myself do not know i have such a disease after comin back from an overseas trip.

    If i catch this sickness in me, I would ask n say to myslf… and be prepared… to:

    – why did i go to the place when i can opt not to go
    – why did i keep my hygiene at a high standard level, yet i am still infected and then infecting my singaporean fellas?
    – i am not going to be a selfish me again.
    – i am aware of my healthy Singaporean fellows especially my family, love ones and friends.
    – i should have just moved on and forget about such opportunity… anytime can go even after pandemic is over.
    – work? once upon a life time opportunity? or health risk?
    – insurance to cover?
    – be in the papers for the first guy to contract h1n1?
    – get lawyers to block my name from getting into the media.. privacy… etc
    – giving MOH the experience tracing people when the chain of snowball started since from where and when…

    or maybe before i get this disease… i should just stay home where everybody even in this blog wont have to open up abt name listings topic at all.

    yeah… may we all be healthy as pink! cheers! =)

  22. dk says:

    trefoil: The thing is, life goes on as normal in NYC. There are people who caught H1N1, but that is a very very very small percentage. I don’t think it is fair to blame her and SMU for going to NYC. They are just unlucky. There are hundreds of people going and returning from US everyday. If you need to go, you go.

  23. klm says:

    Seriously, I think you are the one sensationalizing this whole episode. If you blame the New Paper, look at your own style of “reporting”. You tell me which part of your blog entry is not sensationalism? Even the picture of the paper in the bin screams sensationalism.

    This is Singaporeans at their very best in complaining. Think back to the times when you netizens actually lash out at the press in Singapore for censoring the news. You guys ask, where is the truth? Why are we ranked 154th in the world?

    Now, when the press shows budding signs of freedom, you guys slam them down and bury it with your conservatism. Seriously, what do Singaporeans want? You can’t always have your cake and eat it too.

    This is the difference that separates the media and the blogosphere. No matter how bad SPH gets, it still has credibility over you guys even if it is by the tiniest of threads.

    There is nothing wrong with publishing the name of the girl who got Swine Flu. We do it heaps here in Australia. This is freedom of information. SPH has exercised their right to it and I don’t see why you information-starved Singaporeans out there should reject it with aplomb.

    I am appalled by your entry. In times where the Swine flu case is prevalent, we should stay united to fight this crisis. The media is just bringing in awareness and showing how disgusting the behaviour of netizens are. If the media has failed in the former, it has certainly achieved the latter. Such schisms within Singaporeans will simply not resolve this matter at all.

    The irresponsibility you have demonstrated to Singaporeans and to the world is shocking and not worthy of any attention at all. Either get behind the nation in fighting the Swine flu or just pretend you are not concerned about such affairs at all.

  24. trefoil@sixshot says:

    well… life sucks isnt it. it never ends no matter how sensation it gets. anyways, well said klm.

  25. dk says:

    klm: I think you mixed up between freedom and responsibility. How would you feel if you had H1N1 and your name is published all over the paper?

    Or how would you feel if you are the 1st SARS patient in Singapore. Your parents and a few friends died after being infected by you. And your name is published all over the press and you are being labelled as super infector. AND few years later, while you are still recovering from the guilt of having cause their death, the media brings up your name again.

    Honestly, if this is call freedom of press, then I think we can do without it. And I feel sorry for those who caught H1N1 in Australia and had their name splashed all over the news. But may I remind you that even if Australia is doing it doesn’t mean that it is the right thing to do.

    And I don’t think I have, in any way, acted irresponsibly throughout this entire incident.

  26. ra says:

    what is impt is not the sensationalisation of anything, but of the results (perhaps due to DK’s article here)

    I still buy TNP. And if you’ve read the article that appeared in yesterday’s papers, you’d realise there have been no names and protection of the H1N1 patients’ privacy.


    ra’s last blog post..A Sense of Humor

  27. PaulT says:

    Well said … highly irresponsible reporting by TNP. A rag, run by very immature individuals who see “news” in matters which have no public interest. Shame on you. Is it any wonder Singaporeans are deserting print for online?

  28. LEon says:

    Thanks for the heads up. I have given up TNP for years already due to the way they play with some news. But throwing the paper is a waste of resources. Recycle it!

  29. Zack Ng says:

    Totally agreed with you. Way to go with the article.

    TNP, a newspaper full of.. (:

    However, I do not agree that all local newspaper are nonsense. For example, The Straits’ Times reports factual stuffs! (: My two cents.

    Zack Ng

  30. nfad says:

    I’ve stopped buying TNP after they had an article about MRT seats. Thought there were much more important news & issues to be worried about then how slippery the MRT seats were.

    Still thank you for having this entry it probably has opened many peoples’ minds.

  31. anon says:

    in the name of ‘press freedom’? lawl…
    ‘let bygones be bygones’? lawl…
    stop sensationalising? lawl…
    don’t rant behind a computer screen? lawl…
    ‘care’ and ‘concern’? lawl…
    I’m gonna support Trefoil… lawl…
    Singaporeans at their very best in complaining… lawl…

    you can certainly confuse a 5-yr old with your misguided and lame arguments. but you’re making yourself look foolish by even attempting it. sometimes its better to cut your losses, than attempt to recover them.

    thanks for the laugh, TNP spies. certainly made my day.

  32. Michael Thong says:

    Greetings from Hong Kong.

    I like the Edwin Yeo from TNP.

    Very funny man.

  33. MuttonCutter says:

    Way to go!

    I totally agree with you and i am ashamed that such insensitive people exists.
    .-= MuttonCutter´s last blog ..More Gifs =-.

  34. chineseangmoh says:

    why so much attention has been given to the role of what to published by media? shouldn’t social pressure be controlled in our society? it seems that social pressure plays in another form of a police role or law enforcer? (of course with no monetary reward) are people living in singapore too pressurized in their day to day living such that they have to turn to vent out their anger through shared values, shared opinions?

    Only when the time has come such that public opinion and pressures has little impact on individual life then, Singapore can be said to be a matured society, else it is still very barbaric deep within…….

  35. Lucilla Peirce says:

    According to the World Health Organization (WHO), it is possible for novel coronavirus, a new coronavirus that has killed at least 18 people in the Middle East and Europe, to be passed between humans, but only after prolonged contact. So far, however, there is no evidence that the virus is able to sustain generalized transmission in communities, a scenario that would raise the specter of a pandemic.*..`^

    See ya later

  1. […] Friday, May 29, 2009 at 7:24 pm (Random Thoughts) (media, swine flu, twitter) […]

  2. […] Comment 1 Comment 2 Comment 3 Comment 4 Comment 5 Comment 6 […]

  3. […] This post was Twitted by singatweet – […]

  4. […] This post was Twitted by jymster – […]

  5. […] H1N1 Swine Flu – Singapore M.D.: Further thoughts on the novel influenza A(H1N1) outbreak – Cowboy Caleb: SINGAPORE has confirmed its first case of Swine Flu (H1N1) – Otterman speaks: Influenza A(H1N1) in Singapore – how did you find out? – Why Singaporean Press Are Like Vultures – Singapore Life and Times: The Swine Cometh – Singapore M.D.: More Flu Cases in Singapore – Dee Kay Dot As Gee: Shame on you TNP! Shame on you! […]

  6. […] as well in whoever it was that volunteered her name to the press. I will not add on anymore because these posts pretty much sum up what many people are talking about […]

  7. […] by the way, I’m seriously irked by how a newspaper revealed the patient zero’s name (who has requested not to reveal her name – at least in her statement to SMU). Cut it off, will ya. […]

  8. […] This post was Twitted by abanghazrul – […]

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