Tragedy at a Singapore University

The radio and TV news this morning is abuzz with a horrifying story that occurred Wednesday morning, when a technician at the National University of Singapore walked into a conference room packed with people, pulled out a paper cutter, walked up to a 47-year-old professor and slashed his throat. The professor died shortly afterwards. On his way out of the room, the deranged technician walked over to an administrative officer and slashed her across the face with his paper cutter.

Obviously, in ever-placid Singapore this is startling news. It takes up most of the front page of today’s Straits Times.

So, the question arises, why is there only a photo of the killer and a brief caption about it on the Straits Times web site? And no link?

The story gets shockingly disproportional coverage compared to the “big stories” on the web site. Click on the link for Singapore news and there’s no mention of it at all!! Instead, there are headlines for the truly earth-shattering stories, such as:

Upgrading of Marine Terrace is on track
A local construction company is seeking judicial management
Free flu shots for health workers

You get the idea. It’s as though, aside from the photo on the home page and a caption, this story doesn’t exist.

My theory: They (which always refers to The Government) want to do whatever they can to contain the story. Local news is heard locally (duh); once it’s on the Net with an active link it’s everywhere. By including the photo/caption, they can’t be accused of ignoring it. But by offering almost no text and no link, they drastically reduce the chance of the story being spread around worldwide. (Of course, that can’t work, because I’m sure it’s going to get picked up by the regional/international media. But I can’t come up with any other reason to explain it. )

If you were here and could see the local papers and TV news, you would see just how bizarre this really is.

The Discussion: One Comment

actually – the quick thinking professors in the room locked the door after the first professor – a vice dean got slashed.

i could imagine if the door was unlocked – he would slash all the members of the staff and it would a holiday for NUS engineering faculty students!

i think the technician couldn’t have done the incident unless something was happening to cause this.. “internal affairs” – politics? – hidden agenda?

August 14, 2003 @ 11:43 am | Comment

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