by Wan Dan Liao, Straight Times

Singapore – Statutory Board Media Development Authority (MDA) has axed 33 full-time staff today, ST has learned.

The unprecedented large scale retrenchment exercise in the public sector after the shut down of socio-political The Real Singapore (TRS) has caught Singaporeans and unions off-guard.

These laid-off staff were all analysts responsible for monitoring TRS media contents under its media monitoring group.

A former MDA team manager Tie Fan Wan told ST, “The guys who monitor TRS only have O level qualifications. Half of them are over 40 years old who are former Army regulars. Assessing TRS content is a very taxing job. They will definitely get better pay package outside public service. But I am unsure why MDA wielded the axe.”

Last Sunday, MDA ordered TRS owners, Australian Permanent Resident Yang Kai Heng and Australian citizen Ai Takagi to cease site operations or face harsh penalties under the broadcasting act. They allegedly published seditious contents which disrupts Singapore’s harmony while they were in Singapore.

A MDA staff “Amanda” who declined to give her real name as she was not authorised to speak with the media informed ST that MDA has 41 full-time staff to monitor Fabrications About the PAP Facebook page, Calvin Cheng Facebook page, and SMRT (Feedback). These staff did not complete secondary school education.

When ST expressed surprise at the educational requirements to join MDA, Amanda, who has first class honours replied proudly, “But MDA also hires good honours graduates from local universities. We have 67 full-time graduate staff on superscale pay on 24-hours shift to monitor and”.

ST understands NTUC secretary-general Chan Chun Sing has convened an urgent meeting this evening to look at ways to help the retrenched staff.

Disclaimer: This is a Straights Times report 🙂

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