Instant Karma (or Yes, there should be new guidelines because of the temptations of a SPH employee)


News broke this week that the Singapore Press Holdings dismissed its senior vice president, Peter Khoo Chong Meng, 47, after he voluntarily admitted earlier this week to receiving illegal payments and misappropriating shopping vouchers handled by the Editorial Projects Unit (EPU) which he oversaw.

It also transpired that Mr. Khoo was arrested on Friday (17, September 2010) but is out on police bail pending further investigations.

Because we are food bloggers and are accountable mostly to ourselves, we can’t be bothered to take the high road just because a journalist’s attempt to occupy the moral high ground got torpedoed by a (allegedly) corrupt (ex-)senior executive of her company. Despite formalized corporate check and balances, it still happened. During their watch.

With the ex-SPH Senior Executive being arrested on suspicion of criminal breach of trust, it is reasonable if we begin to wonder if the taint carries down to the junior executives. After all, I noted in my previous entry that that self-rationalization, on the part of consuming freebies, is a slippery slope.

Many people want to be food bloggers and lo and behold, they become. It’s not difficult; just sign up for a free blog. Nobody invents rules to tell us what we can or cannot do and yet some people find that their food blogs opens doors. The reason is that people are not stupid; the information is out there, people can judge for themselves, so it would be presumptuous of us food bloggers to tell them what to think.

I won’t talk about how even with rules and guidelines can fail, but the lack of noise and outrage from the Internet about the SPH incident worries me: does everyone take it as a matter-of-fact that corruption happens in our mainstream media company? I sincerely hope not but it would explain the need to put out the article explaining high standards.

Actually, we’re pretty much alike and to help you see that, I’ve created this highly scientific chart:

Broad Issues Mainstream Media Food Bloggers
Published online? Yes Yes
Passionate about what we do? Yes Yes
Accused of asking for free food? No Yes
Accused of receiving illegal payments and misappropriating shopping vouchers worth around $196,500? Yes No

Yes, there are differences but in my view they are not as significant as the similarities and if we could just focus less on what divides us and more on what we agree on, the world would be a much happier place for everyone. Let us all shine on, like the Moon and the stars and the Sun.

After all, it has been postulated that an infinite amount of Monkeys were left to bang on an infinite number of Notebooks, sooner or later they would accidentally reproduce the complete works of William Shakespeare (and looking at some of the recent articles, I’d have to agree), but all it takes is for one bad Human to ruin it all for us.

And yes, One Bad Human would be a great name for a rock band. 🙂

Posted on 18th Sep 2010 in Musings


There Are 8 Comments


stargirl commented on September 18, 2010 at 2:47 pm

i agree that we should try to focus less on our differences. lol i was thinking of Tan Hseuh Yun’s article as I read about the corruption case too!


Michael commented on September 18, 2010 at 3:25 pm

I am just being evil but I do really think food bloggers should get ‘sponsorships’ from diet centres…and yes, Tan Hseuh Yun’s article (and herself) does come to mind.


ivan commented on September 18, 2010 at 4:10 pm

@Michael: How so? I don’t see the link.


alkanphel commented on September 19, 2010 at 11:29 am

Haha I also thought about her article when I read about that corruption case.


ivan commented on September 20, 2010 at 10:12 am

@everyone: I am sure she would be pleased to occupy your mindshare in this manner. 🙂


thehungrycow commented on September 20, 2010 at 2:44 pm

Great blog post. I love your highly scientific chart!


Ivan commented on September 21, 2010 at 1:10 am

Haha! I had fun making it. 🙂 | 2010 in review commented on February 1, 2011 at 12:39 am

[…] The Straits Times report that a Senior Vice President of their publishing house was dismissed following allegations of corruption. But on a brighter note, this blog managed to catch the final day of the magical Mirabelle season […]

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