Sunday, March 28, 2010

"Astroturfing" and rising property prices

Earlier on, I came across this news report by CNA reporting about Prime Minister (PM) Lee Hsien Loong outlining the government's approach towards engaging Singaporeans online.

What caught my attention was the PM's mention of how there appears to be an unknown individual or group which, through sending emails containing fabricated personal details, is engaging in "a covert attempt to pressure the government for perhaps personal benefits and in the process also to confuse the public as to what Singaporeans think" with regards to rising property prices.

With regards to this, while I would not say that there is no truth behind PM Lee's claim, I must however say that the potential presence of an unknown individual or group manipulating the situation does not necessarily imply that there is no genuine concern amongst Singaporeans about rising property prices.

Although I may be misled but I am of the opinion that a sizable number of Singaporeans are genuinely concerned about rising property prices. In fact, I will say that the government is also concerned. If not, why would it recently have implemented measures to cool down the property market to prevent a "bubble" from emerging?

Thus, I hope that the local authorities are intelligent enough to discern that while it may be the case that an unknown individual or group is manipulating the situation, it perhaps remains the case that local property prices are increasing and this is an issue of concern to Singaporeans.

P.S. 28/3/2010, 2220h

Additional reading: "Engaging Singaporeans in new media: focus on the issues"

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