Friday, September 13, 2019

Letter to The Independent Singapore

The Independent Singapore

I wish to draw your attention to several factual errors and misinformation contained in your article in this webpage.…/

In the article, you said:

According to Tan’s online voting system, there is a register of voters and each person is allowed to vote only once. The voter has to register with a password.

“The voter also has to submit his vote on several ballots (or issues). They include the election at the national and local levels and referendums. Different voters live in different parts of the country (identified as zones) and their ballots differ from one zone to another”.

The results of the poll show the PAP only winning 104 votes out of 619 votes, and not even winning any votes at all in some constituencies.

This is factually wrong. The register of voters and its use at the national and local elections has nothing to do with the results that are reflected in your article. They are used to demonstrate the voting system that is the main focus of my website.

I will now deal with the results showing the percentage of people who voted for the PAP in this poll. The participants came from a pool of about 8,000 people who have visited my website in the past. I sent them a request to participate in the poll.

At the time of writing your article, the total participants were 619 votes, of which 104 were in favor of the PAP. The number has since increased.

I am aware, as are many of my readers, that the participants are not a representative sample. It is likely that a higher percentage of non PAP supporters participated in the poll, compared to the national average.

In interpreting the results to the readers of my Facebook page, I make the effort to point out the potential bias. The only useful interpretation of the results is the relative percentage by group representative constituencies (GRCs). The GRCs with a significant lower percent compared to the overall average of 16.8% could reflect that the PAP is weaker in these constituencies.

Even so, this may not be reliable, in view of the small number of participants in the GRCs and the likelihood of false votings, i.e. the participant do not provide the honest and truthful answer.

I did not make any attempt to use the results for the single member constituencies (SMCs) as the number of participants is small. It is not appropriate for you to mention these results, giving the impression that they were part of the findings of the poll.

By writing the article with the factual errors and misinformation, you have done me a disservice and blemished my reputation. The harm is magnified when the factual errors and misinformation in your article are used and shared by other people with their own wrongful interpretations.

I request your website to remedy this harm as follows:

a) remove the article
b) publish my letter
c) issue an appropriate apology.

I also request your journalist, in the future, to check the facts with me, before taking any content from my website or facebook page. Surely, this is a courteous and the correct way to write about somebody's views and actions?

Tan Kin Lian

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Happy to admit that the "fake- news" law though not a shaking achievement, and that they are undoubtedly highly needed. If we want to maintain a standard of true news, we have to ensure
the laws for fake news is highly effective, not just for show.

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