So SDP’s Dr Chee Soon Juan got one of those annoying calls we get sometimes. No, not someone asking you if you’re interested in getting ONE more credit card., a polling company whose mission is to “produce impactful insights that inform decision-making” contacted Dr Chee and sought his views on the arts and films situation in Singapore.
Turns out the survey was commissioned by the Ministry of Communications and Information, but mysteriously, started off by asking for his views on the state of governance.
We try to imagine the conversation between Dr Chee Soon Juan and the caller.
Rysense caller: Hello, is this Mr Chee Soon Juan?
Dr Chee: Yah. Who dat?
(Rysense caller probably reading from prepared script)
Rysense caller: I’m calling from Rysense. We are a polling company. Would you mind spending 10 minutes of your time taking part in a survey on the arts and films situation in Singapore?
Dr Chee: Who is the survey conducted for?
(Rysense caller still reading from prepared script)
Rysense caller: The Ministry of Communications and Information commissioned the poll.
Dr Chee: Hohoho. Do you know who I am? Does the government really want MY views about the arts and film situation?
(Awkward pause. Rysense caller realises script dies here and offers no solutions.)
Rysense caller: Well. Every citizen’s views is important. It doesn’t matter who you are. Let me begin by asking you some questions about the quality of governance in Singapore. Is PM Lee doing the right thing? Is Singapore going in the right direction? How do you think the government is faring?
Dr Chee: Of course I think the government is doing a sai job! Do you even read my books? I’ve been trying to rouse our nation from political slumber! Our nation is getting cheated! I give the government 1 star out of 5!
Rysense caller: Your feedback is noted. Moving on now – do you think our arts scene is thriving?
Dr Chee: No, don’t change the subject. Why is the government conducting surveys on its performance?
Rysense caller: Erm. These are standard questions we ask everyone, as part of the research process. For instance, an individual’s view of the state of governance could influence the way you perceive the arts and films situation in Singapore, censorship policies and so on and so forth. It’s a useful data point. Are you sure you got a doctorate in research?
Dr Chee: Why isn’t the data on the government’s performance made public?
(Rysense caller also fed up)
Rysense caller: I can’t answer this question for the government. I’m only a survey research assistant getting $10/hour to make phone calls! But I believe the government does publish survey results from time to time on policies. Can google.
Dr Chee: The public has a right to know what surveys the government commissions and its results.
Rysense caller: Look, if you feel so strongly about it, file a question in Parliament. Oh wait. You aren’t elected into it.
Dr Chee: ……
Honestly, we think Dr Chee is being slightly over-dramatic here. We all kena calls before this and that research company, or some ministry asking for our views about xxx policy, or our lifestyle habits e.g. Do you smoke? How often do you smoke? Going to quit any time soon. How often do your bowels move?
Blah blah. Like this also got conspiracy theory ah? Anyway, Dr Chee got read his FaceBook news feed one or not. The gahmen really got conduct survey, although sometimes the survey results piss us off. Like them saying people more satisfied with the transport system? Erm. Zhunbo? Jobstreet also hiring, FYI.
Anyway, from all of us at SingaPotato: WP, over to you to ask question in Parliament, if it’s really that big a deal. Cus Dr Chee want to ask also kennot ask.