On May 6, 2021, the Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) announced its plans to transfer its media business to a not-for-profit company.
ST forum letter: SPH restructuring is important
Following the news, 19-year-old Keng Xin Yi wrote a forum letter published by The Straits Times (ST) on May 10, showing support for SPH's decisions.
"I support this decision as SPH faces losses fighting against the evolution of technology."
Keng, who is an A-level graduate, said that ST and the Chinese papers in Singapore have been an "important part of [her] life and [her] family's life". Keng mentioned reading ST's magazines and the Little Red Dot during school assembly each week.
Here she wrote why Singaporeans should "protect and nurture" ST for future generations:
"ST is more than the bowl of china as described by founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew. ST is the newspaper of record of the story of Singapore and Singaporeans."
In her letter, she also expressed her gratitude towards ST and its journalists and urged people to "keep our ST alive":
"I hope we can express our gratitude by supporting and respecting these dedicated journalists. Together we can keep our source of knowledge going, keep our ST alive. I want ST to be a part of the lives of my future children and grandchildren too."
SPH says move is beneficial
According to SPH, the move will be beneficial for the group because a not-for-profit structure will allow its Media Business to seek funding from a range of public and private sources.
On May 10, Communications and Information Minister S Iswaran said in his ministerial statement in Parliament that the government is willing to fund the new SPH media entity in areas like digital innovation and capability development as part of a long-term, sustainable business plan.
Iswaran also confirmed that the Newspaper and Printing Presses Act (NPPA) will apply to the entity.
Former Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan will be the new chairman of the board for the entity.
Top image by Syahindah Ishak.