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Owns the media, rules the world

I'm always amazed by some of the article on the newspaper. Especially this article from Today regarding the MDA Senior Management Rap

Notorious M.D.A.

Rap video by agency's head honchos surprises with its 'fun' approach to promoting Singapore's media industry

Thursday • November 22, 2007

Christopher Toh

Alright, stop, collaborate and listen,

MDA's back with a brand new invention.

Rap videos for the peeps, y'all.

That's what the senior management at the Media Development Authority (MDA) have come up with to deliver their message about the future of Singapore's media industry.

The four-and-a-half minute Senior Management Rap video features practically everyone from chief executive officer Christopher Chia to chief information officer Yeo Chun Cheng and media content director Amy Chua.

The video spells out, complete with rap slang — in the vein of rappers like 50 Cent, Jay-Z, Notorious B.I.G. and Kanye West — their work plans and visions for the future of Singapore's media industry.

Chia, for example, raps: "They call me CEO, hear me out everyone. My aim, a vibrant media hub for the city. Singapore-made content to be No 1 media choice and jobs for everybody."

It was originally made as a fun video for a staff conference earlier this year, but staff response was so good it was included as an extra in their innovative annual report — which came in the form of a thumb drive.

"The idea for our Senior Management Rap is to share MDA's vision for the media industry in a fun and engaging manner," MDA's communications director, Cassandra Tay told Today. "Most importantly, it showcases the capability of local media industry."

"Just because we are a government agency doesn't mean we cannot have some fun," agreed Man Shu Sum, MDA's director of broadcast and film, who appears as a Mafia-like character in the video.

"We are dealing with media people talking about media content with lots of new ideas, so the presentation has to tally with what we are doing. And, hopefully, people can accept that it comes from a government agency."

The video was filmed by TV production company threesixzero Productions, with the "rappers" doing their thang against a green screen, and the visuals added in later.

The music was written by Bernard Teo of local rap band, Chou Pi Jiang, and lyrics by Mohd Sharin, with some input from MDA. The video took about a month to do.

"I think all of us enjoyed doing it," said Man. "It turned out quite fun and interesting."

Nobody expected anything to come out of it until Peter Ho, head of the Civil Service, flagged it out as a good example of clear signalling and leadership during a civil service convention.

The MDA received so many requests about the music video that they have uploaded it onto their website (

"It's quite surprising. But they're quite sporting," said Sharil, a marketing executive who watched the video. "They're the last people you'd expect to do this." Added tech support executive Daniel Hock: "I think it's quite entertaining. Although some bits didn't quite rhyme, it was a good effort."

In response, Man said they "didn't expect it to draw so much attention".

"We are delighted that the music video has helped to raise the profile of our media talents," said Tay.

"Not only is it produced by a local TV company, the song is written by a local musician — TV and music being two key media sectors we will be promoting. We will continue to explore creative ways to stay connected with our stakeholders and promote our media industry," he said.

So, will MDA release more music videos to get its message across? "I think we should have new ideas every year," said Man. "I don't know what's next. We'll see."

And in the words of the Senior Management Rap: "Yes, yes, y'all, we don't stop. Get creative, can do, rock on. Yes, yes, y'all we don't stop. Get creative, worldwide, rock on."

It reminds me a saying that whoever owns the media rules the world. The media is powerful. A dead person can become a living person. A black cat can become a white cat. If you own the media, you control what you want people to think. No matter how bad that Rap is, you can still write until it seems like the next best thing after The Slim Shady.

But perhaps someone forgotten that the media can no longer belongs to one person.

And that if you say the person is alive, there will be tons of people out there trying to proof that the person is dead. And if you said the cat is white, there will be millions of pictures showing that the cat is indeed black. And if you said they rap better than Slim, well..... just look at the responds in the blogs.

Welcome to the new media, MDA. Censorship doesn't apply here. If it does, then these blogs surely won't make it pass your scissors.

mrbrown - MDA Senior Director's Rap
Theory is the reason - Battle of the Snarks: On MDA’s mindnumbing rap music video
Popagandhi - Nightmares Guaranteed, Confirm Plus Chop
Arzhou - MDA Rap MTV - Let’s show the world our “Talents”
Bits & Bytes makes a Bitbot - Singapore govt tries to “hip” it up with rap video
Balderdash - Sing along to the MDA Senior Management Rap
Tym Blogs Too! - As if we needed another reason ...
Beeker: full of hot air - bad stuff, cannot bluff
All and Sundry Singapore - MDA Directors doing Rap! Hype and Happening!
The media slut - Who will rap MDA for their (c)rap?
lbandit - Yo yo, MDA y’all
A Real Man Cries When Necessary - I am rendered speechless

Sorry for not linking to all the blogs that talks about this issue. There are just too many out there. I'm still looking for a blog that give positive comments about this video clip. Yet to find any.

Heng Li Lang, Acting Director of Strategic Planning Group said in the Rap that "Market trends, that's like my very best friend". I wonder if she see the amount of negative feedback they got. One thing for sure, they don't know what's the real market trend is.

To add on, a phrase in the article made me feel even more disturbed. "It was originally made as a fun video for a staff conference earlier this year" You mean you guys actually spend so much money and time on something that was originally meant as a fun video for staff conference?

Makes me wonder...... Did we pay too much for TV and Radio license fee?

We overpaid for TV and Radio license fees. Oh NO!

You can link to this -> Why?!

"That's what the senior management at the Media Development Authority (MDA) have come up with to deliver their message about the future of Singapore's media industry."

Aint it going to be dark. Very dark.

i couldn't stop laughing at the video.

in music terms, it takes a lot of flair and attitude to do a rap. and it takes a bit of a slang. imho, rap cannot be 'sinicized' in that way!

i completely fell off my chair at the video. the creativity doesn't come through at all lah. it's like a souffle that's fallen miserably flat.

Wishbone: Don't you think so? They seems like they got lots of time and money to come up with this crap just for their staff conference.

Paddy: In what sense?

imp: I hope you didn't injured yourself when you fell off your seat. :D

I find the video really stupid and not at all trying to portray what they are trying to tell us. In another words, if this is what the MDA wants to set the standard .. the the world is ending :)

Paddy: You mean 2015? lol...

There was also a ST news article which is totally against the real picture on the ground. When the state newsletter wrote something like that, it sticked out like a sore thumb. It clearly showed that the "official media" is doing a "Emperor with no clothes". It is so obvious, it is more damaging to the whole thing. The worst thing is to use an email "positive" message from some British lawyer. That is lame, man. Try harder.

It just to show that when you wasted money and made a fool out o yourselves, MDA goes into self-denial. No wonder our media industry is such a state. Some of these "rappers" probably have come up with "experimental" media initiatives (which some have failed) using tax dollars. People on the ground have been telling those "rappers" that there is something wrong here. I guess that KPIs are more important.

I bet that even some of their children are also laughing at them.

Indeed, dark times ahead...

1. If the bigwigs at MDA know what I know, they will then know that they may not have a job for much longer.

2. For example, if you download this World TV Toolbar like I did [no virus or trojans, according to the list of endorsers], then you will have hundreds of free TV channels on your pc, from sports, movies, news, documentaries, religious, educational, to music and even porn. All free. With 1 free download of this softwre toolbar. Hundreds of radio channels, too. Plus other cool stuff.

3. In the last year or less, hundreds of sites have sprung up offering 3,000+ free TV channels for just 1 software download fee of about US$20-50, some free. These give you 3,000+ free TV channels from sports, music, movies, etc. Even thousands of radio channels, too.

4. In the next 12 months, all these free TV channels will get even better, knowing the Internet and computers. So why pay for a Radio and TV Licence when you can watch 3,000+ free TV channels?

5. MDA will not have a job much longer. Maybe rap can be a second career? Toolbar url is :

6. Enjoy!

Spyer: What do you expect from ST? lol.

Robert: You very funny leh. Why put your NRIC on your comment? :P

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