My friend Gwee spotted this shocking piece of citizen journalism at STOMP today. It was a photo of an animal swimming — NAKED — in MacRitchie Reservoir.
This is scandalous! Why are there actual animals wandering in the wild, in our very own reservoirs? Why are they swimming in the very waters that we drink?
If it wasn't for SPH's STOMP, I would not have known about the dark underbelly of our nature reserves.
Is there any government authority looking into this? Is this even a local monitor lizard? Did anyone check whether this is one of those foreign talent monitor lizards who come to Singapore to steal jobs from local monitor lizards?
I am shocked that the monitor lizard was swimming naked. Why is he, a Monitor, setting a bad example for other young lizards? This is why he is not a Prefect. Also, doesn't this lizard know that swimming is not allowed in our reservoirs? And is the lizard swimming during school hours? Is the lizard on his way to meet his girlfriend monitor lizard to make out in the MacRitchie River void deck, in full view of the public, in their school uniforms?
But I have to admit, I have been a little skeptical since the STOMPgate incident, where a STOMP Content Producer was caught uploading a fake open MRT door photo under a pseudonym.
How do I know if this monitor lizard was taken by a REAL anonymous member of the public or just an SPH employee masquerading as an anonymous member of the public?
Was this lizard photoshopped into the reservoir? Is this even taken in Singapore?
My faith in the journalistic integrity of STOMP, nay, all of Singapore Press Holdings, has been shaken to the core since STOMPgate. How will I ever trust local mainstream media or mainstream-media-backed citizen journalism EVER AGAIN? How will I ever know if the photo of an open MRT door or the blurry photo of an unidentified object with blinky lights flying over Bukit Batok is really the truth?
Regardless, I feel we need to get NParks to investigate this lizard. Ask for his ez-link card to see where he really went. I demand that the poster of this photo come forward to accompany NParks to verify the identity of this monitor lizard. I think true citizen journalists would stand by their monitor lizard photos and not hide behind the anonymity of the STOMPisphere.
STOMPizens should be aware that the nation expects them to maintain and uphold the highest levels of journalistic ethics, and any transgression will undermine the very trust that our people have developed for the mainstream media here.
STOMPizens are to be the beacons of truth and light, standing shoulder to shoulder with the organization that gave birth to the site that made it all possible. Yes, STOMPizens, you are a reflection of SPH, your mother ship.
You don't want people to call STOMP, "Straits Times Ownself Manufacture Photos", do you?
Take a leaf from SMRT, whose officers displayed more investigative journalism skills than any local mainstream media, when they looked into Ms Samantha Francis's open MRT door allegations.
I am glad that SPH found a lowly employee to fire so that Management and the editorial leadership above her were not hurt by her lies and poor journalistic practices. The nation would never recover from such a blow if senior people had to be accountable every time one of their junior staff did something wrong.
Back to the monitor lizard news, I think NParks needs to talk to each and every animal in the MacRitchie forest reserve to see if they have their papers. Maybe ride there in their new $2,200 Brompton foldable bicycles. And while they are at it, NParks should also get LTA to check if the animals have parked their cars properly, and not in handicapped lots or across two parking lots.
The only true monitor lizard is a monitor lizard who has served NS. Only then has he earned the right to swim in our reservoirs. We must not let monitor lizards who have not done their national duty flood our nation's forests and strain our national infrastructure and sully the very social fabric of our fragile nation.
STOMP should send one of their content producers to the reservoir to see if they can catch some more of these monitor lizards in the act, and then share more photos with us while pretending to be an anonymous member of the public. We do not expect any less of this bastion of journalistic integrity.
STOMPizens and STOMPistaff, we await your next scoop. I hear there are also animals cavorting in the Night Safari. Maybe you guys can check that out too.