In attempting to save face, the party's spin doctors risk losing people's hearts and minds.
With the People's Action Party (PAP, aka the Men In White) in damage control mode after disgraced Speaker of Parliament and ex-Member of Parliament (MP), Michael Palmer, quit politics last Wednesday, there is a risk that Singaporeans may feel the MIW do not have what it takes to roll with the blows and suck it up when the chips are down.
Post-mortems of newspaper coverage of the political debacle indicate that the city-state's mainstream media appear to have acknowledged the call by Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean to give the Palmers "time and space for healing to take place".
So apart from Mr Palmer's appearance at a press conference on Wednesday and a farewell visit that same evening to grassroots leaders at Punggol East, which he represented as MP, the man has seemingly dropped off the face of the earth.
If the Singaporean media's lethargy in chasing the newsmaker behind the biggest upheaval to shake the Lion City's political scene since last May's General Elections stems from a desire to give Mr Palmer space he needs to get his shattered family life back on the mend, then it appears this no-fly zone does not extend to
His love interest, Laura Ong, has been outed by her former employer, the People's Association (PA).
Local scribes dug out the name of Ms Ong's husband, Darren Seng Chee Kwong, with whom she is estranged.
And in a demonstration that local newshounds can hunt down their quarry, the 90 cents newspaper tracked down one Andy Lim, the man said to be dating Ms Ong, visited his home and attempted a phone interview.
They did the same to Ms Ong's flat in Marine Parade to the extent that a resident had to summon the police. Three interns from the Today newspaper were even caught on the premises of Ms Ong's former office. Heaven only knows what they expected to find there - incriminating love notes, signs of trysts?
Main course vs side dishes
The local media has been silent on whether such tactics were unleashed at Palmer's gate.
And it's not that the 90 cents newspaper lacks of effort, brains or grit to do so. During the NKF saga, a 90 cents newspaper photographer spent eight hours stalking TT Durai's main gate. He was rewarded with a picture of the man crouched, fugitive-like in the backseat of a car as it left the residence and was commended for his effort with a newscom award.
Why go for side dishes when the main course is left untouched?
Could it be that the mainstream media has held off in a nod to the Establishment's placement of an out-of-bounds marker at the Palmer residence?
If there is no gag order, is the media so cowed by previous run-ins with the Establishment that local newsrooms have decided that discretion is the better part of valour as far as Palmergate is concerned?
It surely couldn't stem from newsroom incompetence (or do I stand corrected?) as even the greenest journalism newbie would recognise that the newsmaker to gun for hasn't been quoted in any way, shape or form since Wednesday's press conference.
If Mr and Mrs Palmer speak on record, that would be a headline story.
How did the affair begin? Who made the first move? How long did it last? What did you both do on Mondays? Why the mea culpa? What did you say to your wife and 10-year-old son when it was game over?
Don't hold your breath for answers to these questions in Singaporean newspapers.
The party's tight control over newsflows is worrisome. It points to an attitude towards information management during a crisis that shows Singaporeans cannot rely on the mainstream media to tell the full story. It telegraphs the party's sensitivity to bad newsflows. When the circuit breaker trips, the game plan is to clamp up on news like this whole blooming country would collapse from the bad news and foreign investors would run away.
Indeed, one could argue the opposite: that investors in a country where people have to read between the lines to sense what is going on are going to be even more cautious where they park their funds.
In an altruistic scenario where well-meaning MIW party leaders have Singapore's best interests at heart, tight control of information is not necessarily a bad thing. Internal disciplinary processes deal with politicians who stray and the party does not tolerate one atom of abuse of power, position and privilege. These actions may take place away from the public eye but the end results - fallen stars like Mr Palmer - are an unmistakeable sign that housekeeping has come a-calling.
However, such blind trust is open to abuse.
The rot will not set in overnight and the pace of change may be glacial.
Indeed, it make take decades of obseisance, war stories handed down from one newsroom generation to the next, more rice bowls of journalists broken over time before one day, Singapore wakes up to a generation of running dogs - to borrow a phrase from Singapore's first Chief Minister, David Marshall - who will not only eat out of one's hand but will also beg and do tricks on command.
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