Last year we scored 147 out of 167 countries. This year we scored 140. This is really a concern. The silver lining is Singapore's press freedom still score higher than those of countries like Afghanistan (125), Ethiopia (131) and the Palestinian Authority (132).
The highest position scorer is of course is the highly innovative N. Korean Govt. They scored 167 out of 167. Singapore has alot to learn from this country, perhaps it is time to send a study team there. From what I heard, this is just the tip of the iceberg:
1. In N. Korea, the radio can only tune in to N. Korean channels operated by their govt. Modification to their radio will lead to fine and jail. Singapore really has to catch up in this. Our laws only restrict satellite dishes that can receive mind corrupting transmissions overseas. We have tried to flood our airwaves on FM radio with Singapore channels...good effort but not as good as N. Korea.
2. Direct criticism of leaders results in jail term. In Singapore, worst case only defamation lawsuits.
3. Tourists in N. Korea are restricted in movement and closely guided. Singapore is so totally far behind here, but tourists looking at the fantastic beautiful amazing buildings usually never get to see the real singapore.
4. N. Korean leadership consists of selected people as opposed to elected people. They have a rigorous selection process that weed out unsuitable people who may put the regime at risk. We also have a selection process but still the problem is those selected people have to go for elections where people get to vote. Of course, voting is just a technicality but still we are less efficient because we need to do this extra step.
5. N. Koreans love National Day. No expense is spared, their stadium parades are spectacles...Madeleine Albright was once invited and she was totally stunned by the highly coordinated display. Of course the school children involved practised for months for this big occasion. In Singapore we are good, but not as good as these N. Koreans.
6. N. Koreans have total political stability,zero crime rate, it is drug free, people live harmoniously. Workers NEVER strike. No Opposition to present confusing ideas. I think they exceed us in all these areas. Their govt is even more stable, they have the same govt for 60 years we only enjoyed the great leadership of the PAP for 40 years.
I found a website with plenty of pictures from N. Korea : http://debrisson.free.fr/pyongyang3.html
Look closely at the faces of the people, not a single frown or ...very happy citizens in N. Korea I would say.