The Straits Times trolled the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (Iras) today. A story of Iras’ request for one Steven Ooi to pay a one cent tax levy was published in the Home section of today’s newspaper.
Steven reproduced a photograph of the Iras letter, which was included in the article.
The letter included a threat to impose a 5 percent penalty fee if Steven did not comply with instructions. While he duly paid his taxes like a good Singaporean, he did not take the matter seriously, as one normally would when dealing with the local authorities.
Journalist Kezia Toh even concluded the article with Steven’s tongue-in-cheek challenge to Iras, “I wish I had not sent the cheque, because I really did want to see how they would charge me the 5 per cent penalty.”
This lack of respect for a state institution is alarming. It worries me that a national newspaper like the Straits Times chose to subvert the authority of the venerable Iras.