Hardware Zone Users Scared Their Site Will Be Sold

When it was announced that former army chief Ng Yat Chung was going to become the chief executive of Singapore Press Holdings (SPH), the users of popular local forum Hardware Zone mostly had the same thing to say: SPH is finished, will we still have a forum to post on now?

This despite SPH’s revenue already having declined for 4 years straight and staff getting retrenched even before Mr Ng came on the scene. After all, the company didn’t seem to be doing that well in the first place, so what more harm can be done anyway? Read our story about Mr Ng Yat Chung and whether he can turn things around for SPH.

The Hardware Zone users universally predicted, however, that SPH would tank and the survival of their beloved forum, which is owned by SPH, would be threatened.

Death’s Door

The most popular opinion expressed was that of premature mourning for the death of SPH:


Many questioned the credentials of Mr Ng, how a scholar with no background in journalism could get a job like this.

Some pointed to how Mr Ng was in charge at Singapore-based shipping firm Neptune Orient Lines (NOL) before it was sold off to French firm CMA CGM after racking up losses, and implying that he was responsible for the losses and the subsequent sale of a prized national asset.

They then conjectured that he would do the same to SPH.

Some even wondered whether Mr Ng was a “selling specialist” whose job was to sell off national assets, and wondered who was going to buy SPH this time.

And this poster said that no matter what happens to SPH, Mr Ng would come out just fine:

And this one saw the cyclical nature of these appointments:

Sell, Sell, Sell

Due to the impending takeover of Mr Ng, some expressed fears for SPH’s shares:

But some said that it might be worth holding to them:

This netizen threatened to cancel his SPH subscription, as if that would have any bearing on matters.

What Of Hardware Zone?

Not surprisingly, some posters were concerned about the fate of the very forum they were posting on, Eat Drink Man Woman (EDMW), a popular section on Hardware Zone ostensibly for lifestyle discussions but where people post almost anything.

Most were scared that Hardware Zone will be sold or EDMW will be censored:

However, this poster said that maybe it would be good if Hardware Zone was sold:

Less Freedom?

And of course, there were the usual gripes about Singapore being ranked poorly in the World Press Freedom Index, with a rank this year of 151 among 180 countries:

General Resemblance

Many commented unfavourably on Mr Ng’s passing resemblance to late North Korean founder Kim Il Sung and his son Kim Jong Il, especially in militart uniform:

Paper General To Boss Of The Paper?

This was perhaps the best post of the lot:

Whether these posters on Hardware Zone are overreacting or not, we will know after Sept 1, when Mr Ng officially takes over.

Till then, it may be pointless to predict doom and gloom — there’s still a chance SPH will be ok.

And if it does tumble, fear not, there’s always MustShareNews.

Featured images adapted from Mindef and Mumbrella