If there is a single most important thing that blogging has taught me, it is about perspective. Different people have different perspectives. Different parties have different perspectives.

Even if you don’t blog, there are many friendly bloggers who constantly share their experiences and lessons. Dig beneath the surface just a little and you will easily hit gold.

With the lack of complete information, the actions of one will be interpreted by different parties in different ways when conveyed in different manners.

In short, a big mess.

I usually don’t like to dabble too much in trending topics but I have found the recent topic on the seizure of Singapore’s Terrex armoured vehicles by HK customs to be really fascinating.

News agencies have displayed incredibly varying angles and perspectives on this issue depending on their agenda and country of origin. Look through the reports from China, Hong Kong, Singapore all the way down to Australia and you will notice their stories are very different.

Indulge me on my wild theory. I’ve read far too many crime thrillers to ignore the elephant in the room that no one else is pointing out to you.

Factwire.

I say, let’s try to look beneath what the mainstream papers are reporting. They are meant for 90% of the general public.

So, Singapore have military vehicles returning from Taiwan as per normal after Starlight. This time round, something is very different from the usual routine as a result of an external catalyst.

Exercise Starlight, being an open secret, has been tolerated for decades. Information on it is widely available for those who is willing to dig just a little.

Factwire has been doing its homework and planned a little pre-Christmas gift for Hong Kong. Is the enemy of my enemy thus my friend? Or is it a case of killing two birds with one stone?

For years, China has been willing to dance around the delicate issue, and Singapore has been avoiding it diligently as well. For example, Singapore’s official statements will never mention Taiwan.

After Starlight, Factwire tipped off China before the goods reach Xiamen port to force it to act. If China don’t seize, Factwire will release the information anyway and wait for nationalistic netizens to rally against China’s inaction, which will look bad. If China seize, it will irritate Singapore and make itself look bad on international media.

Some sources mentioned that China used Factwire as a medium to release information which is far more credible than its own platforms. Nah, China did not use Factwire to amplify the incident. It was the other way round.

Factwire is certainly not a friend of China. Don’t forget the excellent MRT train investigative work they conveniently published using Singapore as a proxy (again) for Hong Kong’s benefit.

Who was the one to break the news? Factwire. Who is the first to come out first with APL detailed route and information that it stayed in Xiamen? Factwire. Not your international big guns. Factwire did. Perhaps they already had all this information before it started.

China chose option #3 – let the goods leave Xiamen and tip off Hong Kong to seize instead. Hong Kong was caught by surprise but has no choice but to act on it. The initial statement of it being a routine inspection was wrong, it being purely a convenient answer. Paperwork issue? In this digital age? Why drag on for so long without releasing details?

But still, Hong Kong remains the lesser evil as it is most “conducive” environment considering the circumstances. Factwire, whether by intention or not, caused Hong Kong to kio sai. Everybody is reminded of the extent of China’s influence on Hong Kong. In particular, Hong Kong is not such a free port after all, huh?

Now that Starlight has blown up in global media, China has no choice but to issue a strongly worded statement.

My take is that Factwire screwed all three parties – China, Singapore and Hong Kong in pursuit of their agenda.

Founded by 3,300 Hong Kong people in a journalism crowdfunding campaign that broke records in Asia, FactWire is entirely funded by the public. Thus, it is the public that this new agency serves, independent of any commercial or political interests.

Ha. Ha. Say what you want. Which public exactly are you serving? The HK public?

See, but look carefully. Hear, but listen carefully.

Glad you stayed around to read my random ramblings. Maybe I read too much crime thrillers, but I learn never to believe everything I read. Not everything is what it seems to be.

Edit : This article few days BEFORE my post by Five Stars & A Moon connected the dots on stuff that I didn’t mention. Great to know that someone else is thinking along the same lines.