Lee Kin Mun (Chinese: 李健敏; pinyin: Lǐ Jiànmǐn), better known as mrbrown, is a Singaporean blogger best known for his social and political commentary amidst Singapore's tight media restrictions. Affectionately known by many as Singapore's "Blogfather", Lee is one of the more notable bloggers in the Singaporean blogosphere. His podcast attracts some 20,000 downloads per day. In 2007, Lee was the only Singaporean to make it to the annual list of Top 20 Asian Progressives in World Business Magazine. Lee was educated in Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) and Hwa Chong Junior College.
the mrbrown show
Created in March 2005, the mrbrown show is a podcast produced by Lee. It was formerly co-produced by Mr Miyagi, another local blogger, who has since left the show to pursue other interests. The show showcases guests from various quarters of Singapore, and parodies a wide variety of subjects, ranging from VISA's advertising campaign starring Richard Gere, to political satire. Zhng My Car, a recurring series in the mrbrown show, is a spoof of MTV's Pimp My Ride, and has seen over 100,000 downloads.
the WTF! show
Similarly produced and hosted by Lee, the WTF! Show (the "WTF!" is an abbreviation for "Wow, that's Fierce!") is a vodcast that covers the latest in video games, gadgets and technology. Gadgets that have been covered range from mobile phones and headphones to Global Positioning System devices to video games. A common feature of the WTF show includes guests paying a sneaky visit to Lee.
See What Show
See What Show is a weekly review podcast produced by Lee which reviews television programs, films and DVD releases. The podcast is billed as "The Movie, TV and DVD review podcast for regular people", and features candid comments about these entertainment mediums by Lee and his guests. The show occasionally makes use of sound clips obtained from distributors of the shows. Contests on the website also revolve around the films and TV shows reviewed, with premiums sponsored by local film distributors as prizes. For example, participants in one contest had to match lines from various films starring Nicolas Cage to the titles to win tickets to the Singapore premiere of Next, and in another had to come up with Singapore-flavoured pirate phrases in order to win a Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End gift pack. In December 2009, Lee travelled to Los Angeles to interview the cast and crew of 2012, including Singaporean actor Chin Han. As of December 2009, there have been no new episodes of the podcast.
Singapore National Education
Lee wrote a series titled Singapore National Education. As a form of satire, this series discussed local events, highlighting many ironies in government policies and poking fun at the behaviour of Singaporeans.
The title appears to be a play on the Singapore Ministry of Education's National Education Programme, which has the stated aims of developing national cohesion, the instinct for survival and confidence in the future.
Singapore National Education was released in parts; the first part was published on 24 Sep 1997 on the newsgroup news:soc.culture.Singapore soc.culture.Singapore. They were later archived and published on Lee's website. The series has since petered out; the latest issue is part 108, dated 25 July 2005.
On 30 June 2006, Lee wrote an article, titled "S'poreans are fed, up with progress!", for his weekly opinion column in the newspaper Today about the rising costs of living in Singapore. Three days later, on 3 July, an official from the Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts (MICA) published a reply in the same newspaper calling Lee a "partisan player" whose views "distort the truth". On July 6, the newspaper suspended his column. Lee subsequently resigned from his own column.
Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong responded to the unhappiness that resulted from MICA's handling of the incident. He stated that "mrbrown had hit out wildly at the Government and in a very mocking tone", and that the government had to respond to such criticisms lest they be taken by the public as true. He also stated that national issues should not be debated in such a fashion (referring to Lee's article). The prime minister maintained that Singapore was an open society.
- Ah Boys to Men (2012/2013)
- Geert De Clercq (20 December 2006). "Politics is no laughing matter in Singapore". Reuters.
- Singapore National Education
- Ministry of Education, National Education, accessed 26 Dec 2006.
- mr brown (June 30, 2006). "S'poreans are fed, up with progress!" (reprint). Today.
- "Letter from MICA: Distorting the truth, mr brown?" (reprint). Ministry of Information, Communication and the Arts, Singapore. July 3, 2006.
- "Daily newspaper Today sacks blogger “mr brown” after government criticism" (Press release). Reporters Without Borders. 6 July 2006.
- Lynn Lee (21 August 2006). "Govt had to deal with mrbrown's criticisms: PM". The Straits Times.