The Singapore Democrats will launch a new online video programme called Let’s Talk where we interview personalities and opinion-makers in and around Singapore.
This series will be the first of its kind in the country. It is part of the SDP’s continuing effort to reach out to Singaporeans through the Internet.
The programme adopts a talk-show format with Mr Chia Ti Lik the presenter and interviewer. Each episode will typically run for less than ten minutes and will focus on economic, social and political issues.
There is a dearth of such programmes on MediaCorps’ channels which do little to promote political awareness and to foster a diversity of opinions and views. The few interviews that are broadcast by the state-run media generally toe the PAP line and seldom challenge officialdom or stray very far from the Government’s stand.
The SDP has never been invited to speak on its shows even though Dr Chee Soon Juan has appeared on various programmes like CNN’s Talk Asia, CNBC’s News Tonight, and BBC’s World Service. (Shortly thereafter, the PAP amended the Broadcasting Act to enable the Government to prosecute international broadcasters for “interfering in domestic affairs”.)
Years ago Caldecott Hill prohibited the mentioning of Dr Chee Soon Juan and his first book Dare To Change on air by its radio stations.
The Democrats hope to change this media culture by introducing Let’s Talk where issues of the day are discussed and Singaporeans with important things to say are given the opportunity to say it even though their messages do not conform to PAP thought.
We have lined up a few very interesting interviews which we hope will stimulate even more discussion of issues as well as to raise social and political awareness in Singapore.
We are constantly finding innovative ways of engaging Singaporeans to interest them on important issues. This is especially important because we are faced with a Government that is bent on keeping the minds of the people closed and society free of debate and discussion.
We were the first political party to produce political videos (in 1996) , the first to use podcasting (in 2006), and the first to use Internet tools like Twitter (in 2008) to reach out to Singaporeans.
These initiatives will not be the last. The Singapore Democrats will continue to break new ground and establish new frontiers in political communication.
This is possible only because we are an inclusive party that is open to diverse views. As a result we continue to grow and take in more people in our midst, who then contribute even more ideas which, in turn, attract more people.
Political parties, in this day and age, cannot afford to be one-track minded and operate in rigid ways. We need to be big-tent players by encouraging pluralism and tolerance of diverse views.
So keep your mouse on this website and let’s continue to work for media freedom in this country. Better still, why not come on board and help the cutting-edge party be even more cutting-edge?