SDP to CNA: Let Chee Soon Juan debate PAP rep

Singapore Democrats

Channel News Asia (CNA) has invited the Singapore Democrats and four other parties (including the PAP) to a “television forum” to discuss political issues facing Singapore.

However, CNA has attached several conditions: One, the representative must be a CEC member; two, he or she must be an office holder; and three, he or she must be eligible to stand for the coming elections. 
These conditions effectively rule our Dr Chee Soon Juan’s participation. Can a news organisation get any more ridiculous?

CNA excluded the SDP on its Talking Point programme a few weeks ago. Dr Chee Soon Juan had written to the news organisation and protested the discrimination. 

The news channel has responded by inviting SDP this round but has effectively barred Dr Chee from the programme. SDP Chairman Gandhi Ambalam has written to CNA asking it to remove the restrictions and allow Dr Chee to debate the PAP representative on television.


23 March 2011

Lee Siew Hoon (Ms)
Executive Editor
Channel NewsAsia
MediaCorp Pte Ltd

Dear Ms Lee,

Thank you for your invitation to speak on your televised forum.

I fail to understand why you have stipulated the conditions in your invitation which effectively rules out Dr Chee Soon Juan as a participant on your programme. Can you please explain the rationale behind your conditions? Why can’t the SDP choose our representative without any restrictions imposed?

Who we send to speak should be decided by our party and no one else. As Secretary-General of the SDP, we would like Dr Chee to represent us on your programme.

If Channel NewsAsia’s intention is to attract the largest viewership possible, surely you would want the most appropriate speakers to represent the respective parties.

I urge you to remove your conditions and allow Dr Chee to debate the PAP representative on your programme and let the viewers decide for themselves which party has the best arguments.

I await your reply. Thank you.


Gandhi Ambalam
Singapore Democratic Party

22 March 2011

Mr Gandhi Ambalam
Singapore Democratic Party
Yishun Central P.O. Box 0025
Singapore 917601

Dear Mr Gandhi,


Channel NewsAsia is producing a television forum for political parties to discuss both long and short term challenges facing Singapore. The one-hour programme will adopt a structured format with timings allotted to a moderated discussion as well as to parties to state their positions on issues.

On behalf of the channel, I cordially invite you to nominate a party representative to participate in the programme. The representative must be a CEC member and office holder in your party. In addition, he or she must be eligible to stand for the coming election. For your information, MediaCorp is extending the invitation to the PAP and four opposition parties.

The programme will be recorded in our Andrew Road studios on Tuesday, 29 March 2011 at 2pm. There will be a briefing on the conduct of the forum before the recording. Participants are requested to be in MediaCorp at 1pm. Please set aside two hours for the recording.

The forum will be telecast on 2 April 2011 at 10pm on Channel NewsAsia, with an encore telecast on MediaCorp’s Channel 5 on 4 April 2011 at 10pm.

Please submit the name of your party representative by 24 March 2011, to Mr Raj Lazar at

We look forward to a favourable reply.

Thank you.

Yours sincerely,

Lee Siew Hoon (Ms)
Executive Editor
Channel NewsAsia
MediaCorp Pte Ltd


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