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Focus, a Chinese current affairs programme which airs on Friday evenings, ran a segment on the recent revisions proposed by the Ministerial Salary Review Committee.
It mentioned that a few opposition parties released press statements to retort the recommendations. The programme then showed the websites of the Workers’ Party, the Singapore Peoples’ Party and the National Solidarity Party. Nothing on the SDP.
Even though we were the first and the only opposition party to publish a detailed study on the history, structure and rationale of the high ministerial salaries (read Ethical Salaries For A Public Centred Government), and even though we proposed concrete ways on how to resolve the problem, this programme chose to completely black out what we said.
This was not the only instance. AsiaOne also ignored the SDP’s position on the Ministerial Salary Review in its report. The Today newspaper ran a 600-word report on the opposition’s views on the subject and referred to the SDP in half-a-sentence.
The blatant censorship of things SDP has been going on for years by the Singapore Press Holdings and MediaCorps, Below are other examples:
Dr Chee Soon Juan’s Liberal International award last October was completely censored by the state media whereas Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s award of the Lincoln medal was given much prominence. (See here)
Before the 2011 general elections, Channel News Asia (CNA) repeatedly invited opposition parties to its talk shows but ignored the Singapore Democrats until we protested about our exclusion. Even then, it laid out several ridiculous conditions before we could participate. (See here)
In 2009, CNA discussed political parties using the Internet as a platform to spread their message and said nothing about the SDP even though we are the most active party online. (See here)
It is hard for Singaporeans to support a party that they don’t hear or read about. This is the PAP’s strategy: Keep the SDP out of the people’s minds.
Despite all this, however, we performed creditably in the last elections registering a 14 percent upward swing in votes – the most of any political party. We will persevere, we will press on and we will succeed.