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The Singapore Democrats have launched RadioSDP, the first political podcast in Singapore (see announcement on the Home page). SDP secretary-general Chee Soon Juan has given the inaugural address, in which he highlighted the Party’s manifesto as well as raise issues regarding transparency and accountability (or the lack of it), NKF, ministers’ pay, minimum wage, foreign talent, etc.
The podcast is a way for the Party to by-pass the state-controlled media in Singapore. Airwaves in the country are monopolised, cable television is owned by a government-linked company, satellite dishes are banned, and the press is controlled by the ruling party. The Internet remains a medium that the Government finds it hard to censor, although it has enacted many laws aimed at curtailing the use of the Internet for political purposes.
RadioSDP will webcast speeches of its leaders, analysis of political developments, interviews of dissidents living in exile, and at a later time, feature call-in programmes for citizens.
The new feature will help in the Democrat’s communication of its messages to Singaporeans. Where necessary or feasible, the messages will be podcast in the four main languages of English, Chinese, Malay, and Tamil. We encourage Internet users to play the podcasts to the older generation of Singaporeans such as your parents and grandparents who may not have the necessary computer and literacy skills to read our website. Dr Chee’s address will be translated in the four languages in due course.
While this will change the way political messages are communicated to the people it remains, however, a tool with limitations when compared to mass media. Nevertheless, the SDP would like to encourage Singaporeans to use Internet podcasting to breach the control of the media by the PAP Government.