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The New Paper today published the findings of a survey it conducted recently, asking younger Singaporeans which political party they found credible, or not credible as the case may be.
And surprise, surprise! Among the 10 parties surveyed, the PAP came out tops with 80 percent of the respondents saying that they found the ruling party credible. The Workers’ Party was second and the SDP third.
The New Paper asked the Singapore Democrats our views on the results of the survey. Below is Dr Chee Soon Juan’s response. (The parts in bold were used in the newspaper’s report.)
Dear Mr Tay,
There is an overarching problem about the survey which is that in any poll, its respondents must have equal access to information about the entities on which they are asked to give their views.
This is obviously not the case in Singapore as the entire media is controlled by the ruling party to give massive and sustained positive news about the PAP and minimal coverage to the opposition.
It seems that this exercise is conducted to reinforce the propaganda that the PAP is the most credible party in Singapore. When news presentation is as controlled as in this country, is it any wonder that the results are the way they are?
Online surveys show SDP as the most supported party in Singapore. One factor that contributes to this is that unlike in the traditional media, information about the SDP – and for that matter the PAP – is not censored.
In other words, if there is a free flow of information and the playing field is level, the Singapore Democrats come out on top. As it stands, the top two parties in your survey are also the ones that the media give most coverage.
On the other hand, the SDP is repeatedly excluded from television programs and newspaper reports are few and far in between even though we are the most active and constructive opposition party in Singapore. We are confident that if the traditional media are not controlled, the outcome of your survey would be vastly different.
One may argue that online surveys are not scientific and therefore lack credibility. For reasons cited above, TNP’s exercise suffers from the same problem.
Chee Soon Juan
Singapore Democratic Party