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Honorary Secretary of the Young Democrats Mr Jarrod Luo and human rights activist and computer programmer Mr Chong Kai Xiong recently attended a workshop in Hong Kong to learn more about communicating and campaigning through the Internet.
Entitled “Strengthening Political Communication and Campaigns: Asian Democracies in the Age of Web 2.0” the workshop was organised by the Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats (CALD).
Participants from twelve countries representing CALD member parties (of which the Singapore Democrats is one) and partners attended the event, including the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI), a foundation affiliated to the Democratic Party in the US.
The workshop, co-organised by the Democratic Party of Hong Kong (DPHK) and sponsored by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation from Germany, focused on emerging technologies thrown up by the Internet and how CALD member parties can employ these technologies in shaping political communication and campaign strategies.
Both Mr Luo and Mr Chong spoke about the SDP’s extensive use of Internet tools to communicate with the wider public. This is necessary given the control of the mass media by the Government.
“I found the presentations very informative,” Mr Luo said. “The discussions with other participants from the other parties gave us a better picture about how the struggle for democracy in the region is still going on strongly.”
He added that the Taiwanese and Hong Kongers are also relying extensively on the Internet to boost their campaigning efforts.
The Young Democrats play an important role in the SDP’s effort in capitalising on the Internet to communicate with Singaporeans. With new blood comes new ideas and new skills. All these help the party to enhance its communications capability.
Online communication by itself is insufficient. It will be complemented by the more traditional means of walking hawker centres and going on house-to-house visits to selling our newspaper, The New Democrat.