You Democrats need to be transparent

July 31, 2004
Singapore Democrats

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31 July 2004

Hi,
I read the exchange between your organisation and “Democrat” and want to point out that while you mentioned the Government’s control on the production of political videos, you had inadvertently or otherwise overlooked his suggestion to improve the integrity of your website.

Your lack of proper response to him/her seems too much of a propaganda when certain simple issues raised are conveniently ignored.
Unless you are prepared to be more transparent, the credibility of your party remains questionable.

While alternative parties like yours may be very much desired, it may remain undesired due to the lack of willingness to respond to EVERY SINGLE ISSUE raised especially about your organisation’s weaknesses.
Also, if your organisation is indeed willing to allow posters to scream, shout or curse your party or the PAPees, why do you need to compel posters to write via email??

Why do you choose which letters can be posted? Are only those in Singapore Democrat’s favour posted? Don’t you think you are no better than the Straits Times and the PAPees??

It may be hard to swallow the views in this email but it’s up to you to change your image because like many others who are politically concerned, I hope you have the courage and will have to prove that the your sincerity is as clean as a white bedsheet. Having such integrity does not mean that a person’s past failure need to be stuck as a stigma but rather, to come clean and acknowledge the fact that while no one is good except GOD, one can repent for the better as a result of past failures.

TOLIM

SDP: Dear Tolim,

If you care to read some of the letters in this column you will note that the Singapore Democrats do not post only letters that are complimentary of us. The fact that your message appears should clear up any lingering doubts.

Perhaps the reason for your impression is the numerous letters supportive of the SDP. This is a reflection of the unhappiness of Singaporeans with the PAP and its oppression of this country, not the selectivity of the this website.

We may not respond to every criticism leveled at us. It doesnt mean, however, that we dont take note of it. Criticisms, especially those about how we can improve our website, are welcomed not repelled.

You are right that we dont have a forum where readers are allowed to post any message they want. The reason is simple. If a poster puts up a message that is libelous of the PAP, he or she can remain anonymous and therefore cannot be held responsible. It is the SDP that will have to answer to the ensuing defamation law suits. Given the litigation-happy nature of the PAP, dont you think it would be political suicide for the Singapore Democrats to allow a free-for-all type of chatsite?

It is interesting that you compare the SDP with the Straits Times. The latter is supposed to be a national newspaper, not the party organ of the PAP (although the Singapore Press Holdings does a commendable job in making sure we cant tell the difference).

The publicly funded Straits Times has an obligation to inform the public. In other words, its job is to report fairly the views of both the government and opposition. The SDP, on the other hand, is a political party whose job is to persuade voters that its policies are the best for the country. The fact that such a comparison is even attempted speaks volumes of the ailing political system of our country.

No, youre views are not hard to swallow. We welcome criticisms and encourage open debate, which are fundamental to transparency and accountability values that we have consistently and continually called for in our political system. Your indignation is better directed at the PAP. And if you do write a letter to the ruling party as firm as the one above, please send it to us. Wed be happy to post it.