PAP Senior Minister of State Chee Hong Tat has crossed swords with WP Non-Constituency Member of Parliament (NCMP) Leon Perera once again.
The same ruling party MP had tried to cast aspersions that Perera is motivated by commercial interests just three days ago, on Tuesday, when he postulated that Perera’s remarks in Parliament over amendments to a tobacco bill were motivated by considerations of financial gain.
“In a Facebook post yesterday, Chee took issue with Perera’s alleged allegations that Mediacorp edits footage of parliamentary exchanges in a partisan manner. He said:
“On Tuesday’s Parliament Sitting (Nov 7), Mr Leon Perera alleged that Mediacorp had edited a video from the debate on the Presidential Elections (Amendment) Bill in Feb this year, with “certain bits removed”. He claimed that after his intervention, MediaCorp “made a rectification and put up a different clip”.
“He was clearly implying that MediaCorp had edited Parliamentary footages in a partisan manner.
“This was a serious accusation. But it was false, and unfair to MediaCorp who work very hard to prepare footages after every Parliament Sitting.
“I raised this with Mr Perera in Parliament on Tuesday. Confronted, he was forced to acknowledge the following facts:
(a) On 20 Feb 2017, Mr Perera emailed MediaCorp to ask why a particular video clip had been truncated.
(b) MediaCorp replied to him on the same day, explaining that a technical glitch had affected the recording, and that it had been rectified and the full clip made available online on 18 Feb – TWO days before Mr Perera’s email query.
“So Mr Perera had known this for several months. Yet when I asked him, he at first repeated the false claim. He said, “as a result of that exchange I had with MediaCorp, they removed the video with the truncations and then they uploaded a new video without the truncations”.
“I had to reiterate the facts and remind him what actually happened, before he grudgingly conceded the point.
“It is surprising that Mr Perera remembered the original ‘editing’ and that he had asked MediaCorp, but ‘forgot’ that MediaCorp told him it was an error which had already been rectified.
“It is part of debate to criticize and present different views. But it is unethical and wrong to tell untruths to score political points. This is not what Singaporeans want to see in Parliament.”
Perera responded with a snappy statement online that he did not state that “the footage he referred to had been edited in a partisan manner,” contrary to the junior minister’s claims:
“I refer to today’s Facebook post by SMS Chee Hong Tat on our exchange on Parliamentary video footage. I did not state that the footage he referred to had been edited in a partisan manner. My PQ and SQs had asked about the ownership of the Copyright to Parliamentary video footage and why Parliamentary video live feed cannot be made available as it is in many other countries.”