Popular television personality Arvind Naidu hosted a recent video by the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) on the recently-passed Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA).
Mr Arvind is a prominent local actor who has appeared on popular Mediacorp television dramas like Nijangal, Vettai 3: The Final Judgment, and Masala. He is perhaps one of the most well-known actors and show hosts on local Tamil channel Vasantham in recent years and has a strong following in the Indian community in Singapore.
Recently, Mr Arvind hosted a web video that was produced by the SDP’s youth wing, the Young Democrats. In the video, Mr Arvind interviews SDP members Shawal Yeo and Joyce Tan and shared his own thoughts on the anti-fake news law.
The video was shared on SDP’s official Facebook and YouTube pages. SDP secretary-general Dr Chee Soon Juan also shared the video on his personal Facebook page.
It is certainly rare for actors or members of the local media industry to partner with an opposition party in the manner that Mr Arvind did. Some media personalities may fear being blacklisted when they associate with opposition parties – especially a notable party like the SDP.
The Independent reached out to Mr Arvind and asked him how he is affiliated with the party and what made him willing to play a part in the production since actors generally tend to stay away from associating with opposition parties.
Mr Arvind responded and clarified that he is not affiliated with the party but admires Dr Chee. Revealing that he wishes to understand politics better even though he is not involved in politics, he said:
“I am not affiliated with the party but I have admired Dr Chee’s perseverance up till today. I am not into politics but I do want to understand it more as knowledge is power.
“It was one of my requirements when I was asked to host this online show as it has to be NOT a confrontation of any sort but more of education for those who want to understand what’s happening.
“I present myself as a host as well as a voice for the questions I have within me. My good friend is also one of the young Democrats and of course I would support his ventures.”
Mr Arvind added that he is not considered a Mediacorp artiste and that he is a freelance performing artiste who is grateful to have worked in Mediacorp shows. He added:
“Personally I am pursuing my dreams of Directing/Acting and Writing. I am at the stage of making a better version of myself and working towards achieving my goals and dreams. The honest truth is, that is my primary focus.
“I am not considered a Media Corp Artiste. I am a freelance performing artiste that have done shows done by Media Corp which I am very grateful for.
“I am game for anything that involves learning as I believe that’s the future and that’s progress. That’s how I feel currently but with time things may change. Change is the only constant.”
Watch the SDP video in full here: