Singapore — The Workers’ Party (WP) noted on its social media accounts on Tuesday (Jan 5) that it has advocated the live-streaming of parliamentary sittings for the past several years, and vowed to continue to push for more transparency and accountability in Government.
The Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) announced on Monday (Jan 4) that proceedings would be live-streamed for the first time via its YouTube channel.
The WP noted its history of having advocated live-streaming sessions in Parliament, beginning from 2015.
“WP’s persistent call to live-stream Parliament.
September 2015: WP proposes the live broadcast of parliamentary sittings in its GE 2015 manifesto
March 2017: Pritam Singh calls for ‘live’ and open parliamentary platform as key remedy against fake news
May 2020: Leon Perera argues for the right of the public to see live-stream of Parliament
July 2020: WP reiterates proposal for the live broadcasting of parliamentary sittings in its GE2020 manifesto
September 2020: Faisal Manap responds to MCI’s claim that live broadcasts risk turning Parliament into ‘a form of theatre’.”
“The public should to be able to view parliamentary proceedings live without any time lag,” the WP added. The party called for dedicated channels over the Internet and television for this very purpose, with live translation in English.
In 2017, during the Budget Debate, now WP head and Leader of the Opposition Pritam Singh said that because “Parliament is an important and central platform for information dissemination” an open parliamentary platform would be able to help Singaporeans to be informed so that they can fight fake news.
In May last year, the WP’s Leon Perera, who was then a Non-Constituency Member of Parliament, called consistent live-streaming of sittings “a good thing for our democracy and our society” as it would whet “public appetite for participating in the parliamentary process by providing feedback to MPs, by participating in public debate on issues that are close to their hearts”.
And last September, during the Debate on the President’s Address, WP MP Faisal Manap (Aljunied GRC) told Parliament that MPs who would want “to put on a performance will still showcase their acting … because they know that they can still be watched through recording clips over social media channels.
“Members of this House should realise that whatever qualities they display … will have an impact on the public.” /TISG
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