NETIZENS in Singapore have launched a petition to initiate a live video feed of parliamentary sessions to see their highly-paid representatives “do their jobs” amid growing demand for greater transparency and accountability in the tiny rich nation.
The online petition created on Change.org, was launched recently in wake of Senior Minister of State for Health and Communications and Information Chee Hong Tat’s remark last week that “the reason why we (Parliament) don’t have a live feed is because this is not in great demand”, Singapore’s The Independent reported.
The petition was set up by netizen Chee Hong Lau, who plans to deliver it to parliament and Leon Perera, the Non-Constituency Member of Parliament (NCMP) of the opposition Worker’s Party who proposed the live feed of the sessions in the House last week.
At press time, the petition garnered over 150 signatories in four days since it went live, which is 50 short of the 200 target.
Responding to Chee’s remark, the petition said: “The current CNA microsite for parliament video archive is simply not good enough. Videos fail to load or load too slowly for anyone to even watch.”
“Speeches are cut off and we can’t see the entire context at all. Live feeds usually results in error and many other issues plague the microsite. It is therefore imperative for the Parliament of Singapore to look into alternative hosting providers such as Youtube Live to broadcast their proceedings live.”
The statement on the petition went to to say that: “Broadcasting on Youtube Live is free and comes with little cost since Youtube [does] not charge their broadcasters fees.”
A netizen who goes by the name Lin Yihui Sharon said it’s important for the government to be transparent and accountable to the people.
“It is important to see the participatory performance of million-dollar salaries ministers doing their job.”
Another signatory of the petition, Leelavathi Singaram, said transparency was badly needed in the country’s governance.
Meanwhile, Singaporean netizen David Ong slammed the minister’s remark.
“We are living in 21st century now? Still can afford live telecast for our parliamentary debate? What was ‘no demand’ our minister was referring to as we are not talking about buying and selling here? Really rubbish reply indeed.”