S’pore Election: Airtime for the opposition

For the first time since 1988, five of Singapore’s main political parties have taken part in a pre-election television forum, organised by Channel NewsAsia, in the run up to the General Election due by February next year.

The hour-long programme, in English, which will be broadcast unedited, is titled “A political forum on Singapore’s future”.

It brings together representatives from the People’s Action Party, the Singapore People’s Party, the Workers’ Party, the Singapore Democratic Alliance and the Singapore Democratic Party.

It is the first such programme to be recorded since 1988 and adopted a structured format with allotted times for representatives to present their party’s position and perspectives, the news channel reported.

Opposition members are given half the air time during the structured segments, and the ruling PAP given the other half.

There will also be a discussion segment, where participants freely argue and articulated their views to give voters an insight into their thinking.

Executive Producer, Lee Siew Hoon, was quoted as saying that they have decided on this hybrid approach of a structured deliberation and discussion.

“We think (this) works better for our viewers, and they will find it easier to understand the respective party’s position on how they see Singapore’s future.

“This ultimately is a platform to allow voters to hear views of the respective parties and an opportunity to hear from some candidates standing in the coming general election who want to represent them in parliament.”

The programme will be broadcast on Channel News Asia on Saturday at 10pm.