作者:雷风雨 5:14pm 01/04/2011
回应: 被剪鸡鸡的媒体Pt 2 作者: 雷风雨 6:28pm 27/03/2011
My point is that even though the SDP had brought out unprecedented policy documents, both SPH and MediaCorp have refused, despite calls from this website to do so, to carry detailed analyses of our proposals.
All this seemed to change when we were invited to CNA's programme. However, all was not as it seemed with the forum.
First, as has been reported on this website, the host insisted that all participants should fulfill three criteria: they should be a member of their party’s Central Executive Committee (CEC) and an office-bearer, and eligible to stand for election.
Its justification was that it wanted participants who had a stake in the coming elections, an unstable line of reasoning since all members of political parties have a stake in elections: the winning of seats in Parliament is one of the key tasks of a political party.
No doubt, the criteria set by CNA were designed to keep from participating in the programme the SDP’s Secretary-General, Dr Chee Soon Juan, by far its most eloquent and compelling advocate.
However, the SDP complied with CNA’s criteria and appointed me to represent the party, and I considered it an honour to address my fellow citizens on what the SDP is able to offer the nation.
Prior to recording on Caldecott Hill, I asked the CNA executives if both the PAP participants (yes, the PAP was allocated two places, the opposition parties only one each) met the criteria set by CNA and I was assured that they did.
The PAP’s representatives were Josephine Teo, MP, and Finance Minister, Tharman Shanmugaratnam. It is curious that while other forums have included rank and file PAP MPs, this forum, the first to feature the SDP, caused it to send a cabinet minister.
No matter. Having led on the SDP’s Shadow Budget, I was eager to debate Minister Tharman, a call that many netizens have made since our Shadow Budget was published.
I had asked CNA for the names of the other participants; this information was not given to me. So, I only found out who the PAP reps were on the day. The following day, I checked up the PAP website and found that Josephine Teo meets only 33% of CNA’s criteria, ie she is eligible to stand for elections. She is neither a CEC member nor an office-bearer within it.
I telephoned the same CNA executive who had refused to give me the names of the other participants and was first told that Ms Teo was an MP. I reminded my interlocutor that this met only one of the criteria.
I was then told that the criteria only applied to the opposition participants. I reminded her that this was not made known in advance and reminded her also of her reluctance to reveal the names of the other participants. Clearly, they did not wish me to query Ms Teo’s inclusion in the programme, since she did not meet the criteria.
The executive had no further defenses to offer and therefore I was unable to come to any other conclusion than that the criteria were only to apply to the non-PAP participants, and more so that the SDP’s Secretary-General, whom the PAP is so fearful of, should be kept out of the programme.
To me, quite apart from the unpleasantness of dealing with CNA’s perfidy, this reluctance to engage with the SDP except under highly controlled conditions designed to give the upper hand to the governing party, is a sign not of our limitations but precisely a sign of our credibility and the strength of our arguments.
The PAP’s desire to keep the SDP out of the public domain, through its control of the mainstream media, is evidence precisely of its failures and its insecurity. This is a party running scared.