SINGAPORE: As of Tuesday night, in a sitting that spanned two days, Singapore‘s first public parliamentary Livestream collected more than 80,000 YouTube views.
The proceedings were livestreamed on the YouTube channel of the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI).
A search on YouTube for the Monday session at 11.45pm on Tuesday showed more than 50,700 views on the stream with English interpretation and about 15,500 views on the regular stream; the Tuesday session had almost 9,000 views on the stream with English interpretation and about 7,700 views on the regular stream.
Minister of Communications and Media S Iswaran said at Parliament’s September sitting that the Government had decided “in principle” to live-stream parliamentary sessions.
This came after numerous demands for the government to openly broadcast parliamentary proceedings from many members of Parliament and members of the public.
In Parliament on Monday, Mr Iswaran said that the government had decided to livestream parliamentary proceedings “in view of the global and technological trends that have made online streaming more feasible and allowed legislatures around the world to livestream their proceedings.”
He replied to a query on the topic and how to minimize the effect livestreaming might have on the content and tone of debates by MacPherson MP Tin Pei Ling.
He added that “the full benefits of transparency, accountability and accessibility” have also been offered by other means of viewing parliamentary proceedings, including participation in person, online video clips, and written Hansard records (which are also accessible online).
Mr. Iswaran said that the duty lies with all MPs, present and future, to “uphold the highest standards of conduct and decorum” on how live streaming will influence the tone of parliamentary debates.
Mr. Iswaran posted a link to the Livestream on MCI’s YouTube page in a Facebook post on Tuesday afternoon and noted the other ways for Singaporeans to access parliamentary proceedings.
“No matter what the changes, we must always preserve the dignity and integrity of Parliament as a forum for serious debate on national issues,” he said