17 Nov 2011, 11.14AM
The first sitting of the 12th Parliament last month certainly attracted much public attention, with many Singaporeans intently following the various Parliamentary speeches on TV, online, as well as in the newspapers. Amidst this, some wondered why the proceedings were not telecast in their entirety on TV or published in full in the papers. REACH also received feedback on this, with some enquiring whether video clips of the MPs’ speeches can be made available online.
Similar sentiments were expressed on the Straits Times Forum. Here, we bring you the replies from the Clerk of Parliament and MediaCorp to one such letter sent to the Straits Times Forum, to close the loop with contributors.
Reply from Clerk of Parliament
We thank Mr Lee Seck Kay for his suggestion ('Parliamentary proceedings should be broadcast in full' on 9 Nov 2011). The public is free to attend Parliament sittings, for which Parliament has made provision for some 240 seats in the public gallery.
Live telecasts are provided for significant parliamentary business such as the annual Budget statement, the President's Address at the opening of Parliament and important ministerial statements.
For its TV and online coverage use, MediaCorp has the full video footage of each sitting and the extent of news coverage is a media decision.
Videos of entire speeches made by Members of Parliament can now be viewed online at MediaCorp's Channel NewsAsia website (channelnewsasia.com).
For verbatim records of these speeches, the Singapore Parliament Reports are published on our website (parliament.gov.sg) and LawNet (lawnet.com.sg) within a week after the end of proceedings.
We regularly review the feasibility of other avenues to raise public awareness of parliamentary proceedings and will take Mr Lee's feedback into consideration.
Ng Sheau Jiuan (Ms)
Clerk of Parliament
Reply from Mediacorp
We thank Mr Lee Seck Kay for his letter on 9 Nov 2011 ('Parliamentary proceedings should be broadcast in full').
Video clips of all the speeches made at last month's first sitting of the new Parliament have been uploaded and can be viewed online at url: channelnewsasia.com/parliament.
Each time Parliament sits, the news reports of the debates aim to inform our viewers of the key points that make the news for the day.
Separately, we produce the In Parliament programmes, which provide longer versions of the thrust of discussions in the House. These serve different quarters of viewers who want only the day's highlights.
For others like Mr Lee, who may prefer to view the speeches in their entirety and at times that are convenient for them, they can log in to watch the video clips on channelnewsasia.com after they have been uploaded.
Han Chuan Quee (Ms)
Vice-President, Corporate Services