Improve accountability by telecasting Parliament sessions live

I applaud Mr Leon Perera for his apology in Parliament, but actions should be taken to prevent similar incidences (Parliament: WP's Leon Perera apologises, withdraws statements on Mediacorp's editing of parliamentary footage; ST Online, Jan 8).

With the resurgence of fake news, there is a possibility of Parliament being manipulated by outside forces or parliamentarians using unreliable information.

Parliament has utmost authority in Singapore and any manipulation could be harmful for the country.

Steps need to be taken to prevent Parliament from being misled. This could involve increasing the accountability of parliamentarians, which can be done through live telecasting of parliamentary proceedings.

A trial of this should be done.

Live telecasts would allow Singaporeans access to Parliament, hence putting public pressure on parliamentarians to be accountable, for instance, sticking to statements made by them in and out of Parliament, or being cognisant of the details of any cases they bring up.

Live telecasts would also prevent any further questions on the neutrality of parliamentary reports.

As Singapore's democracy evolves, new measures must be taken to deter those who wish to manipulate Parliament.

Parliament must evolve as well, or face further problems in the future.

Christopher Burchell-Davies

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 09, 2018, with the headline 'Improve accountability by telecasting Parliament sessions live'. Print Edition | Subscribe