For the first time in history, Parliament has started livestreaming parliament sittings.
Member of Parliament Tin Pei Ling asked during today's Parliament sitting (January 4) if the livestream can be "implemented in a way that can address previous concerns about the its potential impact on the quality and tone of debates.
Last year, the government had agreed in-principle to the livestreaming of parliamentary proceedings to deepen engagement with Singaporeans.
However, Minister for Communications and Information S Iswaran said that there were reservations about possible drawbacks such as low demand for live broadcasts and that the tone of parliamentary debate should be sober (e.g. not an opportunity for parliamentarians to play to the gallery).
Responding to Tin, Iswaran said "we must preserve the integrity and dignity of Parliament as a forum for serious debate on national issues" while seeking deeper engagement with citizens.
"Ultimately, the responsibility rests with all Members of this House, present and future, who must continue to uphold the highest standards of conduct and decorum, as we engage in the cut and thrust of parliamentary debate."
Leader of the Opposition Pritam Singh previously responded that if Parliament is turned into "theatre", the public will be fairly quick to conclude who is there to put on theatrics and who is there to be serious about discussions.
Top images via Parliament.