Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said the following, as quoted in the Straits Times’ article titled “Leading and lightening up in the YouTube age”:
If a newspaper report is wrong, readers can write in to refute it or the newspapers can carry another report to clarify matters.
The newspaper readership is rather fixed, but it is difficult to identify readers or surfers online. How do you find them to clarify the truth? There is no way to do this. This is a problem.
Another problem has to do with the nature of certain new media.
For example, YouTube clips and political advertisements are very similar. Political advertisements cost a lot of money, including production, buying airtime on TV or print advertisements.
Singapore politics will turn bad if political campaigning costs a lot of money.
From a narrow perspective, if political parties have to produce advertisements, the PAP will have an edge because we have the resources to do so.
However, from a broader, national perspective, it is not a good thing. This is because many people will be willing to donate money to parties that need money, but political donations are never unconditional.
You win the election and after you come into power, the donors will politely ‘seek payment for debts’. What do you do for such debts of gratitude?
Do you agree with the prime minister?