By Vidhya Nair
With the general elections looming, opposition parties are gearing up their volunteer and donation drives.
Last evening, the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) launched theirs on its Facebook page, with a sarcastic yet amusing video clip, running just over 1 minute, portrayed in a similar vein as a washing powder advertisement.
In the video, a woman is shown loading clothing into a washing machine and the voice-over speaks of a brand of laundry washing powder with a logo resembling the People’s Action Party (PAP).
T-shirts with ‘stain’ marks such as the words “Accountability,” “Democracy,” “Transparency” are loaded and shown as being ubiquitously cleaned and possibly “completely removed” with this brand of washing powder.
This morning, it was reported on their Facebook page that more than 7,000 views have been captured overnight and they anticipate more views. It is unclear if these views have translated to Singapore citizens volunteering or donating to the SDP.
It is noteworthy that this approach of using humour as entertainment in politics is gaining momentum here.
Political satire has often been used around the world as a tool for ironic or sarcastic examination of the political arena and a way to publically discuss thorny issues to bring laughs, create awareness and discussion and promote activism.
The Media Development Authority, however, said it is looking into the matter when it was asked by the media if the video has contravened any provisions in the Films Act.
The Films Act bans the making, import, distribution or screening of “party political films”, but some films which meet certain criteria can be exempted.
This is the second video which the SDP has launched for this upcoming election campaign.
On 1 August, it released a one-minute video on education.
In its 2011 campaign, the SDP also put out a video which many saw as the most creative among all the parties.