The Singapore Democrats have launched RadioSDP, the first political podcast in Singapore (see announcement on the Home page). SDP secretary-general Chee Soon Juan has given the inaugural address, in which he highlighted the Party's manifesto as well as raise issues regarding transparency and accountability (or the lack of it), NKF, ministers' pay, minimum wage, foreign talent, etc.
The somewhat outdated lead-in music and awkward intro (reminds me strangely of one the Perfect 10 DJs) notwithstanding, CSJ sounds ernest and speaks in a controlled tone, articulating clearly what he and his party stand for.
Regardless of what Singaporeans think of him and the SDP, the significance of this event is that finally he has a chance to speak freely via the Internet, which means on his own terms, without bias or interference from government-controlled voiceboxes that have political vendettas to silence him.
Perhaps its too early to see whether the podcast will have any significant effect on changing the political climate, but maybe it's a first step toward getting more heartlanders (gosh I hate that word) to be more aware of the reason why they keep feeling a distinct pain in their rectal area. Perhaps someone had been prodding them there for far too long.
I remember around 2 years ago I was back home on a short visit and was waiting at the City Hall MRT station for some friends when one of them told me that JBJ was selling his books just outside the station. I went there and bought a book, he autographed it, and I shook his hand. It was an honour to shake the hand of one of the few Singaporeans I admired. Already well over seventy, beaten and pumulled repeatedly to the floor, but each time climbing back with a never-say-die attitude to the ideals he believed in. And now, selling his printed word to pay off his lawsuit debts.
Now, how many Davids do you know that can stand their own against such a Goliath, bent on destroying them? But here I was, shaking the hand of one of these Davids, and his stone? The words written on the very books he sells, head still held very high.
One podcast by one podcast, one book by one book. Bit by bit, it may seem a fruitless exercise, but remember, it only takes a spark to light a raging forest fire.