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Singapore government agrees 'in principle' to live streaming of Parliament

THE Singapore government has agreed "in principle" to the live streaming of parliamentary proceedings, Communications and Information Minister S Iswaran said on Friday.

"We also note the global and technological trends, which have made online streaming commonplace and seen legislatures live streaming their proceedings in many countries," Mr Iswaran said during the debate on Motion of Thanks in Parliament.

His ministry will study the technical and implementation details with details to be announced later, the minister said.

"Our aim, as always, will be to achieve transparency, accountability and accessibility while preserving the integrity and dignity of parliamentary proceedings," he said.

The decision comes even as the government continues to hold reservations about it, he noted.

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While there have been several calls in the past for proceedings to be streamed live, Mr Iswaran said the government had been reluctant for both "practical and policy reasons".

Demand for such live broadcasts, even of major speeches is low at about 10 per cent that of free-to-air television news, he said.

At the same time, Parliament is a forum for serious debate on national issues and members should not play to the gallery, he said, adding that live broadcasts risk compromising this.

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