Parliamentary debate on allowing freedom of information in Singapore

Source: The Online Citizen

A few MPs in Parliament raised the issue of having a freedom of information system in Singapore, to allow a better parity of information between the public and the government, in light of the new law, Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act where one can be ordered to correct or takedown an online posting by any Ministers who deem the post to be false, misleading wholly or partially. 

Minister of Home Affairs and Law, K Shanmugam used examples of ridiculous requests from public about various expenses of the governments to argue against the need for such a practice and how various Ministers and civil servants have said such practice have made their life difficult, saying that the best place for the information to be retrieve is via the parliament where MPs can ask for the information from the Ministers. 

Workers’ Party chief and MP for Aljunied GRC, Pritam Singh disagreed and shared his personal experience in India where he saw for himself on how the public used the access to information on important issues and in the process, improve the process of democracy. He also noted that it is through such information sharing that the United Kingdom parliamentary expenses scandal was revealed.

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