PM Lee Hsien Loong, product placement and New Media at the National Day Rally 2008

New media featured in a pretty big way at the recent National Day rally.

PM Lee Hsien Loong, in his National Day Rally 2008, amongst other things, highlighted the need to use new media and to use it meaningfully and responsibly.

He talked about the need to prepare our people to cope with and manage the use of new media. He also highlighted the websites of McCain and Obama. In an earlier post, I talked about how Obama was winning the Facebook war! If Facebook popularity is anything to go by, Obama would win the US Presidential election! When you do a simple Google search, you will see a long list of websites and blogs devoted to the charismatic contender.

During the rally, he also demonstrated use of new media when he used his Nokia phone (product placement!!) to do a video capture and live video streaming to the Prime Minister’s Office website.

There’s a Channel News Asia website for the National Day Rally 2008 and you can get the whole speech and even watch the video!

The pdf documents of the relevant parts on new media are provided here for further ruminations:

ndr2008_part5-new-media1

ndr2008_part6-easing-rules

I think that it’s a good move to take a more liberal attitude towards the use of new media. Actually, when you think of it, you can’t really control it, can you?

PM Lee also mentioned that new media is a good way to reach out to the citizens, and that political videos and campaign material would be allowed in the next General Elections, unlike in the past GE when these were banned. Howeve, of course, there would need for some safeguards.

Also, new media has been used increasingly by government bodies to connect with the masses. For example, the feedback unit, Reach, is getting more feedback ever since using new media on its website. Already, netizens were engaging the MPs in a webchat on the Rally issues!

Of course, there would be need to handle these and manage the use of new media responsibly, and I do hope that Singaporeans and the local blogosphere is mature enough to handle it. What do you think?

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