Different online reactions to PAP, opposition

The People’s Action Party (PAP) and opposition parties attract different views online even when they tend to deliver the same message.

This was pointed out by Minister of State for Trade and Industry Teo Ser Luck who was one of four panelists invited to a discussion on the strategic engagement of new media on Wednesday.

Highlighting a few examples, he said that a Facebook post by a member of an opposition party garnered “a lot of likes and hero worshipping” but a similar message by a member of the ruling party would result in criticism.

Such instances, he said, came down to how different groups of supporters view the PAP in a different light, with some looking at the party more than the individual, reported Today.

However, the negative feedback could also be a reflection of feelings on the ground as some policies could have adverse effects on Singaporeans, he said.

And despite a recent survey by the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) saying the May General Election was not an “Internet election”, Teo acknowledged that social media and new media had played a role in the results of the contest.

Politicians, he added, have to be prepared and receptive to “different, unexpected trend of behavior” when using social media as one cannot expect all “positives”.

Using his personal experience, Teo said there are detractors who doubt it is even him posting comments on Facebook because it is not in line with the government’s stance. But he emphasised the need to remain genuine and said he will try to implement good suggestions he receives to encourage constructive discussions.

Even with the government now learning to utilise new media effectively, Teo believes it is important to balance it with traditional media such as newspapers to tap into different communities.

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