“People who are content don’t have time to go online, those who are unhappy will complain online,” said Mr Lee in Mandarin, as reported in The Business Times. “I am not saying all contrarian views are complaints, but this seems to be a worldwide trend. Therefore, we need to understand these views, and interpret it objectively,” he said.

He was responding to a question during the forum session about what the government thinks of views that it is disconnected from the people.

“So the government must do its work,” he continued. “We can’t always be looking to see if the internet approves or disapproves… but after doing our work, we must try our best to communicate with people and let people understand what we are doing.”

“We can’t wish for new media not to exist, but we can try our best to use it,” he added.

He also said during his keynote speech that Singapore’s online space must fight against trolling, as it deters serious readers from participating in debate and ruins the overall atmosphere in cyberspace.

It is not about whether people agree or disagree online, he continued, but that it is “totally unacceptable” for discussion and debate to degenerate into abuse and hate-mongering.

“We must fight back against trolling, and provide a safe, responsible online environment which promotes constructive participation,” he said.

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