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Singapore passed an amended law on Monday to ease an 11-year-old ban on films that promote a politician or political party, but the amendments also introduce restrictions on dramatized political videos.
The relaxation of rules on political films was meant to keep up with the spread of video and other news content on the Internet, but these had to be “held in accordance with the law,” Lui Tuck Yew, a junior minister at the Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts, told parliament.
“Films with animation and dramatization and distort what is real or factual will be disallowed, as the intent of the amendments is to ensure that these films do not undermine the seriousness of political debate,” he said.
The southeast Asian city-state, which has been ruled by the People’s Action Party for more than 40 years, had banned the production and screening of all political films, imposing a maximum fine of S$100,000 ($73,000) or a two-year jail term on offenders.
Nominated member of parliament Siew Kum Hong, who opposed the bill, said the amendments did not go far enough as it would still allow the prosecution of people who film political rallies without realizing whether the event was lawful or not.
Read filmaker Martyn See’s analysis of the “easing” of the Act here.