Singapore lifts ban on film about opposition politician

September 12, 2009
Singapore Democrats

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Singapore on Friday lifted a ban on a film about a local opposition politician under revised guidelines introduced earlier in March this year.

The Media Development Authority (MDA) announced the lifting of the ban on Singapore Rebel on its website, saying the documentary no longer violates the revised Films Act. (Watch video here)

Previously, the 26-minute documentary about opposition politician Chee Soon Juan was banned because under the old guidelines, it was classified as a “party political film.”

Before the amendments were introduced this year, the Films Act prohibited the making and distribution of films containing partisan political references or comments.

Under the amended Films Act, the documentary “should therefore not be regarded as a party political film,” the MDA said in a statement posted on its website.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said last year the government accepted that its policies must evolve to remain relevant in the current media landscape in which Internet use has become more widespread.

Singapore has often been criticised by human rights and media groups for maintaining strict political controls despite its rapid modernisation but the government says the strict laws are necessary to maintain law and order — a pillar of the country’s economic prosperity.

: Readers should note that the unbanning of the Singapore Rebel is not a change of heart of the PAP. The New Media has completely overtaken the Government’s ability to censor information on the Internet. The ruling party has had no choice but to play catch up.

Read also Martyn See’s Ban on “Singapore Rebel” lifted, rated M18