Singapore to lift ban on party political films

January 9, 2009
Singapore Democrats

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Xinhua News

The Singapore government will amend the current Films Act to allow for certain types of party political films in the country, local media reported on Friday.

According to Channealnewsasia’s report, the Singapore government agreed with the Advisory Council on the Impact of New Media Society that it should take a phased approach to liberalizing the Films Act, which means that political parties and their candidates will be able to use films for internet election advertising during an election.

Communications and the Arts Minister Lee Boon Yang said Friday morning that the government will move to amend the Films Act in the next month or two.

Party political films will have to be factual and objective and not dramatize or present a distorted picture. The government will set up an independent advisory panel to determine whether films are party political films and if they can be aired, the report said.

The controversial Section 33 of the Films Act makes it an offense to make, possess, distribute, reproduce or exhibit a “party political film” in Singapore. The penalty is a fine of up to100,000 Singapore dollars (about 67,500 U.S. dollars) or a jail term of up to 2 years.