5 Oct 2005

Lobby the Singaporean Government

I have had arather good suggestion from an anonymous poster. It relates not just to Martyn See's current situation regarding the Singapore Rebel but also the Films Act in general. Rather than call for an outright removal of the Films Act it seems to be aiming for a rather happy compromise. One that appeals to the government to treat adults as adults. It may not be a compromise that keeps everyone happy but isn't that what a mature compromise entails. I haven't had much time to work out how such an endeavour could be moved forward, and it isn't up to me to decide so what do you think? Is it time that the Film Act treated Singaporean Adults as Adults?

Hi Steve,

I've been following your blog and that of others too. Firstly, I want to say that I have been on your side since I was born. Hopefully that is enuff to clear that. I am also a Singaporean. I am fearful so I am using anonymous emailing but I thought it better to convey my idea by whatever means I feel secure in (I hope) than not at all...

Now, the reason that I am writing is this. Others might have thought of what I have in mind but if so I have not encountered it. What do you think of starting a movement that will culminate in the Singapore government being lobbied to take a controlled step towards opening up by allowing the screening of films deemed politically 'sensitive' - such as Martyn's - in cinemas under the RA rating? My argument is that if people choose to see it, and if they are old (and therefore mature) enough to qualify under the RA rating, then they should be allowed to. In other words, treat politically sensitive films like adult 'sexually sensitive' films and allow adults to view them.

I hope you will expand on this idea or at least allow it to have a chance of being seeded on the websphere.

I look forward to reading about this...



Anonymous said...

Treating a politically sensitive film as a rated artistic film is not a compromise, but a mockery in my opinion.

It is very obvious the problem lies not with what has been produced or the content.

Martyn's documentary is neither pornographic, exploitiative or even controversial. It is just a snapshot of an Opposition Politician's endeavours and he is constantly being crucified by the authorities and the media.

Even if we were to compromise as has been suggested, we need to ask a very pertinent question "what do we consider a political film?"

I believe it will bring in a whole debate of issues which is merely beating around the bush and skirting the entire issue revolving censorship.

Let's cut to the chase and see what the problem is.

akikonomu said...

Correct. It's not a compromise, but a mockery.

The compromise should be this: Out of respect for the law of the land, Martyn See will not distribute or show the film in Singapore. The apparatus of state repression (aka "the police") will stop hounding him and people who have associated with him.

I'd like to know why it's deemed criminal to MAKE a party political film even if it's not shown in Singapore. Yet the authorities will not dare to say why - because it will brand them as authoritarian despots to the rest of the world.

soci said...

A mockery, of freedom of speech I agree, but I can't see the government entering into a negotiation where demands are being made before negotiations are entered into.

These important points aside. HOw could someone 'lobby' the Sg Government. How can people begin to request a change in a particular Act.

akikonomu said...

There's a Citizens' Consultative Committee at every Community Centre. Representatives of constituencies have meet-the-MP sessions (and the details are available at thrasymachus' blog). I wonder what would happen if citizens actually use these avenues to lobby the powers that be... =D

soci said...

thanks Akikonomu

I will hunt the timetable down and have it linked to here.