Last night (16 May 2005) between 2100 to 2220 hrs, the police interview took place on the 3rd level of the Cantonment Police Complex. The mood was relaxed and cordial. ASP Chan Peng Khuang asked some 50 questions, mostly pertaining to the making of Singapore Rebel such as
- Who conceptualised it? Who produced it? Who shot it? Who edited it? Who funded it? How much was spent? What was the objective of the film? Who else was involved in the production? What camera was used? Who shot the Istana arrest scene? How long did I take to make it?
There were also questions pertaining to the distribution of the film such as
- Who did you give copies to? Who put up the film on the internet? Are you still in possession of any copies?
Qustions pertaining to Chee Soon Juan and partisan politics were few such as
- Is Dr Chee a personal friend of yours? Where did you film the interviews? How did you appraoch Dr Chee to make the appointment? Are you a member of any political party in Singapore? Where did you film Mr JB Jeyaratnam?
Questions about this blog were also asked such as
- When did I start this blog? What is the purpose of this blog?
Other questions include
- What is your highest academic qualification? How much do you earn per month? Do you contribute to CPF? Do you own a computer? Do you have a production house?
More importantly, I was finally informed of the reason for this police investigation.
ASP Chan : "I'm informing you that the MDA (Media Development Authority) has on April 11 lodged a police report alleging that Singapore Rebel is a party political film. Do you have anyhing to say to that?"
At the end of the interview, I asked what is going to happen from here on. He replied that investigations will continue and that I may be asked to go for another interview. When asked if the police would raid my house to confiscate my tapes, he said investigations will go on.
Regarding raiding your house and confiscating stuff, it is best you talk to a lawyer ASAP. I reckon they would need a warrant or some form of documentation. Not sure of the powers of ISD though.
The MDA? They should call themselves the Mindless Dumbass Authority. Wat a fucking joke they are. Shameless lackeys to the PAP gahmen.
The fact they can get the police to interview you for a film that contains:
1. Mostly real footage.
2. No Sex.
3. No Violence.
4. No vulgar language.
shows how backward a country Singapore is when it comes to human freedom. Singapore is a backward country. It has all these buildings with nice exterior but the people's minds still need to be told what to think, what to say and what to believe. A human being born to such a society will possess no wisdom, no creativity, no passion to do good and no drive.
Such a society will fall further and further behind. I may have nice buildings, world class concert halls, world clas this and that...but it will never have a HEART and SOUL. Many don't even feel for the place and have migrated...given the type of govt here, I don't blame them.
I wish you all the best but I am sure it will not be easy for you.
You should be prepared for the worse, but do publish it under public domain.
I have been married to a Singaporean woman for almost 20 years and we have lived many years inside Singapore. I also lived in China, the Soviet Union, Iran and Libya for some time and the system is the same in all those countries.
Last week my brother in law died in a flat at the age of 32 years.
He died of stress. His name was Mhd. Kamal Bin Dawood and he was a good muslim.
He was on the run from NS for the past 13 years. During the 13 years he was jailed for several years.
At the time he was in jail, the government deported his girl-friend
which his son (she was an Indonesian maid which count shit in Singapore).
" Ahmed is my Singapore Rebel "
Another "Singapore Rebel" is my stepson, Mohd. Eskar Bin Abdul Malek, he is currently in Changi Prison for rape.
(We have documents signed by our daughter in law that she made the rape all up but they still jail him - the reason why he is in jail is due to the fact that he doesn't like the civil defense and was on the run too)
Don't be afraid and publish it.
Singapore needs to change.
Irwan Shah Bin Abdullah @
Wolfgang Holzem and family
(outside singapore until July 1)
In addition to legal consultation on house raids and confiscation, perhaps also try to get clarification on what further qns you are obliged (or rather, NOT obliged) to answer.
I mean, how much you earn? And whether or not you have a computer? Wtf.
Also don't forget to back up all this that you're documenting on the investigations (you're probably doing that already). You know, in the *infinitesimal* chance that they make you shut down the blog - recent events notwithstanding.
Have S'poreans such short memory that they have forgotten what happened to Tang Liang Hong, JBJ and CSJ? Questions on Martyn's finances and computers are areas they will target once they decide to knock him down, not necessarily with the Film Act. The most petty and irrelevant of offences they will trump it up with the help of the media mouthpiece. Perhaps the IO is hinting to Martyn he should quickly look into keeping his house in impeccable order if you know what I mean...
This fella apparently have some useful comments to make. Now I don't know whether he/she have sent it to you (Martyn) already good if it was done so, sad if the said person have not.
This is incredibly ironic, but if the police have been ordered by our dear leaders to get you, the fact that you're innocent under the law will not protect you. So, it's difficult to advise you.
But personally, I would advise keeping calm at all times, and explaining to them that the MDA's allegations are unfounded. Your film (which I have watched, having obtained a copy from overseas sources) is no more 'party political' than all those other films on TV that focus on the PAP, the government, its achievements, etc. In particular, that CNA programme, 'Up Close' is far more 'party political' a film than Singapore Rebel, if you apply the terms of the Films Act to it.
You could tell the police to compare Singapore Rebel to all those other programmes, so that they can see for themselves that since all those other programmes do not violate the Films Act, then Singapore Rebel cannot, either.
It may be helpful for you to bring a copy of the Films Act with you to your next interview.
However, all the above advice, as I said before, is useless if the police have been ordered to take you down, no matter what.
Govt says they want mavaricks.
They want people to speak up.
They want diverse views.
They want to be more open.
Martyn See is a mavarick.
Martyn See is speaking up.
They want to hear us? No. They want us to say what they want to hear.
All the best to you. To me you are the rebel!
You started a new area for people in the film industry to debate on having a clear stand.
We need people like you to change and progress.
I have indeed not posted it to Martyn. I have no interest in posting it to Martyn either, since I have done far better than that - I have posted it online for *everyone* to read. So I do in some part resent the tone Anonymous Ted has used in his post.
My personal opinions are as they appear on my xanga website over 4 articles so far on the Film Act - 1 of them commenting on the process of law in Martyn's case.
I have nothing to add beyond that which I have already said. But let me just ask: Which parts of the Film Act empowers, identifies as the proper authority, the police to investigate if a film is a party political film?
Singaporeans are watching this develop very closely.Lets see if another grievious injustice happens.Many of us will be supporting you...
I heard about the intimidation even from outside Singapore and it is shocking how a simple film can be banned. Fortunately for Singaporians and democracy, Dr Chee Soon Juan has motivated people like you to be courageous and fight injustice. Singaporeans should be inspired by Dr Juan and his SDP.
However I am deeply disappointed and puzzled why you deny you are a SDP member. We social democrats have met SDP members like you before in our workshop on democracy.
You should be proud that you belong to a political organization which wants to bring democratic change to Singapore instead of shamefully denying it.
Stand firm and be strong. You have our support.
well, too bad you are resenting. Your pointers are of no use when it is of an academic nature or at most at the social commentary level when it could potentially help someone see his situatin more clearly.
Might be just me.
Perhaps you do not understand my uses of 'resent'; it is an ill-chosen word for this discussion and I withdraw it. I did not forward the post to Martyn because I gave the post to the whole world to see, and not just him.
You mistake yourself to say an academic or a social commentator would've even written what I wrote. Tell me which Singaporean academic or social commentor speaks to us about this case, tell me how that makes the points I raise any lesser? The points I make fall where they fall, regardless of who listens - which way they fall is on the merits of the case.
The various Parties do what they do. Our filmmakers do what they do. I do what I must, to the best of my abilities. It would be churlish of me to ask what anyone else here has or has not done - the time is not now for purity tests and measures of who is a worthier dissenter, whose method is nobler, whose methods is of use or of no use.
In any case, it was only a matter of time (empirically, only 1 day) before anyone took notice of my site, hosted on the most irrelevant and obscure xanga.
What Martyn needs now is legal advice from a true practioner, to test our assumptions of what is legal, what is due process, what is the bounds of the investigation. And whether that actually matters.
To those who listen and still not notice the point of my previous comment, I shall repeat it: Which part of the Film Act empowers and identifies the police as the proper authority, to investigate if a film is a party political film? That is my answer to your strange insistence for some form of help for Martyn, Ted.
After reading Akikonomu's article,
I suggest that we irritate the hell out of the censors then. We should get everyone to start sending in every video recording to them to get it classified. Doesn't even have to be valuable footage, just shoot your tv screen playing some program and send to them to classify the footage. After, just remember to dog them to return the footage. Yes petty, but what else can we do but get petty revenge from the ppl who have the power?
All the best to you Martyn. Hope you prevail!
You need to PAY them to get videos and stuff classified. So that is not a viable course of action.
I read your analysis. Well argued but I have to point out that Singapore Rebel was indeed submitted to the Board of Film Censors for approval. It was a non-finalist entry at the Singapore International Film Festival short film competition and the festival had submitted the film for the purpose of exhibiting it at the Goethe Institute. If passed by the censors, it would have been screened along with all the other non-finalist entries to an audience of about 80 people, and not all of whom would be interested in watching a little self-made video of a lonely opposition figure.
I stand corrected. I was under the impression that the film was eventually not submitted to the censors, from your post on 13 March.
If the film was submitted to the censorship board, then what was the Board's *official classification* of the film? Did you get an official receipt/bill/certificate from them?
If Film Board has classified the documentary, the police wouldn't be saying it's investigating because the MDA complains that it may be a political film...
Martyn, since the MDA has got the MHA (Police) involved. It is clear they consider the film problematic. You should assume that they are investigating you because you have broken the Film Act (whatever shit that is).
Since they have started the ball rolling, and an investigation is going on. Talk to a lawyer and prepare your defences so that in the event that they decide to charge you, you would be prepared.
Martyn, have you seen this?
Bit slow on the uptake. Nothing I can do but you have my moral support completely. I am sorry you are going through this hell.
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