Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Activist files complaint against national broadcaster

Agence France Presse
September 2, 2005

A SINGAPOREAN activist has filed a police complaint against national broadcaster MediaCorp for allegedly violating the island's Films Act banning political advertising using film or video.
The complaint, filed by Yap Keng Ho, accuses MediaCorp of screening two programs about ruling People's Action Party leaders and is meant as a protest against Singapore's stringent censorship, Yap said.

Yap told AFP Friday, Sept 2, he wanted to expose a pro-ruling party bias in the legislation banning political films with his complaint, which comes as police investigate independent Singaporean film maker Martyn See for making a documentary about an opposition leader.

The Films Act bans political advertising using films or videos, as well as movies directed towards any political end such as promoting parties.

"I feel that it is a very unfair and biased legislation," Yap, a 44-year-old information technology consultant, told AFP. "I want to show the world whether law enforcement (in Singapore) is going to be fair or not."

Yap's complaint alleges that MediaCorp had violated the Films Act by screening two programs in 2002 and this year featuring Singapore's founding father Lee Kuan Yew and his son, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, respectively.

A spokesman for the Singapore police confirmed they received the complaint "and are currently making the necessary checks with the Media Development Authority (MDA)."

A spokesman for MediaCorp said they were unaware of Yap's complaint.

On Monday, filmmaker See surrendered to police his camera and remaining tapes of the documentary "Singapore Rebel" about Chee Soon Juan, secretary-general of the opposition Singapore Democratic Party.

Chee, the most vocal opposition politician in Singapore, is facing bankruptcy after the High Court ordered him to pay S$500,000 (US$300,000) for defaming PAP leaders.

Affluent Singapore has often been criticised by human rights groups for maintaining strict political controls despite its rapid modernisation since becoming a republic 40 years ago last month. Singapore has been ruled by the PAP since independence.


Joe90 said...

You are not alone. We shall overcome.

bornappleT said...

My opinion is that any opening up of the political sphere, is unlikely, at least for the next few decades.

Anonymous said...

Although the legal and justice system has been badly abused by the PAP, it will continue this way for years to come because Singaporeans are simply powerless.

Joe90 said...

With all respect, it's not so much that Singaporeans are powerless, but rather that we are too afraid. The people do have the power to change things, but it's just that right now everyone is only concerned about their own individual self-preservation to come together as one, strong and united national body to overcome injustice and oppression. It can happen, but it will have to take time and lots of courage and personal sacrifice. If people power can happen in South Africa and the Philippines, it can also happen here.

Joe90 said...

I think somebody else in another Singapore website said it best. Life in Singapore is like The Matrix. The majority are still sleeping, in suspended animation like the millions hooked up and enslaved to the Matrix. These are those who haven't taken the red pill or are even unaware that there is such a thing as the red pill. For them, ignorance is bliss. Then there are those who have taken the red pill and have woken to the awful truth, but in their self-centred, over-riding concern for their own self-preservation, they wish they had taken the blue pill (of ignorance) instead, and so they continue to live in denial of the truth, even to the point of defending the Matrix passionately amongst their peers who would dare to speak up against it. Then there are those who have taken the red pill and now they know the truth about the Matrix and their conscience and sense of justice compels them to join the fight to free their fellowmen from enslavement. So now, since you have read this far, ask yourself, which do you prefer, the red or the blue pill?

clar said...

Anyone knows what has become of the complaint? Kept hush hush and Evaporated into the air? Our 'beloved', 'well read, 'well supported' ST did not mention a crumb about it.

Anonymous said...

Very nice. Keep up the good work.