Friday, January 23, 2009

Proposed amendments to Films Act are even more ambiguous

In brief:

Allowed : "Wholly accurate" depictions of "actual" events, persons and situations.
Not Allowed : Fictional films about political events, persons or situations.
Questionable : Documentaries containing ex-political detainees' accounts of mental and physical torture under ISA detentions. Dramas depicting political events, persons and situations.

Allowed : Recordings of events that are held according to the law.
Not Allowed : Recordings of protests, demonstrations, political gatherings or any act deemed to be illegal under the law. Does new law empowers police to arrest video cameramen on site?
Questionable : Recordings of events that may not be deemed illegal at the time of recording, such as this, this and this.


kill the messenger, we're Singaporeans

Filming an illegal event is… illegal?

Saving jobs, savaging filmmakers

Proposed Films Act Amendments: Silencing Upgraded

My Dear Government, Why Do You Treat Me So?

How to inflict selective amnesia

Amendments to the Films Act

Films Act changes target civil disobedience videos

Changes proposed to Films Act

January 23, 2009 Friday

A BILL was introduced in Parliament yesterday seeking to exempt certain types of films from an existing ban on 'party political films'.

Under proposed amendments to the Films Act, live film recordings of election rallies, public speeches or processions, as well as anniversary celebration videos by political parties will not be considered as party political films.

But the events being filmed must first be held in accordance with the law.

Other types of films that will pass muster are:

  • Documentaries 'made without any animation and composed wholly of an accurate account depicting actual events, persons and situations';

  • Films made by political parties or election candidates of their manifesto and policies.

    The changes expand the list of films not considered party political films under Section 2(3) of the Act.

    The original list in that section comprises films made solely for the purpose of reporting news, and films made just for the purpose of informing or educating the public on the procedures and polling times for any election or national referendum.

    The changes are in line with the Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts' (Mica) response earlier this month to recommendations made by an advisory council on new media.

    The Advisory Council on the Impact of New Media on Society had recommended lifting the ban on party political films in stages, which the Government accepted.

    The Films Act currently defines a party political film in two ways.

    First, as an advertisement made by or on behalf of any political party in Singapore.

    Second, as a film made by any individual which contains material likely to affect voting in any election or national referendum here, or contains partisan or biased comments on any political matter.

    If amendments to the Act are accepted by Parliament, the Board of Film Censors will be the authority that decides whether a film submitted to it is a party political film.

    Also proposed in the Bill is a new Section 4A which empowers the Mica Minister to establish one or more advisory committees to advise the board in relation to any film.


    Anonymous said...

    Straits Times
    6 July 1991

    'Stand up and be quoted'
    Walter Woon on:

    * The Supremacy of the Singapore Constitution:

    'We effectively don't have a Constitution. We have a law that can easily changed by Parliament, and by the party in power because the party is Parliament. The changes themselves might not be controversial, but it is unsettling how flexible the Constitution is, unlike, say, in the United States.'

    *On the(1987)Marxist plot:

    'As far as I am concerned, the Government's case is still not proven. I would not say those fellows were Red, not from the stuff they presented...I think a lot of people have this scepticism.'

    *On the powers of the Judiciary:

    'It is absolutely futile for people to talk about challenging Executive decisions in court. If it is not legal, the Government will make it legal, and it will make it legal retrospectively. The judges have no choice in this. Whatever their own personal inclination, they are bound by their oaths to uphold the law.'

    *On Emigration

    'There was this sense of frustration about being treated like idiot children, and people who had the opportunity went somewhere else.'
    'But if you want creative people, people who can see beyond the horizon, who can move the place faster than others can move theirs ... the change is necessary. This is the 1990s. If a person is good, he will be headhunted by any number of countries.'

    Milkboy said...

    EBAY Singapore is selling the 'J B Jeyaratnam' limited edition t-shirt by Estate One Clothing. Only 10 left in stock. Get yours now!

    Anonymous said...

    The throes of decline is only too evident!

    Let us hope that mass civil unrest will not break out as the LHL regime gets more and more and more repressive. The desperation to keep the truth from spewing forth like holy water is very palpable.

    More and more we have in Singapore a political climate like that of an aging Mao's China. But sadly for Singapore, like China, it would have to go through a hot and tulmultous period of revolution and change before the birth of a new order cleansed of the corrupt and incestous past.