Films Act shenanigans are pitiful and pathetic

Quick Snippets from the Editor
02 Aug 2009

The amendments to the Films Act allowing certain kinds of political films were passed in Parliament on 24 March 2009.

Worker’s Party’s Sylvia Lim and former NMP Thio Li Ann gave in-principle support to the Films Act amendments, even as former NMP Siew Kum Hong stood his ground as the lone dissenter to this unjust legislation. (See here.)

But film makers like Martyn See as well as other activists were not fooled. Indeed, Martyn correctly pointed out that the Films Act amendments were not liberalization at all, but tightening dressed up as liberalization through clever choice of words, and in a couple of areas, outright misinformation by the Government.

I had also earlier blogged about how the Government was insidiously maintaining the climate of arbitrary administrative discretion with regards to political films in order to ensure they have a means of selectively targetting and cracking down on those kinds of films they deem a threat to their own power base. (See here.)

And true enough, a mere 3 months after the Films Act amendments were passed in Parliament, activist Seelan Palay was called up for police investigation over One Nation Under Lee. (See here.)

But that is not all. The PAP themselves did a political video and uploaded it on their website in June 2008, a full 9 months before the Films Act amendments were passed by Parliament. (See here.)

Even though the video the PAP did consists only of still photos without audio and is in full compliance with the Films Act under the amendments passed recently, the fact remains that they manufactured and uploaded the video before the amendments were passed, in an era when others were still banned from manufacturing and distributing political videos.

Clearly the law applies to some and not to all.

As clear as day also is the fact that PAP selectively uses existing laws to crack down on dissent whilst giving the rest of the population the semblance, but not the substance of liberalization.

Pitiful and pathetic!