Wednesday, September 28, 2005


No one who has spent a year in Singapore needs to be told that our Gahmen is extremely fond of scissors. Censorship seems to be their favourite past-time, after having resolved the problems of providing people with basic needs such as food, shelter and education. *cut, cut, cut*

At this point, the only uncensored medium in Singapore is the bloggosphere. But even that is being encroached upon, by use of the Sedition Act, by schools punishing their students for posting comments about teachers etc.

But what ARE we coming to, when the government feels so insecure that they have to punish a film-maker for making a documentary about an opposition party member?

Yes, I am talking about the Martyn See incident. It is censorship in its most blatant form - and day by day, it scares me how much Singapore is becoming like China. One day, we'll all be required to wear red bands, bow down and sing praises of the Great Lee Hsien Loong, or his descendants.

I am not a political dissident, in any way. I really admire what Lee Kwan Yew did for Singapore, bringing a third world island to near First World status. I admire the way the economy has been maintained despite our small size. I really do wish some other countries would take a leaf from Singapore's book and learn to run as efficiently.

What I don't admire, is the one-party political arena, and the strict laws of censorship at every level of society. Granted, we are a multi-racial country, and we need to prevent racial/religious riots, as well as protect the needs of the minority. As an Indian, I recognise these laws have been made for our benefit. But this reason has been overused, in fact, abused, to curb all freedom of speech.

How absurd is a law, which prevents any sort of political films, or even a reference to the political situation of Singapore? As an amateur film-maker myself, this really gets to me. In that case, we should be prosecuting Lee Hsien Loong for speaking in front of the cameras, and the newchannels for filming it. And of course, every patriotic Singaporean who has a tape of the NDP should be fined.

I urge all of you to sign the petition for Martyn See's release, and the review of the Film Act. If we don't speak up, they'll never hear us.

EDIT: There is also a call from Amnesty International against this prosecution. Yes, it is THAT big. You can read about this in Singabloodypore

Update [29/9]: There is even an appeal by SEAPA to let Martyn See go. This gets bigger by the minute.