If I were the people featured in “To S’pore With Love”* and the film maker, I’d be sending flowers and fruit to Yaacon and Ms Koh Lin-Net the CEO of MDA, as a token of my appreciation, cause nothing could have created more interest in the film than banning it. (To be ppedantic, it seems the film has not technically been banned: only “public” screenings are banned; private screenings are OK. While we can have doubts on how the authoriies will intrepet “private” let’s not KPKB like the usual anti-PAP suspects. Wait and see.)
But given the views of those featured, it seems that they are not the kind of people who appreciate any gd deed of the PAP govt; always have to complain.
Seriously, if this is the objection
The Media Development Authority said it took issue with the film’s version of history. “The MDA has assessed that the contents of the film undermine national security because legitimate actions of the security agencies to protect the national security and stability of Singapore are presented in a distorted way as acts that victimized innocent individuals,” the agency said in a press release on Wednesday.
“The individuals featured in the film gave the impression that they are being unfairly denied their right to return to Singapore,” the agency said. In fact, it added, former Communists can return “if they agree to be interviewed by the authorities on their past activities to resolve their cases” while other “criminal offenses will have to be accounted for in accordance with the law.”**
what’s so difficult about having a statement read out before each public screening setting out the “right” view?
MDA could also arrange for relevant extracts of Men in White*** to be handed out to the audience before the screening.
And get MediaCorp to rescreen the documentaries on the Hock Lee Bus riot and the 1964 race riot. Or maybe insist that public screenings of the “wrong” version of history, be preceded by the screenings of these MediaCorp documentaries. But then Maruah would bitch that this would constitute “cruel and unusual punishment”: and I would have to agree with this complaint.
“Banning” is a really lazy, outdated, stupid way of handling alternate, unofficial narratives especially in the era of YouTube.
But it’s the Hard Truth way of doing things. And a reflection that the only way is the Hard Truth way. Even China, since the 1980s, has moved beyond the tots of Mao, We still live with the unthinking application of Hard Truths, whether relevant or not.
*A documentary about the lives of Singaporean exiles has been banned in Singapore on the grounds that it undermines national security. [Actually the film has not technically been banned: only "public" screenings are banned; private screenings are OK. But I don't expect Americans to be so subtle.]
“To Singapore, With Love” by the Singaporean filmmaker Tan Pin Pin was classified as NAR, the Media Development Authority said Wednesday. NAR stands for “Not allowed for all ratings,” meaning it can neither be shown nor distributed in Singapore.
Ms. Tan had traveled to the United Kingdom, Malaysia and Thailand to film the lives of nine Singaporeans, in their 60s and older. Among them were trade unionists, student leaders and Communists who fled in the 1960s and 1970s, for fear of being imprisoned under Singapore’s Internal Security Act, which allows for detention without trial.
In the film, they speak about their homeland, and how they cope in exile – by frying up a plate of Singapore rice noodles, or flying in to meet loved ones in neighboring Malaysia.
**“A number of these self-professed ‘exiles’ were members of, or had provided support to, the proscribed Communist Party of Malaya (CPM). The CPM sought to overthrow the legitimate elected governments of Singapore and Malaysia through armed struggle and subversion, and replace them with a communist regime,” MDA said.
“One of the interviewees in the film claimed that he had no choice but to join the CPM after he left Singapore when in fact, he was an active CPM member even before he left Singapore. Indeed, as another interviewee who left Singapore in similar circumstances admits, a number of Barisan Sosialis activists then were already members of the Malayan National Liberation League, the CPM’s political wing, before they fled Singapore with its help and subsequently joined the communist guerrilla forces.”
“Two of the individuals in the film conveniently omitted mentioning the criminal offences which they remain liable for, like tampering with their Singapore passports or absconding from National Service,” MDA said.
In its statement, MDA also said that the individuals featured in the film were not “forced” to leave Singapore, “nor are they being prevented from returning”.
The Singapore government has made it clear that it would allow former CPM members to return to Singapore if they agree to be interviewed by the authorities on their past activities to resolve their cases. Criminal offences will have to be accounted for in accordance with the law, it said.
“These facts had been published at the time of these events, and are on public records, even though some Singaporeans today may be unfamiliar with these cases,” MDA said
***Written by three ST men, and published by SPH, the book contains extensive interviews of PAP cadres, many of whom moved on out of the PAP to oppose it . I met two of the authors in May and commended them for calling these cadres as “leftists”, rather than the term “communists”, the term used by LKY and his gang.
Here’s another alternative narrative http://singaporerebel.blogspot.sg/2014/08/the-nature-of-paps-governance-is.html by someone who has called these “leftists”, “progressives”. Waz so progressive about adopting Mao’s tots or USSR’s practices? Btw, I don’t dispute his thesis that the PAP govt adopted the colonial apparatus; neither does the govt.
I hope this gets banned, so that more S’poreans will get to know that it exists, and watch it, hopefully.