The People’s Action Party’s youth wing video which went viral over the weekend had been cleared by the Media Development Authority (MDA) earlier in the year.
It does not fall under the category of political films which are banned in Singapore, an MDA spokesman told The Straits Times on Wednesday.
This is because it does not have animation or dramatic elements. The video is also made by a political party and comprises its manifesto and ideology, on the basis of which the party’s candidates will seek to be elected.
Films fulfilling these criteria can be excluded from the ban on political films.
Making, distributing and screening “party political films” are banned under the Films Act.
MDA consults the independent Political Films Consultative Committee (PFCC) on whether films submitted to it are to be considered party political films.
This committee is chaired by the former Senior District Judge Richard Magnus and comprises prominent members of the public.
“MDA received this Young PAP film for classification earlier this year,” said the MDA spokesman, adding that it was not deemed a party political film.
The viral video featured PAP youth wing members from various constituencies speaking about servant leadership, and sharing their views on the challenges facing the PAP.
It had been screened internally at a party convention last year. It was uploaded to YouTube in late April and subsequently drew criticism and ridicule from netizens, as the people in the video appeared stiff and to be reading off a script.
Past examples of films that were similarly exempted from the ban include “For I am a Young Singaporean”, a short film by the PAP done in the style of a poem highlighting the party’s aspirations in 2009.
Another such film was “For People, Nation, Future”, which showed the Workers Party’s community outreach initiatives overlaid with commentary outlining the party’s aspirations and ideology in 2010.