Metropolitan Productions, the producers behind The LKY Musical, has issued a statement to refuge allegations from actor Tan Shou Chen that the government had been heavily involved in the musical production.
The musical production team had sought various sources to ensure their historical facts were accurate, said Metropolitan, and one of these sources was chief of Government communications Janadas Devan.
“For example, we had a scene where (former Deputy Prime Minister) Goh Keng Swee tells Mr Lee Kuan Yew about his Albatross file relating to separation with Malaysia,” said a spokesperson for the producers. “Mr Janadas told us no one knew of the existence of the file until decades later.”
The Albatross file is a record of Dr Goh’s meeting with then Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Abdul Razak and Home Affairs Minister Ismail Abdul Rahman in June 1965, when Dr Goh persuaded them of the need for Singapore to secede.
Metropolitan reiterated that government officials did not impose any demands on them. “At no time did he or anyone else ask us to change any part of the story.”
Actor Tan Shou Chen, who plays Deputy Prime Minister Dr Toh Chin Chye, had hinted that the Ministry of Communications and Information had influencing the direction of the play, but did not elaborate. He wrote: “My question is how much influence (not authority) has the Government had on the artistic process and how much have been unquestioned (sic).”
He subsequently removed the post on Wednesday morning. No explanation was given for why it was taken down.
The MCI has also issued its own statement on the matter, saying that it had not altered, edited or insisted on changes to the script in any way. The ministry added that it had not asked for the script to be sent to them in the first place. It also confirmed that the producers of the musical had approached Mr Janadas directly in his personal capacity because they thought he was a good source of information about Singapore’s history. It said it did not have any issues with the script.