The Media Development Authority (MDA) said yesterday that political parties cannot produce and distribute party political films in the run-up to the General Election, and took the Singapore Democratic Party’s (SDP) latest video clips as an example.

The SDP clip, which was uploaded on YouTube on 5th August, was shot as a spoof of a washing detergent commercial, which shows a woman using Pappy White washing powder to remove the words “Transparency”, “Accountability” and “Democracy” from T-shirts.

The MDA, however, said it would not be taking action as this is the first incident in this year’s GE run-up and parties may not have been fully aware of the requirements under the Act.

It added that it “will not hesitate to enforce the law firmly” if parties or candidates continue to publish such films.

In the letter that it sent to all political parties, the MDA also said that the law ensures “that political debate in Singapore is conducted in a responsible and dignified manner”.

Films must not be used “to sensationalise serious issues in a biased or emotional manner”, the MDA added.

The Films Act had originally banned all party political films, but the restrictions were partially lifted in 2009.

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