The Media Development Authority (MDA) has responded to Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) secretary-general Chee Soon Juan, and has denied acting against a recent SDP video for political reasons.
Recently, the SDP had released 2 short video clips, including one which features a woman using Pappy washing powder detergent to wash away the words “transparency” and “democracy” from her laundry, to promote awareness of their party’s campaign issues.
Dr Chee wrote in a blog post yesterday that the MDA’s move to classify “Pappy Washing Powder” and its other short video as a party political film (PPF) “cannot be seen as anything else other than a naked attempt to stop the SDP’s effective use of the social media to communicate our message to the people.”
“The video “Pappy Washing Powder which the Government has cited as having contravened the Films Act is no different in its intent from the Monkey God video or LKY the Musical which is to reach out to the public on issues through satire, parody and song.” He added.
In a statement released today, the MDA said the ‘Pappy Washing Powder’ video is “clearly a PPF as defined in the Films Act”.
“It uses dramatic elements to sensationalize serious issues, and is an example of political discourse that does not befit the seriousness of the elections. In classifying the video, the MDA had consulted the Political Films Consultative Committee, which agreed that it was a PPF.”
“Dr Chee is also wrong to say that the ‘Pappy’ video is similar to recent Government videos on the Pioneer Generation Package and MediShield Life,” MDA clarified. “The latter two videos are made by the Government to communicate public policy, and make no reference to any political party. They are therefore not PPFs.”
The MDA would not be taking action against the party as this is the first incident concerning a PPF “as parties may not have been fully aware” of the requirements under the Films Act.