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Artists create video to oppose MDA's proposed Self-Classification Scheme

A group of artists who believe the Media Development Authority's proposed scheme will result in self-censorship have created a video, calling for further dialogue. MDA has said the scheme, meant to empower industry players, is optional.

SINGAPORE: A group of artists - including Cultural Medallion winners Ivan Heng, Goh Lay Kuan, and Santha Bhaskar - have created a video to raise awareness about their opposition to the Media Development Authority's (MDA) proposed Self-Classification Scheme.

The scheme is one of the proposed changes to the Public Entertainments and Meetings Act. It would allow arts and entertainment event organisers to classify their own performances. The MDA would provide training and advice for licensees to become content assessors. Licensees under Tier 1 would be able to self-classify performances that fall within the "General" rating, while those under Tier 2  can self-classify performances up to the "Restricted 18" rating.  

The video, posted on YouTube on Thursday (July 10), features artists from various fields explaining the views of the 55 arts groups and 258 individuals who have endorsed a position paper calling for further dialogue and a delay on the tabling of the Scheme in Parliament. They believe the scheme in its current form would result in self-censorship by the arts community towards their own work.


The scheme would be like "training someone from within the (arts) group to be the policeman who makes sure the artists follows the guidelines" set by the MDA, said artists in the video. 

Ms Chetra Sinnathamby, MDA's director of content and standards (Films, Video Games & Arts), had said in earlier reports that the feedback received during the public consultation process would be carefully reviewed, while emphasising that the Term Licensing Scheme is optional.

The scheme's objective is to empower industry players to classify performances and events that they stage, while being mindful of prevailing community standards and expectations, she said.  

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