mollymeek (mollymeek) wrote,

Proposed Films Act Amendments: Silencing Upgraded

 When you are only allowed to film “legal” political events, what bizarre scenarios could possibly take place?

1. If you do something political and “illegal” (perhaps even something like wearing a kangaroo-judge T-Shirt) and you film yourself doing it, you are liable for an additional charge (or maybe even more than one additional charge if you not only make but also distribute and exhibit the film).

2. The foreign media who are involved in a conspiracy to do us in might get into legal trouble filming stuff like Chee Soon Juan's illegal protests. Local pro-gahmen journalists might either have some form of immunity magically or simply won't  ever show footage of illegal political events because they are law-abiding and responsible journalists.

3. If you just take out your mobile phone and film an “illegal” political event you see in the streets, maybe the police can catch you. In fact, maybe even if you just take out your phone, the police might be able to confiscate it because they suspect you of filming illegal events.

4. If you catch state officials doing illegal stuff, you cannot film it to expose them. Of course, we trust the PAP never to have any corrupt people, but who knows what could happen?

Perhaps if a few policemen come and confiscate your film during a private screening (remember the screening of One Nation Under Lee?), you can't even film the behavior of the police and of the filmmakers resisting the attempt by the police to take the film away . . . because maybe resisting the police is illegal.

So not only are you unable to film the "illegal" political event and show it to people, a third party onlooker might not even be allowed to film the police taking action against your illegal actions.

5. One never quite knows what could be construed as illegal anyway, so one had better play safe. See no evil, film no evil.

But remember: Singapore does not have a climate of fear. 

Just when you think that those people are stupid for saying all the stuff that they say in public (Mas Selamat is either in Singapore or he's not!), you realize that they are really, really intelligent. Even if their intelligence don't necessarily benefit you.

It is uniquely Singapore that ostensible liberalization can become a tool of concrete oppression. The means of oppression are constantly updated and take the guise of "progressive" liberalization. It used to be that people are told to shut up. You no longer need to do that when you can ensure that they won't be heard whether or not they shut up. Cool.

With the proposed amendments to the films act, one can imagine a few birds of prey being stoned:

1. The one party in the gahmen can make political films for itself as propaganda without being accused of breaking the law that it has made,

2. and it can say that the films cannot possibly be propaganda since they are not banned as political films that are not objective and truthful would be.

3. Films of opposition parties or sympathetic towards them will continue to be banned by independent committees that will somehow see that these films are lacking in truthfulness (especially if they accuse the PAP of misdeeds of any sort),
4. and in fact people there might now exist even more ways of fixing them,

4. but people will be told (and many brilliant people will believe) that there is liberalization,

5. so those criticizing the gahmen for being oppressive will further be seen as whiners and complainers making baseless accusations against the government.


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