Malaysian Opposition video that would be illegal in Singapore

A friend sent me this video produced by Malaysian opposition party, the Democratic Action Party (DAP). Save the minor typo in one of the captions, I thought it was a pretty meaningful video, telling Malaysians that the DAP will speak out for those without a voice.

My friend informed me that the tall building that the little girl is running towards is the Dewan Rakyat — Malaysia’s Parliament. The man in the suit receiving the baton from the girl is the Leader of the Opposition, Lim Kit Siang. With him are fellow DAP MPs Kula Segaran, Chong Eng (the lady with the streaked white hair) and Teresa Kok (lady with the red skirt).

But folks, don’t try making this at home. A video like this if made in Singapore would be illegal — yes illegal! It would be considered a “party political video” under Section 33 of the Films Act, which states:

Making, distribution and exhibition of party political films

Any person who —

(a) imports any party political film;
(b) makes or reproduces any party political film;
(c) distributes, or has in his possession for the purposes of distributing, to any other person any party political film; or
(d) exhibits, or has in his possession for the purposes of exhibiting, to any other person any party political film,

knowing or having reasonable cause to believe the film to be a party political film shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $100,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years.

Isn’t it good to know that our friends up north have more freedoms than we do in this respect?

But there is still hope. Foreign Minister George Yeo, who was Minister for Information and the Arts when Section 33 of the Films Act was enacted, explained on Channel NewsAsia on 9 January 2007 about the purpose behind this piece of legislation. He said that it was to prevent politics in Singapore from becoming “so commercial where it all depends on packaging and how much money you are able to put into producing a programme.”

He added that the Government at that time “did not reckon this new media which allows you to produce the programmes quite cheaply” and felt that the Government has “got to adjust that position”.

Even MM Lee Kuan Yew, when asked by TIME magazine in 2005 about a documentary made by filmmaker Martyn See about opposition politician Chee Soon Juan, which was banned, had this to say:

“Well, if you had asked me, I would have said, to hell with it. But the censor, the enforcer, he will continue until he is told the law has changed. And it will change…”

PM Lee is set to announce a Cabinet reshuffle soon. Dr Vivian Balakrishnan is expected to be appointed the new Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts. I hope one of the changes he makes as he takes up his new position is to repeal the laughable Section 33 of the Films Act from our statute books soon, and save our country from further embarrassment.


Author: Gerald Giam

Gerald Giam is the Member of Parliament for Aljunied GRC. He is a member of the Workers' Party of Singapore. The opinions expressed on this page are his alone.

4 thoughts on “Malaysian Opposition video that would be illegal in Singapore”

  1. RH:
    1. In my article “PAP afraid of the Truth” years ago, [ ], I wrote “(… In the hands of a good writer, print can be emotional to an extent a poorly produced video is not). The irony is that that [SDP] video was so modest an attempt that the PAP, with its unlimited war chest, could have produced a whole series of far better productions and given them away for free or little cost, thereby overwhelming Dr CHEE’s little production. That the PAP is fabulously rich can be seen in the fact that every year, the PAP gives away several millions to various causes. This probably represents only the interest, and not the principal amount, in the PAP’s kitty; or its investment revenue, not the total size of its funds. Thus, the PAP could have countered the SDP’s little video with Steven Spielberg productions and George Lucas effects, if they wanted, with full orchestral scores.

    “But they preferred to ban political videos because they had no need of videos, having the entire print and broadcast and now, Internet media, industries spewing their propaganda.”


    3. Thus, the LIEgime would just be leveraging on its $$$hundreds of millions war chest. They are certainly NOT liberalising the stranglehold or rigged election rules to make it fairer for the Opposition! And if all else fails, the LIEgime will stuff fake PAP ballots like my eyewitnesses saw in the 1997 Cheng San GRC elections [see my blog for proof].

  2. i find the caption and emblem of their party insignia a little suspicious reminding of a certain sports brand.

  3. well. as we know today…the opposition in Malaysia has swept away 4 states from BN and retained Kelantan.

    I am certain that our leaders are looking at the results up north with apprehension. I doubt they are fearful as they still have a powerful machinery call GRC to give them the upperhand.

    In any case, the BN lost as it was felt that they had lost touch with the people. Though their economy did expand healthly but the gains of the economy was not distributed to the people fairly. It reminds me of Australia, of how you can have a growing economy and still lose your election.

    If the goverment is reading this, please note that a 10% growth in GDP, a 0.5% unemployment rate…etc means nothing when the people percieve that you do not care about people but is only concern about increasing GDP growth and justifying your million dollar pay. Anybody can get the GDP up as long as they open the door wide to foreigners

  4. KOVAL ! why do you only respond to people who threaten to unsubscribe… what about me….Id like a shout out too ….I watched all your videos….TWICE…..i loved you when you weren’t? famous…. *sigh*

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