MP makes call to tighten censorship
The Straits Times
| Mar 18, 1995
SPEECH OF THE DAY
We highlight the speech by Mr Peh Chin Hua (Jalan Besar GRC) on
the need for stringent film and print censorship. His speech in
Mandarin is significant as it reflects the views of the conservative
Chinese community here.
THE censorship of movies, television programmes
and publications should be tightened. We should not be too lenient
in case the thinking of Singaporeans is affected adversely.
Till today, I am still very uneasy with the screening of R(A) films.
If we observe the advertisement of R(A) films in the newspapers,
we will see they are big and eye-catching.
I believe that many young people are enticed by the advertisements
to buy the film tickets, and I am sure R(A) films make a lot of
money. Recently, I received complaints that censorship of our films
has been relaxed again. Even PG films like Nell, are similar to
R(A) films. There are topless and completely nude scenes.
So in order to take part in this debate, a few days ago, I went
to see the film myself. I could not believe that this PG film was
so liberal, which proved that what I had heard about it was true.
It is not PG at all. It is downright R(A)! PG films are supposed
to be suitable for young and old alike.
Does the Minister not agree?
I am worried that the over-relaxation of censorship will gradually
cause the decay of our society. For example, a recent survey on
sexual attitudes among university students was conducted by the
Medical Faculty of NUS. The report revealed that some students have
sex about two or three times a month.
Chief Justice Mr Justice Yong Pung How has also said that although
crime rates have been dropping, molest cases have been rising. I
believe this is due partly to the negative influence of films.
As for the censorship of publications, I recently received a Lunar
New Year card which was not about a prosperous new year or happiness
and contentment, but rather, was a political cartoon - with a caricature
of Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong.
This is behaviour that is extremely disrespectful to our head of
government. The card was even published in The Straits Times. Do
they agree they can do this on New Year cards? If so, then Christmas
and birthday cards and commercial advertisements in future would
also be free to use the caricatures of the Prime Minister and other
I hope that the Minister will handle these issues carefully because
a small spark can start a prairie fire.