Star trek

The Straits Times | Mar 10, 2000
By: Yvonne Lim

HE is a self-confessed fuddy-duddy.

So what was Mr Peh Chin Hua doing at an R(A) movie?
Mr Peh, 51, a Chinese-educated MP known for his old-fashioned views, told Parliament in Mandarin: "One day, I took my children to see this movie, Shakespeare in Love. My children said, don't go, you're an MP so you shouldn't be seen watching an R(A) movie."

But he wanted to get a feel of the censorship criteria being used, said the father of three children in their 20s. He didn't say if he enjoyed it, but he felt that if just two scenes had been cut, the film could have been shown with a PG rating. He went on to speak passionately against what he thought was increasingly lax censorship rules.

There were more and more R(A) shows in the movie listings - with titles like Virgin of Eight Wonders and Prostitute Downfall.

On the Singapore International Film Festival's section on Sex in Asian cinema, he said: "Chinese newspaper readers feel this is no more than blue films disguised as art."

Then there was the children's comic magazine a friend had shown him - which contained pornographic pictures.
His warning: "If you stay in the toilet too long, you get immune to the stench."

Mr Lee Yock Suan, Minister for Information and the Arts, assured Mr Peh that Mita shared his concerns and had not changed its censorship policies.

On the film festival, he noted that only 14 out of 300 films were on sex. He also asked for more details on the offending magazine.