F*** – Censorship in Singapore

13 May

Hello…  how are you this *bleep* morning? *bleep* its been *bleep* a sleepy morning.

How many of us have been irritated by censorship, be it in pictures, audio or films? Put your hands up. (Right.. forget it, even if you did put up your hands I couldn’t see them.)

I for one would prefer the contents that I view or listen to, to be uncut. To me, this brings out the “original flavour” as intended by the creator / artist of the piece of work. Yes, I get it that Shannon and Weaver’s Model of Communication indicates that when the receiver decodes the message, it may be different from what the sender originally intended to encode. However, I do feel that censorship will further cause disruptions to the decoding process.

These days, some people have already learnt to overlook the censorship and know exactly what a word means even when only the initial letter is being shown. As indicated in my title –> F***

Now now, before you think that I’m spewing vulgarities in my blog (which proves the point that I’ve made above, if not, just read on), F*** can actually mean something else. Seriously, how many four-lettered words that begin with the letter ‘F’ do you know? Frog, fork, fish, fine, flip, from, the list goes on, anyway you get my drift. So why do people automatically assume that F*** is that-particular-four-letterd-F-word-we-are-not-to-mention?? Precisely because of the 3 *** following the letter F. People have learnt to automatically assume that the reason why the * is used in place of letters is because the word is inappropriate and should be hidden.

A magazine has “capitalized” on that idea though.

Here is their “About Us”:

F*** Magazine is a film magazine that defies traditional publishing by letting the pictures tell the story, rather than masses of text! So what you can expect is less annoying people telling you what they think, and we let you make up your own mind. Welcome to the new age!
In case you are wondering, the magazine is pronounced as “F”. Think what you want with it, but our stand will be that film is too, after all, only and also a four-letter word.
F*** Magazine is a publication of Sterne & Lears Global Pte Ltd.
All the content in this mag is exclusive and straight-to-the-point, no f***ing bullshit.

You can read up more about them in these links:

F Movie Magazine Website
F Movie Magazine Facebook Page

Ok, back to censorship in Singapore…
I’ve came across this article written about the censorship in Singapore by a Singaporean film maker, Martyn See.

3 Tiers of Censorship in Singapore

He provided a rather comprehensive view of the censorship environment in Singapore and with his credentials as a film maker, he should be pretty experienced in this field.

He gave a summary of the three levels of censorship that a piece of work will have to go through.

There are three tiers of censorship in Singapore. The 1st tier are the legislations passed by Parliament which restricts freedom of expression. The 2nd tier of censorship are those imposed by government bodies which are authorized by law to draw up guidelines and policies pertaining to political expression. A key feature of this 2nd tier of censorship are the non-transparency and the nebulous nature of its implementation, which leads to a blurring of the the line of what is acceptable and non-acceptable speech. This in turn creates a climate where writers, bloggers, artists and politicians self-censor their speech in order that they do not overstep boundaries. This climate of self-censorship forms the 3rd tier of censorship in Singapore.

Based on Martyn’s article, it would seem that even though freedom of expression is being encouraged and with the booming social media trend providing convenience for Singaporeans to express their opinions, the laws governing expression of opinion on political matters still withstand and perhaps even more closely monitored.

The last I’ve heard from the news was that they are still having discussions within MDA on trying to be more lenient in terms of censorship guidelines, however, till then, the image that I conjure in my mind of  the censors that work at MDA, are a bunch of old, uptight, supremely-self-righteous people deriving extreme satisfaction of censoring even the slightest form of inappropriate materials.


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