SDP calls MDA classification of its video a 'partisan political move'

The SDP's Pappy Washing Powder video. Dr Chee Soon Juan disagrees that the video constitutes a party political film and contravenes the law.
The SDP's Pappy Washing Powder video. Dr Chee Soon Juan disagrees that the video constitutes a party political film and contravenes the law.

The Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) has disputed the Media Development Authority's decision to classify its latest online video as a party political film.

In a statement on its website and e-mailed to the media early yesterday, just after midnight, SDP chief Chee Soon Juan said the MDA was applying the law selectively and called it a "partisan political move".

The MDA said on Monday that it found the one-minute video, "Pappy Washing Powder", to be a party political film, after consulting the Political Films Consultative Committee.

But it decided not to take further action as this was the first incident of its kind and "parties may not have been fully aware of the requirements under the Films Act".

 

Dr Chee, however, disagreed that the clip constituted a party political film and contravened the law, given that the Government posted videos online to "depict the serious issue of the MediShield Life in a comical fashion". Those videos had used a Chinese fable and a cabaret song to explain the Pioneer Generation Package and MediShield Life.

"The video, Pappy Washing Powder, which the Government has cited as having contravened the Films Act is no different in its intent from the Monkey God video or LKY the Musical which is to reach out to the public on issues through satire, parody and song," he said.

He called on the Government to review its "subjective" view, and said it should apply laws consistently. "The application of the Films Act on the SDP's video is selective and for political partisan purposes," he said. "It is obvious that the PAP government has done this with the upcoming elections in mind."

Lim Yan Liang

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 20, 2015, with the headline 'SDP calls MDA classification of its video a 'partisan political move''. Print Edition | Subscribe