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Email exchange betwen Mica and Alex Au over censorship regulations.

Is the MDA behaving above the law?

The following is from Alex Au’s website, Yawning Bread. It is part of an email he sent to the Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts (MICA), Mr Lui Tuck Yew, asking for clarification on certain regulations and the behaviour of staff of the Media Development Authority (MDA). Mr Au had submitted a film to the MDA for classification which People Like Us had planned to screen during Indignation, the gay pride festival.

I would appreciate your clarification over these questions:

3.1 What lawful authority does the MDA have to demand that still frames with text should be censored when these frames did not incite race/religious hatred, depict sex, nudity, violence or child pornography; nor did it contain coarse language or Chinese dialects – the established reasons for cuts to be made? Please cite the law.

3.2 If there is such a law that empowers them to censor speech that informs the public about government decisions, what justification (kindly explain the rational nexus and public interest justification) is there for such a law?

3.3 If this is a matter which the law leaves to the discretion of the MDA, then why does the MDA use its discretion this way? Why object to informing audiences what cuts have been made? Why the desire to remain unaccountable to the public?

Visit Yawning Bread for the email exchange between Alex Au and Ms Julia Hang of MICA.