IMDA, Arts Engage, in naked fight over nude scenes

Dec 02, 2016 08.30AM |

YOU better watch what you say about the Info-communications Media Development Authority (IMDA), because it won’t just sit back and take it.

After being criticised by arts group Arts Engage for “moral policing”, the G stat board yesterday (Dec 1) issued a statement saying its decision to censor two of the group’s shows slated for next year’s M1 Singapore Fringe Festival was completely justified.

“Disallowing these scenes can hardly be considered retrograde moral policing; it is an objective application of existing guidelines,” said an IMDA spokesman.

The scenes in question are from two shows: Naked Ladies and Undressing Room. In Naked Ladies, one scene involves a performer inserting her finger into her vagina and then into her mouth.

In Undressing Room, a performer and audience-participant undress and touch each other.

The statement from IMDA follows an open letter from Arts Engage published on Wednesday, which called the stat board’s decision an “unmerited and retrograde step”. The board had rejected the group’s application for an R18 rating – meaning, both works would have to be changed and resubmitted for classification.

“If anyone thinks Naked Ladies and Undressing Room are not to their taste, they do not have to watch the shows,” said the arts group.

Arts Engage’s members include the founder and artistic director of The Necessary Stage Alvin Tan, and the co-founder and director of the Intercultural Theatre Institute Thirunalan Sasitharan, among other arts practitioners.

Meanwhile, also in the spotlight are SMRT, one of its directors, and a former engineer, who were all charged yesterday for their involvement in the fatal accident in March that killed two young trainees.

It seems they might not be the only ones to be charged – the Attorney-General’s Chambers said investigations are still ongoing to determine if other people should be held responsible for the incident. Read our story here.

And in an unusual twist of courtroom drama, the Sheng Siong kidnapper yesterday appeared before a judge and asked to be put to death for his crime.

Lee Sze Yong, 44, who kidnapped the elderly mother of the man behind the supermarket chain in 2014, told Justice Chan Seng Onn that he did not deserve life. “I had ruined my life. By dying, I hope that I have repaid my debt and to be at peace,” he said in a letter to the court.

The judge, however, denied his application and sentenced him to life imprisonment and three strokes of the cane.

Speaking about denials, still no official word from Hong Kong customs over why the nine Terrex armoured vehicles were seized last Wednesday. This, despite a seven-hour meeting held yesterday between customs officials and shipping firm APL that started at 10:30am.



Featured image from TMG file.

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You can read our stories about the diplomatic impasse here:

Terrex APC seizure: What do we think? How do we react?

Return our… SAF vehicles!

Return our… SAF trucks! Part 2

Toy Story: The return of the SAF trucks

Terrex APC seizure: Hold your fire