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Local filmmaker asks IMDA to take action against Mothership video allegedly containing “biased political matter” about the PAP

In a Facebook post published on June 4, Martyn See asserted that the Mothership video is a "party political film"

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Local filmmaker Martyn See has asked the Info-communications Media Development Authority (IMDA) to take action against a video produced and published by local website, Mothership.

Mr See has asserted that the Government authority should take action against the video since it purportedly contains “biased political matter” about the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP).

Entitled “Things you didn’t know you had to ask a Senior Minister of State for Transport,” the video Mr See flagged is an interview Mothership conducted with Senior Minister of State for Transport Dr Janil Puthucheary.

Interestingly, Dr Puthucheary is also Senior Minister of State for the Ministry of Communications and Information – the same ministry that oversees the IMDA.

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In the video, that was published last Sunday (2 June), Dr Puthucheary can be seen answering a variety of questions posed by Mothership – from questions on the Transport Ministry’s 2040 masterplan to more casual questions like who is the best cyclist within the PAP and what was the last television show he binge-watched.

Things you didn't know you had to ask a Senior Minister of State for Transport

We asked Janil Puthucheary to choose between the PAP and Barisan Sosialis. And explain what the Land Transport Masterplan 2040 is. You might see him cycling to work.

Posted by Mothership.sg on Sunday, June 2, 2019

The video made Dr Puthucheary seem more relatable. Painting the Senior Minister of State as just another average guy, the video ends by pointing out that the PAP politician is a middle-aged dad.

While some appreciated the Mothership video, others like Mr See have criticised it. In a Facebook post published this afternoon (4 June), Mr See asserted that the Mothership video is a “party political film”.

The IMDA administers the Films Act. Section 33 of the Act criminalises the production, exhibition and distribution of Party Political Films while Section 40 exempts Government-produced films from the Act.

The Films Act states that any person who imports, produces or reproduces, distributes or intends to distribute, or exhibits or intends to exhibit any party political film shall be liable to a maximum S$100,000 fine or up to two years in jail:

Singapore Statutes Online

Noting that the video by Mothership is not produced by the Government and not exempted from the Act, Mr See said: “This film contains biased political matter, a political person promoting a political issue, party logos, unscripted dialogue, graphics and animation.”

“Has the film been submitted for classification? Would it not be classified as a Party Political Film under Section 33 of the Films Act, which is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $100,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years?”

Mr See said that he has emailed his letter to the IMDA this morning and has reproduced the letter on his Facebook page. Read his letter in full here:

Emailed to IMDA this morning.Party Political Film by MothershipDear sir/madam,I like to bring your attention to…

Posted by Martyn See on Monday, June 3, 2019

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