Content regulatory approach has to be ‘sensitive to societal norms and values’: MCI

MCI’s statement came after Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced that Section 377A will be repealed in his NDR speech.

Nigel Chin

Started writing for the passion. Now writing because it’s the only thing I can do.

Published: 22 August 2022, 12:54 PM

Policies on media content will not be changed, despite the repeal of 377A, said the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) on Monday (Aug 22). 

In its statement, the MCI said that it reaffirms the Government’s position that the repeal of 377A “does not mean that we are changing the tone of society”. 

On Sunday, PM Lee announced in his National Day Rally speech that the repeal of the archaic law that criminalises sex between men is the “right thing to do” and something that most Singaporeans will now accept. 

“This will bring the law into line with current social mores, and I hope, provide some relief to gay Singaporeans,” he said.

However, PM Lee added that Singapore by and large is “a traditional society, with conservative social values” that believes “marriage should be between a man and a woman, children should be born and raised within such families and that traditional families should form the basic building block of our society”.

As such, the constitution will be amended to protect the definition of marriage. 

The MCI added on Monday that Singapore’s content regulatory approach has “to be sensitive to societal norms and values”. 

“We will continue to take reference from prevailing norms. LGBT media content will continue to warrant higher age ratings,” it said. 

The MCI and Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) regulate media content to protect younger audiences from age-inappropriate content, and at the same time enable mature audiences to make informed choices over a diverse range of content. 

Media content with higher reach and impact is subjected to more stringent requirements, said MCI. 

“To understand the community’s views, IMDA regularly consults its advisory committees, made up of members of the public from all walks of life, on specific titles as well as content guidelines and regulations,” it added. 

Back in June, IMDA gave an NC16 rating for Disney’s animated film Lightyear, which contains depictions of a female lead and her partner starting a family and sharing a kiss. 

IMDA said that the film had mature content. The agency said that it followed the Film Classification Guidelines closely and had consulted its advisory committees which included parents with young children. 


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