After being so protective of the heartlanders from the lure of the twin gambling dens of RWS and MBS (a.k.a. Sodom and Gomorrah), why are the authorities relaxing controls on screening of R21 (unsuitable for viewing by anyone below 21) movies in HDB estates? No one has raised request for this, and no one needs to. Anyone with an internet connection can access material more sexually explicit than Ang Lee's "Lust, Caution"(色, 戒). Streaming media players selling like hot cakes at Sim Lim Square have made movie-on-demand so convenient that Singtel's mioTV offerings are downright Jurassic by comparison.
The "brainwave" from a state appointed group to review censorship regulations in all media such as films, videos and publications were released yesterday after a year of deliberations. Which means a bunch of fat cat civil servants were sitting around, collecting obscene salaries for non-productive work. For one whole year. Presently, R21 films can be screened only in central business district cinemas. Cinema chain and film distributors like Golden Village are the ones who will profit financially from the proposed changes. To quote their managing director, there could "potentially be a significant lift" in the box office earnings when females start baring skin and raise pulse rates in the heartland screenings. Uncles queued up in droves when Hong Kong pornstar Amy Yip's substantial mammary assets were first unveiled in 1991 with the introduction of the Film Classification System. Who knows, maybe shuttle buses to the heartland cinemas will be provided.
Committee Goh Yew Lin said the panel decided to go ahead because the proposal is "germane to the point of informed adult choice." The frog in the well seems to assume the average Singapore adult cares only about selections from a Masters and Johnson catalogue. What the committee conveniently omits to report is that pent up demand is not for a loosening of garter strings, but rather in the choice of reading material like Dr Ross Worthington's "Governance In Singapore" or even John Hardin's "Escape From Paradise". Latter is still listed in the National Library online catalogue as "Item not available for loan yet" even though it was actually on public library shelves before being yanked out by Yeo Cheow Tong's better half. As for video material, Martyn See 's "Dr Lim Hock Siew" is still top of the charts, thanks to public awareness generated by Minister for Communication and the Arts Lui Tuck Yew. Once again, the bureaucrats have failed to descend from their lofty ivory towers to fully appreciate the preferences of choice at ground zero.