Censor body recommends lighter touch

Dispatches

SINGAPORE — Censorship changes are afoot in formerly strict Singapore.

With many Singaporeans college-educated abroad, and the impossibility of censoring Internet content, a Censorship Review Committee report admits “a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach in censorship is becoming less tenable for society.”

It has suggested new movie ratings to replace the current ones, with Restricted 21 (R21), Mature 18 (M18), No Children Under 15 (NC15), Parental Guidance (PG) and General (G). It also suggests a dual rating system enabling younger viewers to see a censored version while adults view the movie uncut.

Shows like HBO’s “Sex and the City” and “The Sopranos” might make it onto Singapore’s small screens under new recommendations to provide adults a wider choice by allowing NC15 programs on terrestrial TV after 10 p.m. and M18 programs on cable TV after 10 p.m.

Content liberalization is already happening quietly, but one industryite warns: “The conservative lobby could prove very troublesome. Liberal viewers will just be happy to find their favorite shows on cable after 10 p.m.”

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