Thursday, August 25, 2005

What is Public Entertainment?

I happened to read the following Straits Time forum reply by the police with regards to Public Entertainment Act. I am amused by it that Wayang shows, getai for the lunar seventh month celebrations are all "EXEMPTED" from Public Entertainment licensing. This is interesting while pure public entertainment businesses are exempted from public entertainment licensing, but opposition politicians making speeches to the public in open air are deemed "entertaining enough" to require a licensing from the the police!

It practically means that opposition politicians could just pop up in any getai, sing, dance and make a fool of himself to entertain the public and he doesn't need a license to that. But he chose to speak in all seriousness about politics, about the hardship of the people in Public places, he needs a Public Entertainment license!

I have copied the key points of the Public Entertainment Act from

Mr. Wang Says So!

(a) any variety act, performance of music, singing, dancing, gymnastics, acrobatics and legerdemain, demonstration, display or parade (other than ad hoc performances);
(b) any circus or any exhibition of animals;
(c) any amusement centre, amusement park or fun fair;
(d) any computer games centre;
(e) any exhibition of film, or any peep-show;
(f) any reproduction or transmission otherwise than in association with a film, by any means other than telephony or radio telephony, of any music, song or speech;
(g) any machine or device by the manipulation of which chances are given of obtaining prizes in money or kind;
(h) any pin-table;
(i) any sporting contest of any kind between any number of persons or animals, other than that organised by any registered society, trade union, company or association;
(j) any organised competition at games of skill or chance;
(k) any lecture, talk, address, debate or discussion;
(l) any arts entertainment; or
(m) any combination of any of the above forms of public entertainment,

The next question I would ask, of course, is which of the key points of public entertainment license should we strike off the list?

This is the new millenium and our people are all highly educated. They do not need a "license" to screen for them what is suitable or unsuitable for their consumption. This is especially so for "lecture, talk, address, debate or discussion". For other arts entertainment, as long as it is not obscene display of nudity or such, why should one need a license?

Again, to me, this public entertainment act is outdated and does not reflect on the vision of "Open Society" that PAP government is promising. There is definitely a need for licensing especially on computer gaming, pin ball machines, amusement park, games on chances and such, but on talk, lecture, address, debate or discussion?

Goh Meng Seng

ST Forum
August 25, 2005

Wayang need no permit

I refer to Mr Glenn Mohan Jothy's letter, "queries on Seventh Month wayang" (ST, Aug 19).

Seventh Month celebrations such as wayang and getai are currently exempted under the Public Entertainment and Meetings Act (Exemptions) Order.

While there are no regulations concerning the location and proximity to residential dwellings of Seventh Month wayang and other religious/social events, exempted performances need to meet certain requirements to ensure public order and minimise nuisance. No more than two loudspeakers, positioned to face the audience, shall be used and the evnets must not end later than 10.30pm.

Organisers of such events need to obtain permission from the other authorities for the erection of tents on their premises.

Tristan Sim
Assistant Director
(Media Relations)
Singapore Police Force


K.S. said...

That is where you see politics at its heights! Rules made to tailor to the needs of the winning party.

Do not be daunted by these rules. Abide by it and play along. They changed the rules, you changed the games. Mobility is the only weapon against a bloated incumbent.

MHS said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
MHS said...

hmm at a glance ,logically your point would be guess is that the law was implemented to combat the earlier communist infestation in singapore. however this same law is also behind the times and should be amended or the particular offending clause removed in the interest of Singaporean's political and intellectual maturity. This sadly would not be easily received nor accepted by the current government as naturally it is a big leveraging stick in which to control the populace and such persons it deems not fit to influence the masses. Just my two cents

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