In the latest proposed amendments by the censorship ministry, Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI), civil servants from the ministry will now be empowered to enter any premises without the presence of the police or a court’s warrant.
In the new proposed amendment, censorship officers will have police powers including the conducting of investigations, and possess the discretionary powers to press charges or not. Law enforcement officers will only be called “when necessary”:
“(F) Enhancements to IMDA’s Investigation and Enforcement Powers
…Going forward, the enforcement and investigation for breaches under the Films Act will be taken on by IMDA, and the Police will only be called on when necessary. Accordingly, the Films Act will need to be amended to empower IMDA with
the necessary enforcement and investigation powers to take on this role.
2.31 MCI/IMDA propose to enhance IMDA’s investigation and enforcement powers to:
(a) Request any documents and information from any person to investigate a suspected breach of the Films Act or licence conditions;
(b) Enter and inspect, without warrant, any premises and examine any film or advertisement for a film found on the premises;
(c) Dispose of films, equipment or materials that have been seized during enforcement and is unclaimed, forfeited or has to be disposed without returning to the owner; and
(d) Provide for the composition of offences. ”
The MCI published the proposal as part of a fake public consultation exercise held between Dec 4 and Dec 15. The dictatorship government never once listen to the feedback it receives, and has always bulldozed their new proposals in the name of “public interests”.
Once the above amendments are approved by the ruling party majority in Parliament, the Singapore dictatorship will again abuse power harassing government critics and subject them to MCI investigations.