Minister for Communications and Information Josephine Teo said that it is of "utmost importance" for the mainstream media in Singapore to continue to be "responsible and balanced" in handling LGBT topics following the government's announcement to repeal Section 377A.
Teo said that Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has "made clear" in his National Day Rally speech that the government does not want the repeal to "trigger a drastic shift" in Singapore's societal norms across the board, including what is shown on free-to-air television and in cinemas.
Mainstream media to maintain balance
On Saturday (Aug. 27), Teo addressed a Facebook post in the name of "Miak Siew" who publicly talked about his forthcoming participation on a radio programme on 89.3 MoneyFM.
The Facebook user said, "The announcement of the repeal has helped made it easier for us to be speaking about LGBT topics 'live on air'."
In response to this, Teo said that this view is "contrary to MCI's position".
The Facebook post gave the wrong impression that the mainstream media in Singapore— SPH Media Trust and MediaCorp— has shifted, Teo added.
Teo further stated that the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) has engaged the mainstream media in Singapore and can confirm that these media companies understand and support the government's position.
"If mainstream media campaigns or lobbies for either side in this debate – or gives prominence to one view to the exclusion of others - it would not be possible for us to avoid the culture wars we see elsewhere. It is of utmost importance that mainstream media continues to be responsible and balanced in handling LGBT topics. I am confident they will do so and will take appropriate action to maintain this balance as and when it is challenged."
Policies on LGBT media content will remain the same
Following PM Lee's announcement on the repeal of Section 377A, MCI released a statement to say that it will not be changing its policies on LGBT media content in Singapore.
In her Facebook post on Aug. 27, Teo reiterated MCI's stance.
She said that PM Lee has "made clear" the government's position on not triggering a drastic shift in Singapore's societal norms, including what is shown on free-to-air television and in cinemas.
"We will maintain the status quo in the media landscape, and strongly discourage campaigning for pro- or anti-LGBT viewpoints," Teo added.
Top image via Josephine Teo's Facebook page.