Films at S'pore Palestine Film Festival from Jan. 12-21 assessed appropriate for screening: Shanmugam

He said that the films "do not promote violence or enmity against any group".

Brenda Khoo | January 12, 2024, 12:42 PM



With the ongoing Israel-Hamas war, concerns were raised about the films that would be aired on the Israel Film Festival in October 2023 and the Palestine Film Festival from Jan. 12 to Jan. 21, 2024.

In a written parliamentary reply on Jan. 9, Minister for Home Affairs and Law K Shanmugam said that films aired on both festivals must first be classified by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA).

"IMDA, in consultation with the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), has assessed that the films proposed for the Palestine Film Festival later this month do not promote violence or enmity against any group and can be screened with the appropriate age ratings," said Shanmugam.

Preview of films to be screened at the upcoming Singapore Palestine Film Festival. Image from Facebook.

The film festival will be held from Jan. 12 to Jan. 21, 2024, at The Projector at Cineleisure.

According to the organiser, proceeds from the film festival will go directly to the Singapore Red Cross for the relief and recovery efforts of the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement Partners, who have been on the ground responding to the immediate needs of civilians affected by the crisis.

Reminder that no permits will be given for public events on Israel-Hamas

Shanmugam reminded that no permits will be given for public events and assemblies on the Israel-Hamas conflict due to safety and security concerns.

"The developments relating to the Israel-Hamas conflict are emotive and contentious, and tensions are high."

On Oct. 18, 2023, the Singapore Police Force and the National Parks Board said in a joint statement that all applications to hold events and public assemblies in Singapore about the Israel-Hamas conflict will be turned down.

Government understands S'poreans' concerns

Member of Parliament (MP) Saktiandi Supaat asked, "How is the balance struck between allowing Singaporeans to gain an increased understanding of the situation and preserving the racial and religious harmony that is enjoyed in Singapore?"

In response, Shanmugam said the government recognised that "there is a strong desire among some Singaporeans to express their views and do something on the Israel-Hamas conflict".

He said there have been several public dialogues and forums on the conflict, which "provide spaces for Singaporeans of all races and faiths to express their views and concerns."

"Academic institutions such as our universities and think tanks have also organised discussions on the conflict," Shanmugam said, raising the example of the "2023 S R Nathan Distinguished Lecture", organised by the NUS Institute of South Asian Studies and Middle East Institute, which he said featured prominent statesmen, scholars, and public intellectuals.

Shanmugam said the government also supports Singaporeans who "want to do something constructive".

"The government has supported several public fundraising events organised by charities, such as the Singapore Red Cross Society and the Rahmatan Lil Alamin (Blessings to All) Foundation," he said. "Singaporeans have contributed generously."

He added that, as of November 2023, Singaporeans have contributed a total of more than $7 million in cash and in-kind donations to support relief efforts in Gaza.

"Such donation drives done with the relevant permits will be a good way of helping those who are suffering. The donations should be for humanitarian purposes, to help civilians affected by the conflict, and not for military or terror use."

Top image from K Shanmugam Sc/Facebook and Singapore Palestine Film Festival/Facebook.

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