LETTER SENT TO SINGAPORE'S MINISTRY OF INFORMATION, COMMUNICATIONS AND THE ARTS, MEDIA DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY AND NGEE ANN POLYTECHNIC ON 30 SEPTEMBER 2008
This country today mourns the loss of one of its sons, Joshua Benjamin Jeyaretnam.
In April 2001, under the instructions of its then leadership, officers from Singapore's media regulators raided Ngee Ann Polytechnic and confiscated film equipment and tapes after three lecturers had made a documentary about the late J B Jeyaratnam.
The justification of your team then was that it had violated a prohibition in the Films Act. That prohibition can now no longer stand. I hope, with the passing of J B Jeyaretnam, your officers will now release the film.
I hope Ngee Ann Polytechnic will make the request for the confiscated film equipment and tapes to be released to it.
Three lecturers had been involved in making the film. They offered apologies. They were also reprimanded. One resigned, and the remaing two chose to remain silent. I hope Ngee Ann Polytechnic will now arrange for the full stories of these film-makers to be told.
Similarly, I also hope the Media Development Authority will encourage journalists and other media professionals, who had covered J B Jeyaretnam in his lifetime to talk about their experiences covering him. It is important for these stories to be told uninhibited so that lessons can be learnt to better assess the legacy of J B Jeyaretnam.
Both the Media Development Authority and Ngee Ann Polytechnic should jointly arrange the screening of this film. Both organisations can perhaps also look into collaborating to make a more comprehensive film to honour the legacy of J B Jeyaretnam.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Please consider the environment - do you really need to print this?