The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) has fined SPH Radio SG$7,000 for breaching the Free-To-Air Radio Programme Code. This is in response to a radio segment aired in January, which came under fire from several members of the public for being “racially offensive”.
During the programme, the radio hosts were heard saying “Malays and Indians work less, and go out and party” while the Chinese are busy “sending their children to school and going to work early”.
According to IMDA, following investigations, it concluded that the programme in question did contravene the Free-To-Air Radio Programme Code. A quick check by Marketing found that according to the Free-To-Air Radio Programme Code, matters pertaining to race and religion are “sensitive and capable of evoking strong passion and emotion”. As such, broadcasters need to exercise due caution when featuring the views, beliefs, practices or activities of racial and religious groups.
Hence, programmes which “denigrate or are likely to offend the sensitivities” of any racial or religious group should not be broadcast, according to the Code. This also includes racial and religious stereotyping.
“A key obligation under the Code is for broadcasters to avoid racial and religious stereotyping and ensure that content which denigrates or is likely to offend the sensitivities of any racial or religious group in Singapore is not aired,” the statement read.
IMDA in a statement to the media added that:
Given the strong influence radio exerts on the community and its accessibility to all Singaporeans, IMDA would like to remind broadcasters of their obligations under the Free-To-Air Radio Programme Code.
When contacted by Marketing, SPH Radio said it did not have any additional comments to add.
The show in question is popularly known as Maddy, Jason & Arnold In The Morning, hosted by radio DJs Maddy Barber, Jason Johnson and Arnold Gay. During the controversial segment, the three hosts were discussing a recent study which reported that the Chinese population had sufficient sleep, while the Malays and Indians lacked in clocking in enough snooze hours.
The comments on the matter made by the hosts drew ire from netizens, who proceeded to criticise the station for not only the segment but its “non-apologetic” response in a statement which followed after.
Most recently, SPH Radio was awarded the tender to operate two new radio stations by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA). The new stations are FM89.3 and FM96.3, and will be launched in December 2017.
SPH Radio, Singapore’s second largest radio broadcaster, currently operates three radio stations – ONE FM 91.3, UFM 100.3 and Kiss92.