MDA lifts ban on 240 publications

The Media Development Authority (MDA) has lifted its ban on 240 publications after a routine review by the government body.

However, 17 titles remain prohibited. These include the likes of Playboy, Elite, Mayfair, Velvet and several others. According to MDA, most of these titles are banned due to the "hardcore pornographic" content of these publications.

The decision was made in consultation with relevant government agencies and the Publications Consultation Panel, which provides views and feedback to MDA on matters pertaining to publications.

An MDA spokesperson also stated that these titles "should not be distributed or circulated in Singapore" and magazines such as Penthouse and Hustler "depict female models in sexually suggestive poses".

While there has been no additional publications have been gazetted since 1994, the last de-gazette which took place in 2004, saw Cosmopolitan magazine being de-gazetted. This came following recommendations made by the Censorship Review Committee (CRC) in 2003 to give adults access to more mature content.

However, the magazine recently shut its operations in Singapore after four years in the Singapore market due to a crowded lifestyle market.

Meanwhile, a sample of publications that have been de-gazetted include anti-colonial publications such as Tamil periodical Dravida Nadu (1949) and Malay periodical Nusa dan Bangsa Melaju; Communist publications such as The Long March (1959) and English Communist magazine World Student News (1957); Chinese graphic novels including Stories of Chivalry (1965); Adult interest magazines/ publications such as Fanny Hill (1966) and The World of Sex (1966) by Henry Miller.

“MDA assessed that a number of these de-gazetted publications are out-of-print or are permissible under today’s content standards. MDA’s review was complemented by consultation with our Publications Consultative Panel, and relevant agencies,” an MDA spokesperson added.