Saturday, January 26, 2019

Info-Communication Media Development Authority (IMDA) -Singapore

I wrote several emails to the MOE of Singapore, the ministry of communication and information and both passed my email to Info-Communication Media Development Authority (IMDA). Earlier, MOE had asked me to contact the producers of the TV programme – Baby TV-. 

Here is the final response from IMDA.
14 Dec 2018 at 14:35

Dear Mr Michel

We refer to your email dated 10 December 2018 to the Ministry of Education with regard to the mispronunciation of alphabets found in the programme ‘Charlie and the Alphabet’ on Baby TV.

We would like to share with you that IMDA does not pre-vet content offered by Pay TV operators such as Singtel and StarHub. Pay TV operators are required to ensure that the content offered on their platforms comply with the guidelines stipulated in the  Content Code of Nationwide Managed Transmission Linear Television Services (“the Code”). The Code addresses key concerns such as national interest, social and moral values, as well as the protection of the young from undesirable content.

We understand your concerns with the pronunciations of alphabets in the said programme. However, we also note that while broadcasters are required to ensure that they maintain high standards of language in programmes that they offer, we note that these pronunciations do not compromise the overall content of the programme and therefore are not in breach of IMDA’s guidelines.

However, IMDA shares the importance of imparting accurate language skills to children and as such, we will convey your feedback to both pay TV operators so that they are aware of community sentiments.

Thank you for your feedback.
 Best Regards

My comments: I don’t expect them to pre-vet contents offered by PAYTV operators but I believe it is irresponsible to shut both eyes when a complaint has been made against a programme. I am not complaining about the whole programme but only the one episode that will affect kids predisposed to shutting down.

What does national interest mean? Is education not of national interest? 

What does ‘undesirable content’ mean? It is my opinion that anything detrimental to a kid’s education is undesirable. 

I had requested MOE to get a copy of my book and then question me and their response was ‘We would like to share that should our officers be interested with the discussion, they will contact you directly.”
It is more than a month now since MOE Singapore wrote that reply to my emails.

I am telling them that my book is not based on guess work but on what I have researched over 15 years and they are not interested to find out details. 

As I have mentioned in one of my Face book comments on TDM’s message on ‘Malays are lazy’, it is not only Malays but there are many Chinese who are also lazy. Some of them as in the case of MOE and IMDA are lazy even to think. 

Wow! The Singapore government is going to convey my feedback to both Pay TV operators and I am sure they will study my complaints and remove that particular episode from being broadcasted.

As I have also written before, soon we will all die.  My quest has nothing to do with making one idea win or another lose. Why can’t we attempt to see why is it that many children need remediation as honestly and as accurately as we can, regardless of it being not pretty, convenient or unpleasant?

We need to change the way we feel. We need to learn how to not feel ashamed when we notice we might have been wrong about something. We need to learn how to feel intrigued instead of defensive when we encounter some information that contradicts our beliefs.

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