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Last Updated: Thursday, 25 March, 2004, 12:38 GMT
Singapore loosens film censorship
The Passion of the Christ
The Passion of the Christ escaped editing in Singapore
Singapore is relaxing its strict rules on film censorship by bringing in new adult ratings.

By introducing the M18 and R21 ratings for explicit films, the country's Media Development Agency (MDA) wants to give people more choice of what to watch.

"As far as possible, we would like to move towards classifying films, rather than editing them," the MDA said.

Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ has been passed unedited with an M18 rating, allowing over 18s to watch it.

To edit such a film would be disrespectful to the artistic integrity of the film
Amy Chua
Media Development Agency
There had been concerns the controversial film would be heavily edited because of its scenes of graphic violence. But it will be released uncut on 29 March.

"To edit such a film would be disrespectful to the artistic integrity of the film," said MDA media content division director Amy Chua.

She added that Jewish and Catholic religious leaders in Singapore had been consulted.


The change in the ratings system is being seen as a gradual step towards the easing of censorship laws in the country rather than "a radical liberalisation".

Previously, the film categories were G for general, PG for parental guidance, NC16 for those aged over 16 and R(A) for over-21s in cities.

But some seemingly innocuous films such as Shakespeare in Love received the top rating.

But the authority warned it would still enforce censorship where necessary.

"We may give an NC16 rating to a film but the distributors want a PG rating to reach a wider audience.

"If that happens, either ourselves or the distributors have to edit it," said Ms Chua.

Singapore upholds Janet Jackson ban
05 Jun 01  |  Entertainment
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03 Mar 03  |  Entertainment
Review: Gibson's The Passion of the Christ
27 Feb 04  |  Entertainment
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14 Oct 03  |  Entertainment

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