The Singapore Government announced on 7 March 2017 that it will update the Films Act and the Broadcasting Act.
During the Committee of Supply Debate for the Ministry of Communication and Information, Mr Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister for Communications and Information, highlighted the rationale for these changes, including that:
- Films may be streamed without a physical copy of the reel and from overseas
- There is need for greater accountability and responsibility in news reporting
- Singaporeans have increasing access to a wide variety of Internet content through over the top broadcasts and live streaming.
The amendments to the Films Act and the Broadcasting Act are therefore necessary for the legislation to stay current and relevant.
For instance, the updates to the Films Act would regulate live streaming, especially where films may be streamed from an overseas source without a physical copy of the reel.
The amendments to the Broadcasting Act are also being ushered in at a time where industry heavyweights have been challenged by the prevalence of fake news.
Media content providers have been consulted regarding previous amendments to media related legislation, and this practice will continue for the proposed amendments.
Consultation with key stakeholders is currently being conducted. Further, the Ministry of Communications and Information will be organising a wider public consultation to facilitate discussion on the proposed amendments soon.