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September 11, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

If Singaporeans wish to see the movie To Singapore, with Love, by award-winning filmmaker Tan Pin Pin, they’ll have to take a 1.5 hour ferry ride to nearby Johor Bahru in Malaysia at a cost of $31.00 roundtrip to do so. The Singapore government itself found no love for the movie; its Media Development Authority ruled on Wednesday that the movie be given a "Not Allowed for All Ratings" classification, meaning it is effectively banned in the island city state. Tan’s documentary focuses on the lives of Singaporeans talking about their lives as exiles in Europe and elsewhere in Asia. However, the MDA ruled, "The individuals in the film have given distorted and untruthful accounts of how they came to leave Singapore and remain outside Singapore." It accused some of those who were interviewed for the film of hiding the fact they have criminal convictions or that as members of the Communist party they sought to overthrow the Singaporean government. Minister of Communications Yaacob Ibrahim supported the MDA’s position. "It is not surprising that [ex-Communists] and sympathizers wish now to give their own accounts of historical episodes that they were involved in," he said in a statement. But such people, he added, "should not enjoy a public platform to purvey distorted and untruthful accounts to mislead the public, absolve themselves or deny their past actions." But in a Facebook posting, Tan accused the MDA of "taking away an opportunity for us Singaporeans [to] see it and to have a conversation about it and our past that this film could have started or contributed to." The irony, she added, is that "a film about Singapore exiles is now exiled from Singapore as well."