Banned or Not Banned, That is The Question?

Posted by under Features on 31 January 2001

Most Singaporeans think that Francis Seow's books are banned, but the truth is far from it.

The fact is, the books are not banned as the following letters illustrate. It shows clearly the self-censorship process in Singapore. The book industry is largely self-regulated as such they're not immuned to the climate of fear which plagues Singaporeans. The fear of possible government retribution weighs heavily on their minds. If this is not the case, then why is it that "...no importer has referred the two books for consultation..." Read on and judge for yourself.

Dear Mr Yadav

1. I refer to your below-mentioned query.

2. So far, no importer has referred the two books for consultation to the Films and Publications Department.

3. You may call me at 3722802 or send me an email if you have any further queries.

Regards

AR Madeei
Manager (Consultation)
for DIRECTOR
FILMS AND PUBLICATIONS DEPARTMENT
MINISTRY OF INFORMATION AND THE ARTS

Could you please give me an indication as to whether these books are permitted to be distributed in Singapore?

To Catch A Tartar: A Dissident In Lee Kuan Yew's Prison (1994)
WRITTEN by Francis Seow

The Media Enthralled: Singapore Revisited (1998)
WRITTEN by Francis Seow

Thank you,
D P Yadav

Francis Seow's new book, Beyond Suspicion: The Singapore Courts On Trial, will be released soon. It would be good if you, the reader, keep an eye out for it in any of the bookshops here! (Read the article entitled "Singapore's Sisyphus" under our News section to get a taste of the upcoming book).


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