Where’s your sense of humor, MICA?

report on March 9th, 2000 about  the Singapore government pumping US$29 million over the next five years to transform the staid city-state into Asia’s “Renaissance City,” teeming with artistic activities.

“We want to position Singapore as a key city in the Asian renaissance of the 21st century and a cultural center in the globalized world,” said a report released by the Ministry of Information and the Arts on Thursday.

“We should aim to reach a level of development that would be comparable to cities like Hong Kong, Glasgow and Melbourne in five to 10 years.”

“The longer term objective would be to join London and New York on the top rung of cultural cities,” it said.
A report in TODAY newspaper on May 6th, 2010:
Local theatre company Wild Rice has had its annual grant from the National Arts Council cut by $20,000.
This was confirmed to MediaCorp by the council, which is a statutory board of the Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts (Mica).
Artistic director Ivan Heng claims that the cut – which still leaves the theatre company with $170,000 in Government funding – was because Wild Rice had staged productions which ran contrary to mainstream societal values and which were critical of the Government.
NAC arts development director Elaine Ng said the council’s guidelines state clearly that “we will not fund projects which are incompatible with the core values promoted by the Government and society or disparage the Government“.
It’s amazing how MICA changed it’s tune in a period of 10 years. I’m sure that theatre companies in the countries that MICA wants to emulate, have made fun of their own governments countless times too. They certainly didn’t climb up the ‘cultural rung’ by being censored and having their work lambasted in public by their own government.
Where’s your sense of humor, MICA?

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