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Replies to Feedback

26 Mar 2009, 9.00AM
REACH Administrator
by REACH Administrator
Provision of more dialect programmes

Feedback via email

Due to the ban on dialect drama serials and dialect songs, we see a dramatic drop in viewership and listenership for TV stations, radio stations and cinemas. In view that the Speak Mandarin compaign was already a success, why can't we allow dialect drama serials or movies to be telecast on TV or at cinemas, and allow radio stations to play dialect songs?

Reply from Media Development Authority

Dear Feedback Contributor

  1. We refer to your feedback on providing more dialect programmes.
  2. Although the Speak Mandarin Campaign has achieved a certain degree of success, the dilemma over the issue of dialect has not abated, as many of our school-going children still have difficulty coping with two languages and mastering them effectively. Faced with the competition from rising English usage, the problem of falling Chinese standards among young Chinese Singaporeans will be exacerbated if the profile of dialects in the media were raised, as the addition of another competing language will unwittingly decrease Mandarin usage further, or encourage sub-standard Mandarin, mixed with dialect. It is for this reason that Singapore has adopted the policy of limiting the exposure of dialects in the media, as it would be difficult to arrest the decline of Mandarin once it sets in.
  3. Therefore, while there is some leeway for dialect content to cater to niche audiences, especially the elderly, MDA's language guidelines for TV and radio support the Speak Mandarin policy. Currently, on free-to-air TV, Channel 8 currently broadcasts dialect operas and OKTO enjoys leeway to show arthouse movies with some dialect if the films have artistic merit. Dialect news bulletins are available on MediaCorp Radio's Capital 95.8FM.
  4. For more dialect programmes, viewers can choose from subscription TV services like SCV or SingTel's MioTV. Channels like TVBJ on SCV and Mei Ah Channel on MioTV offer dialect programmes, while some dialect songs are available on music channels offered by these pay TV operators. Programmes in dialect are also offered on Video On Demand (VOD) services by SCV and MioTV. As for radio programmes, dialect radio programmes can be found on Rediffusion's subscription radio service.
  5. As for dialect films, those with artistic merit are allowed for limited screening on a case-by-case basis at film festivals or film society screenings. In addition, films with some dialect content are allowed for theatrical release. Examples include 'Ah Long Pte Ltd' , '881', 'The Accidental Spy' (starring Jackie Chan) and 'Kungfu Dunk'.
  6. There is no restriction on dialect content in DVDs and VCDs for commercial release.
  7. We thank you for your feedback.

MDA Customer Services

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