Saturday, 3 December 2016

Voices: Don’t force choices on others by calling for ban on shows


One of the great things about living in Singapore is the wide variety of choices available to all of us, from food, entertainment and recreation to the arts. The only thing we need to do is to exercise our choice.

While I have attended a number of artistic performances and events, both ticketed and free, there are some that are too abstract or the issues too uncomfortable, and so I choose not to go for them.

Likewise, with regard to the M1 Singapore Fringe Festival (“Shows with nudity are disguising lewdness as art”, Dec 1; and “Two plays at upcoming M1 Singapore Fringe Festival exceed R18 rating: IMDA”, Nov 25), I am exercising my choice to not attend.

The downside to that choice is that I would not be able to tell if the nudity is really as excessive or gratuitous as has been claimed.

Neither will I have the grounds to criticise it, as I would not know the content or the gist of the performance.

As adults living in Singapore, we have the freedom to choose what we want to watch and patronise.

But in exercising our right to choose, we must be mindful not to force our choices — which are based on our values or belief systems — on others by calling for an outright ban, based on our assumptions about a performance or event.

To quote the golden rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

As we would not want others to dictate to us how to live our lives and make our personal choices for us, we should not dictate to others how to live theirs and deny them their full right to exercise their freedom of choice.


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