Sunday, November 25, 2007

Cassandra Tay Won't Dance in a Video and Chew Gum at the Same Time, Unless She Leaves the Vibrant Media Hub and Goes to Paris or Cannes

TechCrunch embedded this video from the Singapore Media Development Authority.

It has the catchy chorus:

Yes, yes y'all
We don't stop
Get creative, can do, rock on!

My favorite quote, from Cassandra Tay (3:12 in): "China, Cannes, here we come."

Alvinology isn't impressed:

This is horrible! The rap sucks, there are lots of ‘mission statements’, ’salient points’, ‘policy objectives’, etc etc forcefully thrown in…

However, I beg to differ, at least from a musical perspective. Take your average hip-hop video and its standard lyrics:

Yeah, we going to the CLUB
And drink Cristal with my b------s
Then we'll get a Quiznos SUB
And buy some networking switches

OK, so I'm not a hip-hop lyricist (my only forays into the genre have been instrumental, with good reason), but you have to admit that most hip-hop is numbingly numbing. After hearing that rap crap for the last twenty years, lyrics such as "vibrant media hub," "service oriented architecture," and "right schemes" are a refreshing change.

Meanwhile, here's an update on the whole gum-chewing thingie:

Except for chewing gum with therapeutic value, the importation into Singapore of any chewing gum is prohibited under the Regulation of Imports and Exports (Chewing Gum) Regulations. The prohibition on the import of chewing gum except for those of therapeutic value is absolute. Therefore, no allowance is given for any person to import them for personal consumption. Under the same regulation, when goods are brought or caused to be brought into Singapore from any place which is outside Singapore, they are deemed to be imported. This is regardless whether the goods are for commercial or trade purposes.

With effect from 1 January 2004, traders licensed by the Health Sciences Authority (HSA), can import chewing gums with therapeutic value, classified under the Medicines Act, for local sale. The import of all other types of chewing gum and bubble gum remains prohibited. Possession of unlicensed chewing gum would therefore constitute possession of a prohibited item, which is an offence under the Customs Act.

The import of chewing gums with therapeutic value, classified under the Medicines Act is under the purview of the Health Sciences Authority (HSA). Please refer to the list of licensed gums in the following website and search for Oral dental gums for 'Product type':

Importation may be allowed for licensed chewing gums (medicinal and oral dental chewing gums that are registered with HSA) hand-carried into Singapore either by visitors/tourists or citizens returning from overseas trips provided the import quantity is reasonable, for not more than 3 months' supply for personal consumption. As a general guide, not more than 3 months' supply would be about 300 sticks or pellets in total. For more information on licensed chewing gums, please contact HSA at

In Singapore, clearance of arriving travellers at the checkpoints is conducted by the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA). All hand-carried imports of unlicensed chewing gums are to be surrendered to the ICA upon arrival at the checkpoint. For more information about ICA, please visit their website at

Incidentally, this isn't the first time Cassandra Tay has made the news. She was previously linked with Borat - well, sort of:

Anyone living in Singapore who missed R21 films like Saw III or Borat in the cinema isn’t going to be finding these films at the local video store any time soon, according to Channel News Asia (via).

In an email interview with Today, the Media Development Authority (MDA) - which is responsible for film and video classification - revealed that it is taking a “phased approach” to video classification.

According to Cassandra Tay, the MDA’s director of communications, one of the concerns “was the issue of videos with explicit content being accessed by the young.” The MDA is planning to consult all its stakeholders, including the public, before deciding what to do next....

“We’ll consider the possibility of allowing R21 titles in due course,” said Tay but she declined to disclose a time frame by which this might take place. Until then, the status quo remains.


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