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MDA to forge co-regulatory partnership with arts sectors

12 May 2014 - MDA has launched a public consultation on its proposed amendments to the Public Entertainments and Meetings Act (PEMA) to forge a co-regulatory partnership with the arts sectors... Read more

​The Media Development Authority (MDA) has launched a public consultation on its proposed amendments to the Public Entertainments and Meetings Act (PEMA) to forge a co-regulatory partnership with the arts sectors.

A key objective of these amendments is to spur co-regulation by empowering arts entertainment event organisers to classify their own performances, such as plays, musicals and concerts, while being mindful of community standards and expectations.

Self-classification and Term Licensing
To allow for self-classification, MDA is proposing to amend the PEMA to introduce a new Term Licensing Scheme, to offer an option for arts entertainment event organisers.

Currently, arts entertainment event organisers have to apply for individual licences for each performance or event, and the classification of the content is undertaken by MDA. The new Term Licensing Scheme will provide for a term licensee to stage multiple performances within the licence period. It is divided into two tiers. Those in Tier 1 may self-classify performances that fall within the “General” rating, which made up about 90 percent of the 1200 arts entertainment licences MDA issued last year. Tier 2 licensees may self-classify performances up to the highest “Restricted 18” rating.

To facilitate self-classification, arts entertainment event organisers may send their representatives for training at MDA to become registered content assessors, or tap on other registered content assessors in the industry to do so.

With the proposed Term Licensing Scheme, arts entertainment event organisers will not only stand to benefit from cost and time savings but also partake in co-regulating the arts sectors. Those who do not wish to take advantage of the scheme can continue to submit individual applications to MDA.

MDA’s latest public consultation on the Term Licensing Scheme comes on top of its engagement with various stakeholders, including arts groups and MDA’s Arts Consultative Panel, on this recommendation in 2013.

Additional PEMA amendments proposed by MDA include:

  • Updating the definition of arts entertainment to ensure parity between live performances and virtual ones that are streamed for exhibition at public venues. The amendment would mean that virtual performances, such as the live streaming of an overseas concert to a venue for public viewing, will be licensed no differently from an event that is performed live at the same location.

  • Streamlining the enforcement process by vesting MDA with the powers of investigation for arts entertainment breaches. Currently, MDA has to report such violations to the Police for investigation. The proposed amendment would allow MDA to carry out its own investigation instead of subjecting arts entertainment event organisers to police action, and provide flexibility for MDA to offer composition fines for arts entertainment breaches in lieu of court prosecution.

  • Amendments to avoid double licensing by clearly providing for the scope of the Public Entertainment (PE) Licence, which is currently administered by the Police, to cover the staging of Arts Entertainment.  Organisers putting up arts entertainment events at a venue with PE licence will need to approach MDA for classification. The current framework already allows for specific types of performances to be exempted from classification.  MDA is consulting the industry on enhancements which can be made to the list of categories of performances which enjoy this exemption.

The public consultation closes on 30 May at 5pm.  Interested parties may email their feedback to

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About Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA)
The Media Development Authority of Singapore ( promotes the growth of globally competitive film, television, radio, publishing, music, games, animation and interactive digital media industries. It also regulates the media sector to safeguard the interests of consumers, and promotes a connected society. MDA is a statutory board under the Ministry of Communications and Information (