The film was first submitted to MDA in January under the category of a "political film", prompting an exchange of letters in February, whereby a
seven-member Political Films Consultative Committee had disputed the length of Dr Chia's detention (See letter below).
This is the first film featuring an extended speech from a long-term political prisoner that has been passed by the Government. Two previous films, Zahari's 17 Years and Dr Lim Hock Siew, have been gazetted as prohibited films by previous Ministers of Information, Communications and the Arts (MICA).
The Films Act requires all films and videos be subjected to licensing from MDA, although with digital online video uploading like YouTube, the Government has said they will not strictly enforce this law. Exceptions still apply to films that touch on domestic politics, as seen here in this rare raid by Government officers on a private premiere of One Nation Under Lee, which is probably the only film submitted to MDA that has been refused classification. The Films Act was amended in 2009 to allow for "objective and factual" political films.
Letter from MDA on March 1st.
Thank you for your reply dated 9 Feb 2012.
The Political Films Consultative Committee notes that you have interpreted the length of Dr Chia Thye Poh's stay in Sentosa as including that of detention as well. While we note your assumption, we have been informed, on good advice, that the period of Dr Chia's detention is 22 years and 6 months. The period of his stay in Sentosa should not be counted as detention as he was able to move freely and receive visitors, as well as visit and work in mainland Singapore.
Hence the Committee's view is that Dr Chia's period of detention is 22 years and 6 months, and not 26 years as stated in your video. Having clarified this, we will advise the BFC (Board of Film Censors) that the film can be considered an exempted party political film.
Political Films Consultative Committee