Thursday, 30 May 2013

From Creative Technology to Ilo Ilo, it is always Sustainability vs. MDA licensing

From the business point of view, we want our business to grow and become bigger and bigger. In view of creativity and entrepreneurship, we want to have free hand to develop our business. Perhaps, this is not the case in Singapore. Perhaps, you will see the opposite, especially in social media.  

The bigger you are you will encounter more official controls and obstacles. So, whether TRE or TOC, this business model will not work in Singapore. 

The government only allows MSM and its websites to grow.  When they are not able to compete, the government will help to control the growth of alternative social media.  

This is the business environment in Singapore.  So, you cannot expect business models like Malaysiakini or The Huffington Post in Singapore.

Hence, the question is how Singapore can have a sustainable creativity and entrepreneurship environment. Singaporeans are creative but the environment is very different.  The game rules are not set by the market and its growth has to be approved by the authority.

No supporting environment for creativity

From Creative Technology to Ilo Ilo, how can we sustain our creativity?

No wonder our creativity cannot sustain for too long as we have a government likes to control ….
Starting from this Saturday, websites that regularly report Singapore news and have significant reach will require individual licences to operate. Even you want to grow big in the internet; you can’t as there are always visible and invisible hands over your heads.

By winning the top honours and making history for Singapore film industry at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, Anthony Chen’s Ilo Ilo has once again demonstrated to the world the creativity of Singaporeans. But can this creativity last? And how can we sustain it?  

If you remember the story of Creative Technology, one of the best known Singapore technology company in the 1980s and 1990s, how come we, Singapore as a whole, cannot help and push the company to a new height?

Like Ilo Ilo, Creative Technology and many of our artists have achieved honours first not in Singapore but elsewhere.  And we know it is very difficult to have the breakthrough. For example, the City Harvest Church’s crossover project had spent multi-million dollars in the USA and has yet to see significant achievement for Sun Ho.

Monopoly in social media

We are happy to see the success story of Ilo Ilo at Canes. But with the kind of movie industry and appreciation culture in Singapore, how long can the success last? The issue of creativity sustainability is always there.  We can’t solve it in the past and how can we solve in future?

To add salt to the wounds, the new MDA licensing is telling netizens to self-control your activities in the social media.  Try not to be too creative or too smart to outdo others.   

Instead of preventing monopoly in social media, the government is trying to tell Singaporeans that monopoly of MSM is good for Singapore.  In the nation building, MSM not alternative news will be necessary and required.  So, if you want to be creative, you can join the MSM or SG Conversation.  This is safe environment and you are protected but with a trade-off of your creativity.

The new MDA licensing is not only bad for social media development.  It also reminds creative people their limited space in Singapore and the difficulty they will face if they want to be enterprise or develop business models in social media.

No need to be creative, the AIMgate has already shown you the importance of political association and correctness.

For the future good of Singapore, do we really need creativity and entrepreneurship? Perhaps, in the view of the PAP, only politically correct creativity and entrepreneurship have a place in Singapore.

What do you think?


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