Sunday, December 20, 2009

Why pay Singapore TV licence?


Dear Mr Tan
This subject has been brought up many times. Occasionally, the authorities would give replies, including at least once in Parliament, but they failed to convince the public.
Personally, I do not object to the Government collecting money from me because they need to pay the service providers too and, in this case, for "funding public service programs on TV and radio". However, I have always had an uncomfortable feeling as to how they actually spent $8 million a month.
Just my own thoughts.

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

They don't have to convince the public, since they get a comfortable margin of confidence and mandate to do what they like for the next five years.
Look at it this way, the 8 million cannot even pay 3 ministers their salaries so why feel uncomfortable?

Cardin Lee said...

The main Chinese and English channels are already very well established and have a good slew of advertisements to fund TV programming already. It seems to be posting a Net profit of about a few hundred million these few years, with the exception of yr 2002 when it posted a Net Loss of $119.5 million, which might have been accredited to the disposal of an associated company in the same year, which must have been running losses.

Anonymous said...

"I paid my TV license, and this is what they give me?!"

I frequently complain the above when I see lamey, soapy, boring taiwanese drama serial on TV during saturday PRIME time slots. No wonder the kids want to go out and do not want to stay at home.

(no offense to the fans of taiwanese drama serial)

Anonymous said...

REX comments as follows,

The TV licence fee of $110 a year is really too high already, especially with the huge increase in population and households (just look at the condo's sprouting out everywhere!). It is a monopolistic situation, there is nothing we can do about it... the Mediacorp is a monopoly, so it just collects N% more if the population increases N%, yet it doesn't take any extra amount of money (capital expenditure) to broadcast to the increased number of people since the broadcasts antennae of the TV and its equipment (infrastructure) already cover the whole island and is independent of the number of households!!

In all other sectors such as transport, or housing, or education, it is different -- if the population increase N%, the relevant sectors has to upgrade or build new systems, as the demand is very visible and reflects the value of "N".

Mediacorp having collected so much money, should (wishful thinking) improve its products. Right now, Channel 8 (Singapore is a Channel 8 nation!!) local shows especially prime time slots at 8 pm to 9 pm and especially on weekends, are BELOW STANDARDS, often an insult to intelligence. The Sunday vareity show at 9 pm is extremely childish. In fact it has degraded through the years. 15 years ago we had the matchmaking program (hosted by Wang Yu Ling local MC) series, even that was much more entertaining and mature. They collect 500% more and the quality drops negative -500% !!

It is the role of the national TV station to raise standards of entertainment, language and culture. The only way to do is to have a massive overhaul of the Talents producing the TV variety shows and programs. Mediacorp should spend liberally to employ the best in the industry to create a fun and interesting environment on national TV. Right now, like many government bodies, the station just hoards money and keep it. With so much increase in license fees, i hope they spend more on staffing to select top grade people to produce top grade programs. This is my Christmas wish.

REX

Back2Nature said...

Is Mediacorp collecting? I hope not as it shouldn't be. I feel that the concept of TV license is obsolete since many decades ago when advertisements are fighting for time slots, and population of TVs covered majority of households. See wikipedia for more info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tv_licensing
Quoting from there: "Even though Singapore's only television broadcaster, MediaCorp, is technically not a public broadcaster, Singaporeans with TVs in their households or TVs and radios in their vehicles are still required to acquire a television licence."

Anonymous said...

Really difficult to raise standards since they admire foreign "talents" but seem unable to get the real talents. Take the Taiwanese "Lian" as an example. I was shocked when I chanced upon the show featuring the upbringing of this foreign artiste, which showed her to be almost a delinquent and proud of it. In the show, it was shown how she proudly derided those who studied hard and compared her present success with Mediacorp with that of the rest who are now hawking in the streets of Taiwan. She also proudly declare that it is ok to be "bad" when young when referring to her daughter. This must have profound effects on the hundreds of thousands of households who believed in the media. So now we know where our hardearned money is going to, whether we like it or not.

Anonymous said...

Here is the LAW: if you have a TV at home, you pay $110 every year, regardless of weather you watching any of their programs, otherwise you will pay many many times more for it - when you are CHARGED in court!!!

Anonymous said...

REX comments,
to be a bit frank, in the entertainment and edutainment industry, especially in the chinese Ch 8 sector, it is probably good to bring in foreign talent, because their command of the language is superior as well as their cultural heritage as well as sense of humour. In a strict political regime like singapore it is impossible to get good talent to produce good shows, or provide compering skills. Jack Neo and Moses Lim are, arguably, one in 20 year find. (both have found greener pastures). Mediacorp should be more liberal in spending money to revamp the programs and staffings; given that so large amount of TV licence fee is being collected.

To save jobs for the locals, such foreign talent should be quota controlled and carefully managed, mixed with the local talents. Foreign talent can produce good programs but for sure our local talents know the ground well, so a balace has to be struck between ths staffing. With so much money collected by the mediacorp, nothing is impossible!!!

It is a cheating our money, if they don't improve and yet keep asking the citizens to pay $110 every year and the population continues to grow.

REX

Lye Khuen Way said...

My 2 cents worth's :-
1) TV License was a legacy of those days when the colonial govt wanted to track anyone owning a radio. ( remember the communists 50" and earlier)
2) Almost all other developing/developed countries ( Guess someone will point out that Singapore is NOT a Country nor Developed !) have already scrapped their Licenses,
3)MDA said it is to "fund free-to-air programes" I say , yes But Singaporean/residents do not enjoy these as they are not "free-to-receive" telecast. Instead our neighours in Malaysia / Indonesia, if they are near enough can receive it "free".
4) The interesting thing about the LAW. It about a TV Broadcasting Apparutus. In it, a TV receiving set is defined as a " Broadcasting Apparatus.... Yes, I do know that a TV set do generate radiations....That was how the Authority can track down a operating TV set !

Anonymous said...

I feel that I am forced to pay for the propaganda that I don't need. The channels I watch are meanly Paid-Channels which I have to pay again - but at least I get to see what I want!

Anonymous said...

For the first time people actually want to decide what to do with their money and not allow some central body to decide.

Anonymous said...

I prefer to receive my news from CCTV, CNN and the Taiwan channels. At least those lady news readers do not dress and smile idiotly on air while transmitting the news.

For leisure, I purchase Korean videos shows. At least the shows are more "confucious" unlike ours which tries to outdo each shows with overdone and unnecessary sexual shots/acts.

Aiyah, just pay the $110. What to do? They insist on me paying, then I pay loh... Practically to me, no value for my money.

Anonymous said...

I think the TV licenses fee goes to MDA, not MediaCorp. Therefore, it's MDA who should be accountable for the money collected and spend in such a way that promotes a better entertainment industry in this country. I never watched MediaCorp TV programs. Like someone said in his/her comments here, I felt that I am intellectually insulted by watching their programs.

Anonymous said...

This is the problem of S'pore and many problems to come...

Even TV licence also being forced to pay whether it's justifyable to pay or not or "nevermind small amount just pay lah" mentality.

The real problem is we do not have enough oppositions to say NO.

Anonymous said...

REX comments
It is lamentable that MDA like many government agencies, is in the business of collecting and hoarding cash which i suspect somehow ends up as "gambling chips" for the government to earn even more cash in SWF investments. When money is earned it should also be well spend and not almost COMPLETELY stashed away, "invested" (aka gambled away) to earn evem more cash. Cash itself has no value if it is not returned in the form of development projects whether material or spiritual (TV programs in this case). Unfortunately our government only loves money for money's sake. It is very hard to support this kind of philosophy, for what does it profit a man if he should gain the world but lose his own soul.

REX

Anonymous said...

PAP = Pay And Pay.

So what the problem. You put them into power and now you back biting.

YOu gonna pay more in the future 10% GST, CO2 tax, Capital Gain Tax and many more you can never imagine today.

As long as they are in power you will continue to PAP.

Anonymous said...

REX comments as follows,
There is no guarantee that if you vote an opposition into parliament,you stop paying 110 dollars, or they will improve the tv programs, and investigate what happens to the 9 million dollar collected each month from TV levies. In fact this matter is prob too miniscule for the oppostion to put into their manifesto's unless maybe kin lian would do so ... if he stands for election. Its very difficult to change anything in singapore, with or without opposition .

REX

Anonymous said...

Rex, your arguement is flaw. If that's the case, S'pore might as well adopt China communist one party rule with no opposition parties at all?

In 1950s and 1960s, the ruling party arrest and detain "leftists" without trial on the pretext that they are "communists" and "transformed" all Chinese schools, media and university.

Now the ruling party emulate China political system except with a facade of "democracy" and Chinese is good, a must learn subject now.

In most democratic countries, opposition party is the govt-in-waiting, to provide shadow cabinet and to check & balance the ruling party.

But in S'pore, becos of defamation and bankruptcy, the "real" opposition parties are weak and handicapped.

Anonymous said...

REX comments as follows,

Dear anon Dec 23rd 2:36 pm. Well we could try our luck and vote an oppostion in, but the tv licence thingy, it's not the politcal mileage kind of thingy that oppostiion party will stick their necks out for. Did CSJ ever raise it? Did JBJ ever raised it? No, because it is too insignicant for them as a political tool. They also do many calculations and strategies, they design their manifestos strategically to get support of the most in the optimum way.

Just go to their blogs. They are way below the standards set in TOC (online citizen blog) and TKL blog. All they do is throw shit at the government. That's why they end up in jail or get fined. They haven't learn to harness the power of internet which leaders in TOC and TKL blog already have done so.

For me it is between devil and deep blue sea. I hate PAP, I hate SDP, I am skeptical abour RP, I practically hate every party!

But i kinda like TKL. He sees numerous problems and dissects it and encourages debate. This is what oppostion should be doing at all times, not just two months before election. Yes?

I'll vote for TKL if he is an independent candidate. He has enough style, substance and charisma, to be an independent candidate - without merging with those other established parties and getting directed by them!!

REX

Anonymous said...

My mother stop to watch TV after the sponsor of License Fee passed away in mid-2003. The TV set has sold out. The authority keep sending warning letters !!!

Anonymous said...

Johor people can see all our channel and they dont have to pay $110. Singaporean does????

Back2Nature said...

Btw, the staff [from MDA?] just came by to ask me if I have a TV a few days ago. I don't intend to have TV at home. This is the third time I think, and I just realized that they have to do it yearly. So, sorry folks, part of your $110 might have been used/wasted to pay their staff to visit many homes yearly.

How about to fixed a device into TV sets to record the amount of time receiving free-to-air channels? Then, TV-licensing based on this information would be more appropriate. In this way, I would not be illegal to get a good big LCD TV for my computer display unit.

greg said...

btw u realise u can cancel your tv license via MDA website right? i sent in a tv license cancellation request already. i hardly turn on the TV these days, like only once a month.

Anonymous said...

So seriously, think abt this...
1. there are foreign workers that have TVs in the dorms that don't pay for the TV license.
2. JB & Indo can rec'v our TV & radio channels!!!
3. Only SR & PRs are paying for others to enjoy our national privilege?
4. IF the sole purpose of TV license is for the collection for TV services, then why are we still paying that when most of us have CABLE???? Shouldn't it be waived if we are already paying for cable????
5. Moulded from a nice tender age in Kindergarden, we are taught mostly not to ask too many questions by our teachers.
6. Encouraged to listen more than ask... even if you don't understand. "If you listen properly, then you will understand" theory is absurd.
7. So you ask who will stand up to PAP, well I say no one. PAP has done really well in many aspects (our growing economy, mentally gearing everyone in 1 direction, having emotional control over its ppl, etc etc) but as there are not strong enough parties/bodies, coupled with the fact that we are so tied up with what we can/will lose if PAP is over-thrown or if we fall out of grace from PAP, that we are not able to overcome the fear instilled in us subconsciously since young that we have ruled PAP as somewhat of a GOD...

Look deep within yourself & ask, am I complaining for the sake of doing it or do I really want to see a change? Is this change that I require help my economy and what are the repercussions if its no longer present? I agree which REX abt oppositions being just a balance in parliament. We, the ppl, have to stand up as 1 voice / united in order to get anything done (for a sec there I was thinking abt our pledge). Our pledge is the fundamental key to our success. We have been taught from young, cultivated with those words everyday - an imprint of a promise that if we do X, we will be rewarded with Y & Z. Pledging our loyalty to our nation, to our PAP without any thot as to the real meaning of it.. unknowingly being mentally & emotionally hypnotized and being primed like cattle for the kill.. maybe I'm thinking too much into it but since PAP is in such great power, then why are we not able to use 'our' power to make things happen?? Are we not the ones that gave them that power in the 1st place? Have we really become the droids of our ancestors? They believed and gave PAP power to become what they are today but we have forgotten that the true power are ourselves like when our ancestors stand "as one united people regardless of race, language or religion"...

Andromeda

Anonymous said...

SINGAPORE: Won't pay TV licence?
http://www.asiamedia.ucla.edu/article-southeastasia.asp?parentid=92553

Anonymous said...

Noted this para from MDA web "TV Licence fees help to fund selected TV programmes to ensure that our population has access to a more balanced and wider range of Public Service Broadcast (PSB) programmes. PSB programmes include current affairs, info-educational, cultural, quality drama, children's and minority language programmes. They reflect local values and concerns. Such programmes often serve to inform and educate the general public about important social, community and economic issues and policies. You may view the latest PSB programmes here." I presume these refer to the "free to air channels". Our national pledge also says that we the citizens of singapore pledge ourselves to build a democratic society and our democratic is based on justice and equality. What justice is there when we are not even given an option not to have the 'free to channels"?

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