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An Email to MDA

On Thursday, I sent the following email to the Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA)...

Dear Sir/Madam,

I recently approached a free-to-air radio station about promoting a project I am currently working on. I had hoped to be interviewed by one of their radio presenters. With much surprise, I was told that the Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA) prohibits the promotion of tattoos on free-to-air radio stations. It is my understanding that this applies to newspapers and printed presses as well.
Is there such a regulation or policy in modern Singapore? And if so, why is there such a need?

Singapore played host to our first ever tattoo convention earlier this year. I am happy to say that the Singapore Tattoo Show will be returning in January 2010. Like many other enthusiasts around the world, I look at tattoos as an art form. It would be a shame if Singapore still considered tattoos to be ‘secret society’ related or taboo. Tattoo artists here have worked incredibly hard to raise the bar and many of them have done Singapore proud in tattoo conventions around the globe.

If there is a concern that our Singaporean youths are getting tattooed at a young age, I am positive that campaigns can be created to educate our young. Local tattoo artists will be more than happy to play a part in a positively driven campaign that will not only urge our youths to ‘think before they get a tattoo’ but also to change the general mindset about tattoos in Singapore.

I sincerely hope that you will be able to clarify any regulations or policies that MDA might have against tattoos. Thanking you in advance.

Yours sincerely,
Noel Boyd

I got back from the Nuffnang Asia-Pacific Blog Awards an hour ago and here's the email I got from an MDA representative.

Dear Mr Boyd,

This is with reference to your query on whether there are any regulations or policies that MDA on tattoos.

Programmes on radio have to abide by the guidelines in the Radio Programme Code, which requires programmes on radio to maintain a standard that is acceptable to the community, bearing in mind that free-to-air radio reaches all homes and is easily accessible to the young. While the Code does not explicitly prohibit tattoos or tattooing, it does require radio programmes to take into account social sensitivities and acceptable community standards.

We would also like to highlight that while some people consider tattooing as an art form, the majority in our society still associate it with involvement with gangs and other illegal activities. In view of the social sensitivities involved, the radio broadcaster could have decided to err on the side of caution and choose not to feature tattooing in their programmes, as listeners could be uncomfortable with the promotion of such a practice.

Seriously, who is the MDA to decide what Singaporeans think? Have they done a nation wide survey about tattoos? If they did, I sure as hell wasn't surveyed. I bet you weren't either. Or is the majority just the handful of dick warts that take each and every chance to complain about issues that are outside of their comfort zones?

Or should I blame the countless number of Singapore Prison commercials and print ads that always seem to have a tattooed criminal? Is there really a freaking need to associate tattoos with the man behind bars???

The fight doesn't stop here. I'll be damned if it did. Myself along with my tattooed brothers and sisters have a long way to go. But I assure you folks, we will win in due time. For now, this country isn't as modern as she claims to be!


  1. dude, go for it man! go interview the public and see what they think about tattoos. i honestly don't believe "majority of singapore" frown upon it anymore.

  2. to begin with, "majority of singaporeans" are chinese. and them, along with the indian community, are the most enthusiastic about tattoos. the only race that isn't so big on it are the malays because most of them are muslim and it is against their religion. NEVERTHELESS, it has NOT prevented a lot of them from getting inked!!

  3. i believe the term is 'dickwad' lol. dick warts sounds like an STI.

  4. to Roz:
    hahahahahahahahahahahaa! indeed it does!!! hahahaaa..

  5. Wassup tatt bro! Here in the US we have the same b.s. The italian and mexican gangs have been heavily tattooed for years. Bike gang Hells Angels too. There will always be a stigma associated with tattoos anywhere you go around the world.

    The only difference is that the US government isn't anal about tattoos or bodyart for that matter.
    Hang in there and keep on believing yeah!

  6. All in all we're just another brick in the wall.

    And yeah, do say hi the next time we meet :)

  7. but u were in a gang before rite noel? can't blame pple for stereotyping wat!

  8. who is this "anonymous" person??
    HOW RUDE and cowardly!

    the exact bigotry and stupidity that make up the stereotyping lot.

    and of course, you say that now. perhaps the stereotype doesnt affect you. but what if you fall victim to another stereotype? lets see if you still sing the same song!

  9. someone commented that noel was in a gang before .. tell u what .. i was in one before and big time in my days .. but then i dint spot any tattoos .. and for the record ! I WAS WONDERING DOES MR. T T DURAI SPOT ANY TATTOOS ?? ..he committed a crime didnt he ?? ... even someone who is in the spiritual side committed crime recently, did he spot any tattoos .. all these typical thots bout tattooed people are a negative bunch are just plain typical !!! .. and i dun help that soon on Channel Newsasia that are showing a documentary about "people toying with tattoos" .. this is so discouraging for TATTOO-ISM in Singapore .. this suxz big time man !!! ... anyway THE MEDIA : "CUT THE TATTOOED PEOPLE AND TATTOO-ISM SOME SLACK HERE MAN !!!"

  10. hey "anonymous" i tell you what, i'm not and have never been in a gang before. i have 2 tattoos.

    does that make me undesirable company?

    i think with what you said, it's even worse than being in gangs because your narrow mindedness is the bane of society. the very reason why singapore will not progress as fast as it should.

    and guess what, you're a stereotype too. you're something i would call "the typical singaporean idiot".

  11. Holy smokes!!!! I'm gonna attempt to reply to all the comments...

    Shyanne: We'll need a permit for that. Doubt they'll give us one. Here is the problem. The fella who replied to my email is probably a four-eyed scholar who won't survive a day on the streets. I'm sure he looks at girls with tattoos hoping and wishing he could fuck them but he'll never allow his wife to get a tattoo because he's afraid to lose his damn face at the next reunion dinner!!!

    Roz: Hahaha...yup!

    Chris: Hi Chris! I totally agree. Freedom of speech doesn't quite exist here. This is one of the few times I wish I was in another country. Oh well....

    Priss: Isn't that from Pink Floyd? If it is, yaaaay cool!! That's an awesome song! I'll say hi the next time and we can have smoke too!

    Anonymous: Wow! Ok, yes I was. BUT, I didn't have tattoos during that period of my life. Nothing on me is gang related. With that said, I'm proud of my tattoos.

    Next time, at least leave a name!!

    Yummy Mummy: Chill-out babes! It's totally alright. Ain't got nothing to hide... =)

    Eddy: We can't blame CNA. They can't promote tattoos so they are pretty much screwed when it comes to this subject. Apparently the local media has been instructed to "black out" the tattoo industry....

    Shyanne: Nah, it just makes you sexy! *wink*

  12. can u ask if its the same asshole who banned my porn sites?!

  13. Probably the same fella bro! It seems like most of the good porn sites have been blocked by MDA. Someone should tell them that porn is artistic too. I'm sure Annabel Chong would agree! =)


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