Why pay Singapore TV licence – newspaper rejects letter

In Singapore the authorities make sure you pay your TV licence fee by linking it yo your property tax. No escape, no loophole. If Malaysia can abolish the licence, why can’t Singapore?

I wrote to a local newspaper on the issue but my letter was rejected. Perhaps it saw no merit in it or for some other reason I don’t know.

This was what said:

“I fail to understand why the government continues to hand over the money on a platter to Mediacorps and the radio stations. With some 900,000 households paying the annual fees, the total amount the government rakes in comes to a staggering $99 million.

According to the authorities, TV license fees are collected with the principal aim of funding public service programmes on TV and radio.

I find it unbelievable that the cost of producing all those public service programmes can amount to some $8 million dollars a month.

Since the money is given on a platter, is there any assurance there is no wasteful expenditure? How exactly is the money used? What sorts of TV and radio programmes are funded by the fees? Does the level of viewers’ interest in such programmes justify their continuance? These are some of the questions the public would like answers to.

Public opinion is that the government should fund public service programmes from its tax revenue instead of forcing the public to bear what should be its public duty.

It bewilders me that public money is offered to private companies so easily.

If they are altruistic enough I think it is not beyond their creative ability to attract sponsors to fund the programmes

A sad consequence of the need for a TV licence fee is that poor households are forced to live without TV, or even radio,

Television and radio serve as very basic vehicles in the dissemination of news, information and entertainment. Everyone should have free access to it.

Continued insistence that households foot the bill is unfair and unjustified.”


9 Responses to “Why pay Singapore TV licence – newspaper rejects letter”

  1. 1) What’s the use Roger? Nobody reads the complaints. Even if they do, they just carry on and on with the shows, irregardless!

    2) You have Cable. Just click and enjoy other channels from across the continents.

    3) I don’t turn on my car radio to listen to the programmes but pay my licence too.

    4) By the way, who pays for all the local productions on Singapore TV? I don’t even know myself. Does anyone?

    5) And 90.5FM? Shouldn’t they be playing songs before the 70s? Aren’t there too much chatter and advertisements?

  2. 5) Shouldn’t they be playing songs recorded before the 70s?

  3. Which programmes are funded by our money? They say it’s the community-related programmes. Is Crime Watch one of them?

    Out of curiousity I watched Crime Watch today, and counted 13 advertisements. If CW is funded by our money, then can we say the station is making money at our expense?

  4. We pay for cable TV, and also pay for the TV licence. Aren’t we charged twice?

  5. I remember about 6 years ago when I bought a new car without getting a radio licence and parked at Ceylon Road for a meal. I received a notice in the mail 3 days later, advising me to get a licence.

    That’s how thorough these people are. They peer into cars and check their logistics. Now it’s easier with their computerised system.

    The irony is: I never needed a radio because of the amount of CDs I carry in the car. Even up till today I hardly turn on the car-radio. Shouldn’t we be given a choice?

  6. Only way is to get one without the radio. A TV licence covers radio at home but they still require one for the car. One word for it: Greed. Unfair surely but when there’s money to be taken, legally of course, why not?

    Time Singapore had an ombudsman for citizens to seek redress against govt unfair and unreasonable policies.

  7. Roger,

    Keep up the good work. Someone must ask these questions about what the hell we’re paying for. If the mainstream media in Singapore won’t publish your comments (for obvious reasons), then at least some Singaporeans will be able to read them online.

    Thank goodness for the internet, or Singaporeans may have no choice but to face the government-sanctioned view as published by the mainstream media.

    • Bloggers like us know their impact is miniscule, if any, and ignored by the authorities but if I were them I’d listen to the man in the street for a feel of the pulse. However, ministers ignore us at their peril for we ask ourselves why we should BLINDLY give them our support.

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