Government lifts ban on Cosmopolitan magazine

  Agence France Presse
September 2, 2004

MEDIA authorities on Thursday, Sept 2, lifted a long-standing ban on the popular US women's magazine Cosmopolitan.

The Media Development Authority (MDA) however warned that the magazine must not contain "exploitative sex and nudity".

Every copy of Cosmopolitan must also be shrink-wrapped and the cover must prominently feature a label warning consumers that its contents are "Unsuitable for the Young," the MDA statement said.

"Cosmopolitan will be available from this month... provided they do not contain exploitative sex and nudity," the statement said.

"The relaxation on the importation of Cosmopolitan is in line with calls from the public for greater choice in media content."

Cosmopolitan has been banned in Singapore for more than 20 years for allegedly espousing extreme liberal values which local authorities view as offending family and moral norms in the conservative city-state.

Singapore earlier lifted a ban on the popular American TV series Sex And The City.

Despite removing the ban on Cosmopolitan, authorities have indicated that they are not about to take a similar step regarding Playboy and other magazines depicting nudity.

Singapore has been dubbed a "nanny state" because of strict social controls. The government is trying to loosen the apron strings somewhat in an attempt to promote a more cosmopolitan image.

Authorities have removed curbs on a number of previously banned activities such as bungee jumping and bar top dancing.