Nudity is considered obscene in S'pore

Taking part in an outdoor nude photo shoot is against the law, said lawyer Vijay Kumar.

Section 27A of the Miscellaneous Offences (Public Order and Nuisance) Act states that it is an offence for a person to appear nude in a public place.

If convicted, there will be a fine of up to $2,000 or jail of up to three months or both.

Mr Vijay, who has been a lawyer for 32 years, said there is no need for a complainant.

"If the police know about it, that is good enough," he said.

Mr Vijay also said it is possible that the photographer has committed an offence under the Penal Code.

Section 292 of the Penal Code states that whoever "distributes, transmits by electronic means, publicly exhibits or in any manner puts into circulation...any obscene book, pamphlet, paper, drawing, painting, representation or figure, or any other obscene object" shall be punished with up to three months' jail and/or a fine.

Mr Vijay said: "In Singapore, nudity is considered obscene because we are a conservative society." Lawyer Steven Lam, who has been practising for more than 16 years, thinks nude photography is illegal under the Undesirable Publications Act.

Publication

Section 11 of the Act covers anyone who "makes or reproduces, or makes or reproduces for the purposes of sale, supply, exhibition or distribution to any other person... any obscene publication knowing or having reasonable cause to believe the publication to be obscene".

The Act considers a publication to be obscene if it could "deprave and corrupt persons who are likely, having regard to all relevant circumstances, to read, see or hear the matter contained or embodied in it".

If convicted, the maximum penalty is a fine of $10,000 and/or two years' jail.


This article was first published in The New Paper.

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