( dpa ) - The banning of a choir from publicly singing complaints about life in Singapore prompted the singers to post the songs online while the prohibition was criticized Tuesday on internet forums and blogs.
Founded by two Finnish artists who travel to different countries teaching people to sing about their gripes to fellow citizens.
Singapore's Media Development Authority (MDA) objected to the presence of six foreigners among the 50-member Complaints Choir Project, resulting in the scrapping of scheduled public performances last weekend and the holding of an invitation-only indoor performance instead.
Organizers decided to go online after the ban was imposed and posted videos of the songs on YouTube.
"The MDA didn't want foreigners to discuss domestic matters," said blogger Choo Zheng Xi, noting the irony of the songs now being "broadcast to the world."
The scheduled public performances were part of the M1 Arts Festival Fringe.
"What message are we sending to younger artists?" asked the festival's artistic director Glen Goei, referring to the MDA's decision. "You can't stop art."
The chorus of one song said, "What's wrong with Singapore? Losing always makes me feel so sore. Cause if you're not the best. Then you're just one of the rest."
"My oh my Singapore. What exactly are we voting for? What's not expressly permitted is prohibited."
The MDA said the content of the songs touched "on domestic affairs," a Singapore domain. There was no objection to the indoor private performance.
The choir's Malaysian conductor, Chong Wai Lun, and the Finnish founders, Tellervo Kalleinen and Oliver Kochta-Kalleinen were among the six foreigners.
The city-state has long come under sharp criticism from rights groups over its restrictions on freedom of speech.