( dpa ) - A choir singing complaints about Singapore cancelled its public performance and switched to invitation-only shows after authorities forbade foreign members from performing publicly, organizers said Monday.
The restriction came "as a total shock," the participants said in a statement.
The choir was informed of the order by the Media Development Authority (MDA) on Friday, one day before the performances were scheduled to start.
All the public performances were cancelled.
"We decided to have private performances at the Arts House," said Melissa Lim, an organizer of the Complaints Choir Project.
The concept was started by Finnish duo Tellervo Kalleinen and Oliver Kochta-Kalleinen, who travel to different countries teaching people to sing about their gripes to fellow citizens.
They are among six of 50 members, including the choir's Malaysian conductor Chong Wai Lun, who are foreigners.
Among the lyrics was, "We don't recycle any plastic bags, but we purify our pee."
Another was, "Will I ever live 'til 85, to collect my CPF?" referring to the Central Provident Fund pension plan.
In a posting on the choir's website, the founders said, "We see the symptoms of a neurotic society. We find it irritating that foreigners, people that built this city, nurse Singaporean kids and bring in their knowledge, are not allowed to complain."
The MDA said the content of the songs touched "on domestic affairs."
"It is preferred that only Singapore citizens participate in the public performance."
Foreigners have been prohibited from speaking at other public events that dealt with sensitive issues under Singapore's tough restrictions on speech.