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Graphic novel breached NAC funding guidelines

We thank Mr Shawn Low for his feedback in “How does NAC grant withdrawal help the arts?” (June 1). The National Arts Council (NAC) has spoken to both the artist and the publisher on the rationale for the withdrawal.

Khor Kok Wah, Senior Director, Literary Arts Sector, National Arts Council

We thank Mr Shawn Low for his feedback in “How does NAC grant withdrawal help the arts?” (June 1). The National Arts Council (NAC) has spoken to both the artist and the publisher on the rationale for the withdrawal.

The retelling of Singapore’s history in the graphic novel potentially undermines the authority or legitimacy of the Government and its public institutions and thus breaches our funding guidelines, which are published online and are well known in the arts community.

The NAC receives a large volume of grant applications annually. In 2013, we presented awards to nearly 1,200 applicants to support the diversity of artistic expression in Singapore, embracing all the major art forms.

Applications are assessed on their artistic merit, but any proposed content should not infringe funding guidelines. A grant withdrawal happens very infrequently, and we always make extra efforts to explain to affected parties.

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