Singapore government tells foreign companies that this isn’t their home. Don’t get too comfortable

It was reported that Ministry of Home Affairs issued some statement saying that it would “take steps to make clear that foreign entities should not fund, support, or influence events like Pink Dot“. As my friend puts it:

“This article ( or maybe it’s the original MHA statment) is so unclear. So was the sponsorship of this year’s event by these companies illegal? If so, why not arrest them? Was it because the rules were so muddled that these companies could not reasonably have known they were contravening the rules? Why is MHA only acting now, when the sponsorship of this event by these companies started a while back? And what on earth does “will take steps to make clear” even mean?”

Donald Low has also posted on Facebook why he thinks this move is arbitrary and heavy-handed.

This move contradicts with moves by the government to attract foreign companies to set up roots in Singapore. For example,  foreign banks that operate in Singapore are, by MAS’ regulations local entities. Another example is how EDB has been trying its darnedest best to convince foreign companies to set up shop in Singapore and view Singapore as a home, rather than just a host.

Then now we tell them that they aren’t really local entities. Ok. Schizo much? Or perhaps the things that our government says are for show only? Just rhetoric? Take with a huge pinch of salt?

And what exactly is the government against? Sponsorship? Sure. You can pass a law saying that foreign companies cannot sponsor any events that take place at Hong Lim Park. You think that’ll stop foreign companies from sponsoring Pink Dot? If those companies want to continue sponsoring, you think there aren’t ways for them to continue doing so?

Donald Low already suggested one way. Another would be for the people who organise Pink Dot to set up a $2 company wholly owned by Singaporeans. Call it Action for Inclusive Management Consultancy. Or AIM Consultancy (geddit? $2 company…). Then all those foreign entities who want to continue sponsoring Pink Dot can hire AIM Consultancy for very high fees to do some… er… consultancy work.

AIM Consultancy, being a wholly Singaporean-owned company can then do whatever it wants with its money. Like… use that money to sponsor Pink Dot!

If the Singapore government wants those foreign companies to not appear to be supporting Pink Dot. Then that’s doing the impossible. Facebook, Google, Apple all have very well-known, entrenched policies that support the freedom for everyone, heterosexual or LGBT, to love whoever they want and choose whatever lifestyles they want.

The head office in US (or any other country) could just time some press release or some story or video to be posted on their own website/social media accounts near Pink Dot that says the company supports all events that celebrate the freedom to love.

Then social media here in Singapore picks it up. Makes it viral. Outside of Hong Lim Park. Then during Pink Dot, have a segment in the event for everyone to use their smart phones or tablets to watch the video, or read the story. Then the emcee, who should be a Singaporean, can talk about it too.

So what exactly does the Singapore government want to do? And why do they think it’s necessary to fight this battle? Does it have anything to do with certain other segments of society pressurising the government?

Alfian Sa’at posted this on his Facebook page.

I think it’s ridiculous. It’s not like the LGBT community is going around converting people to the LGBT lifestyle. They don’t go around telling people that if you don’t become LGBT, you will be damned for all eternity.

No. They just want to be able to love whoever they choose to love. It’s something so deeply personal. Why should the state or anyone else interfere with their choice? Are they hurting themselves? More importantly, are they hurting anyone else with that choice? No. They aren’t.

Then why the hell do we want to interfere? How would you like it if someone went around telling you that you and your spouse should only have sex on Wednesday? At precisely 10:47pm. And only for 10 minutes. You would tell that person to stay out of your private affairs. And you would be right!

So how is being so stridently against the LGBT community any different?

[Featured image: Participants posing with balloons at the Pink Dot2016 .ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM]



7 thoughts on “Singapore government tells foreign companies that this isn’t their home. Don’t get too comfortable

  1. Pingback: Daily SG: 9 Jun 2016 – The Singapore Daily

  2. Your predisposed preferences show.
    Methinks, the GLBT doth protest too much considering how public their glee was.
    Is HLP a public place or a private place. It is a public place.

    In addition, considering the GLBT activist at the bare minimum are dissing the govt in
    place at every opportunity as well as those who dislike being told to shove in their face.

    Further, fortunately or unfortunately, conservatives can see for themselves, the actions taken to extremes by GLBT activists within USA and many other OECD countries.

    So no, I do not want men/women pretending to be Trans or vice versa or whatever sexual identity of the day in my childrens bathroom and likewise.

    For public places, overt displays of sexuality wiither hetero or homo are persona non grata. This is Asia not the West.

    Communities first not individuals

    I think it was best described by Bilahari in his lectiures that the conception and nuances of human rights differ from place to place.

    Further, the companies are described as tax residents locally but still recognised as foreign owned unless the likes of companies are willing to be partially owned by Singapore owned entities

    Donald Low has conveniently taken the MAS concept but forgets that under ACRA , the definitions differ.

    Further any dividends declared here are treated as profits by their respective parent companies incorporated in their own countries.

    By the way, hyporisy rules everywhere, considering how tax savings schemes hatched brilliantly by Google.

    Anyway, if Local companies or individuals decide to sponsor, that is their pregorative but I do not need the culture wars in the West to be sponsored here.

    For Alfiaan Saat, hypocrisy rules as well, considering his diatribes in the campaign against his pert peeves starting with K.

    The difference is that for those who believe ,we do recognise that we are flawed that is why we believe.

    Anyway to each his or her own or thereabouts .



    • Pink Dor isn’t about who gets to use what toilets. Or public displays of affection. Or sexual excesses. It’s about the freedom to be in love with whoever we choose. If you can’t get that right, then there’s no point discussing anything. How does two men or two ladies loving each other deeply, simply holding hands walking in the park hurt us? How is being against Pink Dot different from being against two people of different castes loving each another? How is it different from being against two people of different races from loving each other?


  3. It is specific for socio politico issues and not other items.

    By the way, why do not those companies try to sponsor the same in Indonesia and Malaysia or even Saudi Arabia than,lets see what happens.where they do their business.

    Lucrum rules


  4. Let me refer to the articles written by someone who is at your side of the fence

    The pertinent points are as follows:-

    “I was always amazed by how well organized our Pink Dot activists are, but what was even more amazing was how their ability to organize themselves put many of our political parties to shame. I used to think that Pink Dot was the one annual happy occasion where people came out to show the world that love is stronger than hate.

    But I won’t be attending Pink Dot this year. Or any other years for that matter. This is coming from someone who has their fair share of LGBT friends and feels deeply for their plight of ostracization. But the Lawrence Khong Ikea saga left an extremely bitter taste in my mouth. Just to be clear: I am not a fan of Khong. I think he has espoused many a vile idea in the past but I believe he is entitled to his right to free speech.
    And his right to earn a living.”

    “The point of a free society is to tolerate a wide range of views whether you like them or not. But your actions towards Khong totally flies in the face of your message of inclusivity and acceptance.” was all I could think about when I read their response

    Maybe when our pro gay side finally decides to practice what it preaches that is to paraphase a supposed Voltaire quote “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”



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