Foreign entities should not fund, support events like Pink Dot: MHA

Foreign entities should not fund, support events like Pink Dot: MHA

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) was responding to media queries as to whether foreign companies like Google and Facebook can provide sponsorship for Pink Dot, which is held annually at Speakers' Corner.

The crowd at Hong Lim Park for a Pink Dot event. (Photo: Monica Kotwani)

SINGAPORE: The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said on Tuesday (Jun 7) that it would take steps to make it clear that foreign entities should not fund, support or influence events held at Speakers' Corner, including Pink Dot 2016.

MHA issued the statement in response to media queries as to whether foreign companies can provide sponsorship for Pink Dot, which is held annually at Speakers' Corner.

The number of corporate sponsors for Pink Dot this year doubled from nine in the previous year to 18 this year. Google, Barclays, JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs and BP have supported Pink Dot for several years now. Apple, Facebook and General Electric joined the roster for this year's event, which was held on Jun 4.

In its statement, MHA noted that Pink Dot organisers have held the event at Speakers' Corner for several years now, and that during the event, the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community expresses its views on issues of concern to it.

"The Government’s general position has always been that foreign entities should not interfere in our domestic issues, especially political issues or controversial social issues with political overtones. These are political, social or moral choices for Singaporeans to decide for ourselves. LGBT issues are one such example.

"This is why under the rules governing the use of Speakers’ Corner, for events like Pink Dot, foreigners are not allowed to organise or speak at the events, or participate in demonstrations."

The ministry said it would make clear that foreign entities should not fund, support or influence such events. It added that, in the context of LGBT issues, this applies both to events that advocate the LGBT cause, such as Pink Dot, as well as events that oppose the LGBT cause.

CORPORATE SPONSORS REGISTERED IN SINGAPORE: PINK DOT

In a statement on Wednesday, the organisers of Pink Dot said that its corporate sponsors are all registered and incorporated in Singapore.

"Pink Dot SG started off first and foremost as a platform on which values of inclusion and diversity are celebrated, and over the years this has only strengthened with the growing support of Singaporeans from all walks of life, including a significant portion of its corporate citizens," the organisers said in the statement, adding that the corporate sponsors that have supported the event over the years include "admired household names (and) employers of choice for a sizeable portion of our workforce".

"For all the LGBT Singaporeans and their allies that this movement has striven to help give a voice to and done its part to push the envelope in helping to create greater visibility of Singapore’s LGBT community, we have done all we can to ensure Pink Dot SG stays within the law," the organisers said.

Source: CNA/dt