Party co-sponsored by Malaysian-based 'sugar daddy dating app' no longer part of GP Season Singapore

NST Online

KUALA LUMPUR: The 'Sky Grande Prix' party, co-sponsored by a Malaysian-based dating application 'TheSugarBook' is no longer part of Singapore Formula One (F1) Grand Prix-related events.

Called the Grand Prix Season Singapore, a mutual agreement has been reached between the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and the party's organiser that the event will not be part of this year's campaign.

As reported by The Straits Times, STB said they would be focusing on other events leading up to the race.

TheSugarBook, while based in Malaysia, is widely popular in Singapore, even making it to the country's Parliament where concerns were raised about it.

With the tagline of 'Where Romance Meets Finance', the site matches 'sugar daddies' with 'sugar babies'.

The island republic's Minister for Social and Family Development Desmond Lee in Feb this year said the police would keep a 'close eye' on dating platforms such as TheSugarBook.

In a news report by Channel News Asia, questions were raised by two Singapore MPs, in which the concern was that the site targeted those in their late teens and early 20s.

Channel News Asia also reported that the site claimed to have some 30,000 members in Singapore.

Meanwhile, 'Sky Grande Prix' organiser Vanilla Luxury told The Straits Times that the event, scheduled to take place next Friday a the Grand Hyatt Singapore's Martini Bar, was not specifically for TheSugarBook and was not organised by the dating app.

"This year, Sugarbook is only one of our many partners. In every event and relationship, compliance with the law is mandatory. We are committed to providing a world-class experience in Singapore," a Vanilla Luxury spokesman told The Straits Times.

It is however unclear if TheSugarBook is directly related to the event no longer being part of the Grand Prix Season Singapore campaign.

What is TheSugarBook?

It began as a website before moving on to include a mobile application.

The site began operations in 2017 and according to an interview with the Asian Entrepreneur in the same year, its founder Darren Chan said TheSugarBook is a 'niche social networking platform for people to connect, meet and build mutually beneficial relationsip'.

Chan also described TheSugarBook as the '1st sugar daddy dating platform in Asia'. Getting inChecks by NST Online found that it wasn't too difficult to sign up for a profile and there were no issues in not divulging real names.

Among the first questions asked for a potential 'sugar baby' is how would you describe your lifestyle budget, with options such as practical and moderate, among others.

After completing a short profile, users will be shown a list of other users that can be filtered to narrow down potential 'sugar daddies'.

It is not as sleazy as it sounds as the site appears to be a normal dating app, only that it goes straight to the point with regard to financial matters for those who prefer to look for a companion or friend that can afford to accommodate their financial needs.

Going through the list of potential 'sugar daddies', one profile stood out as it used the name and profile picture of a former minister's son.

However, it is unclear if his photo had been misused as there appears to be no way of telling if a profile is legit unless a background check has been conducted on the profiles. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd