Pink Dot disagrees with PM Lee Hsien Loong, says LGBTQ community faces discrimination

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Pink Dot 2018 (left) and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. (Yahoo News Singapore, AP file photos)
Pink Dot 2018 (left) and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. (Yahoo News Singapore, AP file photos)

SINGAPORE — The organiser of Pink Dot Singapore said on Thursday (27 June) that it disagreed with the comments by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong about inclusiveness in Singapore.

In a post on its Facebook page, Pink Dot said the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community faces discrimination in various ways.

A member of the audience at the Smart Nation Summit asked Lee on Wednesday whether Singapore would make its regulations more diverse to attract talent, including those of different sexual orientations.

Lee replied, “You know our rules in Singapore. Whatever your sexual orientation, you are welcome to come and work in Singapore. But this has not inhibited people from living, and has not stopped Pink Dot from having a gathering every year.

“It is the way this society is: We are not like San Francisco, neither are we like some countries in the Middle East. (We are) something in between, it is the way the society is.”

During the conference, Lee also said that Section 377A of the Penal Code, which criminalises sex between men, will remain around for some time.

In its Facebook post, Pink Dot said its existence is not proof that Singapore is inclusive to the LGBTQ community.

“Pink Dot exists precisely because members of the LGBTQ community in Singapore continue to face discrimination and inequality in a multitude of ways, on a daily basis. This discrimination that we face is borne from Section 377A, along with its trickle-down effects to other laws and policies that govern our society at large,” the group said.

The response to Lee’s comments comes as Pink Dot prepares to organise the 11th edition of its annual event held in support of the LGBTQ community at Hong Lim Park this Saturday.

The 2019 Pink Dot campaign will focus on stories of discrimination that the LGBTQ community experience in Singapore.

“Judging from PM Lee’s response, he might not have a full understanding of the discrimination that takes place in Singapore...We invite PM Lee and our leaders to come down to Hong Lim Park this Saturday and truly make an effort to understand what the LGBTQ community go through on a daily basis,” Pink Dot said.

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