Only Singapore citizens and permanent residents (PRs) will be allowed to assemble at the Speakers’ Corner for Pink Dot 2017, said the event’s organisers on Sunday (14 May).
This is in accordance with last year’s amendments to the Public Order Act, under which “the law no longer distinguishes between participants and observers, and regards anyone who turns up to the Speakers’ Corner in support of an event to be part of an assembly”, said an announcement on the pinkdot.sg website.
The Pink Dot organisers said they had received a reminder from the Singapore Police Force on the new regulations, which have also banned foreign companies from funding the annual event held in support of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.
The group acknowledged the strong support received from “friends from around the world who have unfailingly attended our events over the years”, but added that they had no choice but to follow the rules as “organisers and foreigners caught flouting this rule are liable to be prosecuted”.
Individuals caught illegally participating in Speaker’s Corner events face a fine of up to $3,000 for their first offence. Repeat offenders can be fined up to $5,000.
The organisers said they will have to ensure that everyone assembling at Hong Lim Park on 1 July for Pink Dot 2017 holds either a pink or blue identity card (IC). Those in the process of transitioning genders and who have concerns over not resembling their IC photographs were also assured that help would be given in terms of verifying their identities on the day itself.
To its foreign supporters, the announcement said “We will be live-streaming the event proceedings over Facebook and there will be to-the-minute updates on our Instagram and Snapchat platforms.
“We invite everyone to support and celebrate the Freedom to Love even if you cannot be physically at the event.”