I like to thank MHA and Mr Shanmugam once again for clarifying the rules for the use of Speakers Corner at Hong Lim Park, specifically with regard to foreign participation in citizen demonstrations that are held at this venue.
Over the past few years that the Pink Dot event had gained noticeability at Hong Lim Park, it has not gone unnoticed that foreign multinational companies’ participation at this event have also increased. Not only are foreign MNCs
supporting the event financially, they are also supporting the event by encouraging employee participation in this event. This is evidenced by participants wearing common pink T-shirts bearing corporate logos at the event.
Foreign MNCs boldly set up booths at Hong Lim Park that encourages participants to cast aspersions on local cultures and norms, leading people to question our values. Messages at the event cast doubts on family values by exonerating teenagers to leave their family. Parents are portrayed to be bad if they don’t embrace their children’s alternate sexual behaviour. Large placards personifying opposing voices as ‘fear’ and ‘ignorant’ can be seen at the park. Activities at this event include crude portrayal that demeans women.
Pink Dot organizer has managed to circumvent no foreign participation rule at Speakers Corner every year by narrowly defining the finale act, which is the light-up, as the demonstration act. In spite of this, foreigners have been photographed to be participating in the event.
In my humble opinion, there is no differentiation between the finale act from the entire event. The entire event should rightfully be seen as an act of demonstration at Speakers Corner.
It has been frustrating that despite taking place ever so boldly each year, there has been a perceived lack of intervention by the police. It is therefore with much welcome that MHA has clarified the role of foreign participation at Pink Dot event. I am reading that Google has already indicated that they will seek a permit to participate in next year’s event. I look forward to the enforcement of the no foreign participation rule at Speakers Corner for the preservation of the social fabric and value system of our society, Singapore.