Unhappy with the LGBT flag put up at SMOL stall in Lau Pa Sat, a man was seen in an 18 Jan CCTV video footage ripping the flag off the counter and flinging it into the stall, leaving the staff standing there in shock.
This was the conversation between the man and staff according to SMOL:
Man: What is this Flag?
Me: To show our support for the LGBT+ community.
(He walks away, shows his disapproval, and then walks back)
Man: Do you know that this is a public food court? Not everybody support LGBT!!?? How can you put this flag??
We were stunned at this point. And all of a sudden, the man ripped our pride flag off our counter, and threw it forcefully at one of us.
Man: You are the kind of people who is destroying Singapore! Go TO HELL!!!
Charmaine Low, the owner of SMOL, also put up the following statement:
I support diversity and inclusion in all its forms, especially the inclusion of marginalised communities such as the LGBTQ community. I have had the privilege of starting SMOL, and believe in using the business as a platform to amplify the voices of those who are not heard.
Our display of the small pride flag on our counter top not only shows solidarity with the LGBTQ community, but is also a conversation starter with our customers. What happened today was an unfortunate incident with someone who was not interested in having a peaceful conversation, but who believed that he had the right to abuse and use force against our staff. It is also a reminder that discrimination against LGBTQ people in Singapore is well and alive, and there is so much more work to be done to promote understanding, love and tolerance for this community. While I am concerned about the safety of my team, we will not stop displaying our little pride flag at both our outlets (Lau Pa Sat and PLQ) as a way to support the community, and we urge other homegrown SMEs to show their support for the LGBTQ community in their own ways.