Singapore—Pink Dot held a very successful rally and concert on June 29, with thousands of attendees coming to Hong Lim Park on the last Saturday of Pride Month, when support for the LGBTQ+ community was seen in big parades and demonstrations all over the world.
Significantly, the rally was attended by the Prime Minister’s brother, Lee Hsien Yang, a fact that the media reported about. However, The Straits Times (ST) which originally mentioned that Mr Lee, his family and in-laws had attended the rally, edited out this portion in a later edition of the story, a fact that Pink Dot called out on its Facebook page.
By all accounts, this year’s Pink Dot 11, in spite of stormy weather, was well-attended indeed. The highlight of the evening was when the message “REPEAL 377-A,” referring to the section of Singapore’s Penal Code that criminalises sexual activity between men, a holdover from the country’s colonial past. A similar section had been repealed in India just last year, giving rise to calls for Singapore to follow suit.
By early evening on June 29, Pink Dot’s had posted a photo on its Facebook page of Lee Hsien Yang, his wife, their son Li Huanwu and his husband, Dr Heng Yirui, along with Dr Heng’s parents, all dressed in pink to mark the occasion, standing in a group with their arms around one another.
#loveislove with newly wedded husbands – Lee Kuan Yew’s grandson Li Huanwu and Dr Heng Yirui, and their parents Lee…
Mr Lee is the brother of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, and the second son of Singapore’s founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew. PM Lee had said just two days before the Pink Dot rally that 377A would remain part of the country’s laws for some time.
The post received thousands of likes and was widely shared, with many netizens praising both families for their wholehearted support of Li Huanwu and Dr Heng Yirui, who had gotten married in late May in South Africa, also in the presence of both families.
Media outfits, including The Independent Singapore, carried the news of Lee Hsien Yang and his family’s and in-law’s attendance at the rally, including an initial story from The Straits Times (ST) which was published on Saturday night.
But sometime afterward, the section that had contained mention of Mr Lee and his family’s attendance, along with a quote from Clement Tan, one of the members of Pink Dot’s organising team, had been edited out.
Pink Dot wrote on its Facebook page,
*Note that a significant portion of the original article that quoted Mr Clement Tan, and PM Lee’s brother Lee Hsien Yang attending #PinkDot11 with his family has been mysteriously edited out after it was published. We are not sure why.*
It then posted the portion of the article that had been edited out.
“Mr Clement Tan, a member of the Pink Dot organising team, said the initial plan for the light-up had been to spell out the word “together”, but the team decided on Thursday to change it to read “repeal 377A” in response PM Lee’s comment.
Mr Tan said: “LGBTQ people face discrimination every day. This year, we made a very concerted effort to highlight stories of discrimination.”
PM Lee Hsien Loong’s brother, Mr Lee Hsien Yang, was also in the crowd. He said he was attending Pink Dot for the first time and was with his wife, Mrs Lee Suet Fern, his son, Mr Li Huanwu, and Mr Li’s husband Heng Yirui.”
Readers noticed the edited portion, including award-winning director Leon Cheo, who left comments on the Facebook post.