The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said on June 8 that it is reviewing the exemption conditions for Speakers’ Corner “to make it clear that foreign entities should not fund, sponsor, support or influence such events” held there, among other “further steps” that will be taken. MHA however assured the sponsors and organisers of this year’s Pink Dot event that no action will be taken against them in relation to foreign corporate sponsorships.
Responding to MHA’s announcement in his Facebook, cultural medallion winner Ivan Heng asked why is MHA only now reacting to foreign entities sponsoring Pink Dot when they have done so since 2011.
The founding artistic director of the theatre company W!ldRice further revealed that over the past few weeks, its sponsors have also received a deluge of letters, questioning why they are supporting a theatre festival that includes plays like ‘Let’s Get Back Together‘.
“This is patently an organised astroturfing campaign targeted to cripple a theatre company that struggling to make ends meet,” Mr Heng said. Adding: “Thankfully, our sponsors, both local and international, have decided to stand by us.”
Mr Heng who is married to Tony Trickett said that his theatre company is deeply grateful to all its sponsors, as well as the sponsors of Pink Dot, “for making a difference, and standing on the right side of history.”
Addressing MHA, and other government agencies like Ministry of Culture, Community & Youth, National Arts Council and the Media Development Authority, Mr Heng said that such agencies should wake up to the fact that these complaints come from a vocal hateful minority.
“Our LGBT (lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender) community are citizens, struggling for our rights,” Mr Heng reminded. And further said: “You may cite guidelines and say you’re only doing your job, but so were the Nazis.”