Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s wife, Ho Ching, surprised many when she shared an invitation to this year’s Pink Dot event on her Facebook page, over the Chinese New Year holidays:
Pink Dot is an annual non-profit event held at The Speakers Corner in support of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community in Singapore. Organisers of the event, which has been held here since 2009, are gearing up to hold Pink Dot for the tenth time here on July 21, this year.
The Government in Singapore is widely perceived to oppose the annual event, especially after it enforced tighter security restrictions at the event last year. The government said that the restrictions were meant to bar foreigners from assembling at the Speakers Corner, but people on the ground felt that the measures (like submitting to an ID check and increased security barriers) scared some individuals off.
Officially, sex between mutually consenting men is criminalised, with section 377a of the Penal Code of Singapore remaining in law despite not being enforced.
Given this, Ho Ching sharing the Pink Dot event in her Facebook page is quite surprising. The post, garnered swift response online, even though it is presently buried under numerous posts on the Facebook wall of the noted personality, who also serves as head of Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund Temasek Holdings.
Netizens responding to Ho Ching’s post were divided, with some thanking her for her support while others sharply criticised the “inappropriate” post that “only creates more division”: