SINGAPORE: At least two People’s Action Party (PAP) parliamentarians attended this year’s Pink Dot event – the first pride event in Singapore since Section 377A, the law criminalising sex between men, was repealed.
MPs Eric Chua and Derrick Goh’s presence at the rally marks the first time ruling party politicians have been spotted at the annual Pink Dot event in its 15th year.
Interestingly, both PAP MPs told the press they were at the event yesterday (25 June) in their personal capacity, unlike Workers’ Party MPs He Ting Ru and Louis Chua, who were there as WP representatives.
Mr Eric Chua, who is also Senior Parliamentary Secretary for the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) and Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF), initially declined to be interviewed by reporters but later said that he is there to support friends he has known through his work at MCCY.
He added that the Government sees such events as opportunities to engage with different parts of the community and told Mothership that it is vital to “maintain a listening ear to what’s happening on the ground.”
He added, “The key thing is to remain engaged, and remain in contact, in touch [with what’s happening]…At the end of the day, we must reflect the sentiments on the ground.”
Mr Goh expressed happiness that “we took the decision as a country” to repeal Section 377A, although he said he doesn’t see the repeal paving the way for similar policies in the future.
Asserting that Pink Dot addresses a broader issue of giving respect to one another, he added, “I think we want everyone to be treated equally, and well, with respect. I think that’s where we are comfortable as a country.”
While celebrating the repeal of Section 377A, the LGBTQ+ community in Singapore has held that more must be done on a policy level to foster greater inclusivity and respect for all its citizens.
Although the PAP MPs were present at Pink Dot in their personal capacity, Singaporeans online have deemed their presence a step in the right direction although it is not as forward-looking as the opposition MPs who attended the event as official representatives of their party.
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