A group of foreign companies decided to try their luck by writing to the Police for permission to support this year’s Pink Dot.
Predictably, police said no, because … well, no means no.
Last November, the Public Order Act was amended in Parliament such that only Singapore citizens or PRs can participate in events like Pink Dot. This includes event sponsorships. (Last year’s edition of the event saw 18 corporate sponsors, including big names like Google, Apple, Facebook and Visa.)
In its reply to the group of companies, MHA reiterated the government’s stand on foreign sponsorship and influence – whether for or against the LGBT cause.
The companies had provided a few conditions under which they would participate – this included not listing their company names or logos as official sponsors, and not having foreign participants at the event.
According to the companies, they believe that the conditions would “help dispel the perception, if any, that the event is a product of foreign intervention.”
Actually, even if it is true, the point of the law is not to avoid perception of foreign intervention, but to avoid it altogether.
That said, brownie points for the companies for trying, regardless. (Did they not have proper legal counsel, or were their lawyers going for a ‘we have nothing to lose’ approach?)
More brownie points, though, for the police and MHA for sticking to their ground.