Tuesday, April 24, 2012
PinkDot appreciates all feedback from our friends and supporters, and we are aware of the concerns
raised – especially with regards to the participation of foreigners at PinkDot 2012. As we come closer
to our highly anticipated event (and working very hard to make it the best one yet), we thought it
would be useful to highlight some of the questions that have been raised:
Q: I have read online that only Singapore citizens and Permanent Residents are allowed to participate, is that true?
A: Hong Lim Park is an area that has been designated by the Singapore government to be the venue
for the Speakers Corner, the only venue in Singapore in which people can demonstrate, hold exhibitions and speak freely on most topics. The Speakers Corner, however, is still governed by a set of rules and regulations.
Under the administrative categories listed within the terms and conditions of usage for the Speakers
Corner, the formation of the human pink dot is classified as a ‘demonstration’. As such, venue rules
“Only citizens and permanent residents of Singapore take part in the demonstration and the
organiser must not allow any person who is neither a citizen nor a permanent resident of
Singapore to take part in the demonstration”.
As such, organisers of PinkDot are unable to allow non-Singaporeans and non-Permanent Residents to
be within the dot formation when time comes for it. They are, however, invited to watch the formation
from a designated observation area. Nonetheless, as Hong Lim Park is a public space, everyone including foreigners is free to come for a picnic and enjoy the concert.
Q: But it doesn’t seem like foreigners were just “watching and observing” based on what I have seen
from the YouTube videos and pictures last year. Why is that so?
A: Citizenship and permanent residency can transcend race, ethnicity, religion and sexual orientation. We would like to think that Singapore is truly a multi-racial and multi-cultural society – including its own fair share of other racial groups. Let us not try to make local-versus-foreigner assumptions simply based on appearances.
Q: Can the organisers try to ask for allowance from the park so that foreigners are able to participate
just for a few minutes? The freedom to love should be extended to foreigners living in Singapore too!
A: We would very much like to do that because we do think it’s a really great idea. However, we also
appreciate that a situation like this is very complex, and many factors will have to be taken into account.
That said, we are continuing to work with relevant authorities to work out a viable solution – however,
as with many social movements past and present, it may take a while for our efforts to bear fruit.
Nonetheless, we take this very seriously and value all your support. To give a little background to our
current situation, you may wish to read these insightful pieces:
1. A Pink Dot in a Sea of Rights Abuses
2. Chee Soon Juan, Freedom of Assembly and Pink Dot
In addition, while we welcome efforts to champion the freedom of public assembly, PinkDot sees its
contribution to Singapore primarily as a movement focused on championing the cause of inclusiveness
and diversity through celebrating the freedom to love, regardless of sexual orientation.
We hope that our foreign supporters understand our position on this, and continue to support us in other
ways in order to further spread our message of equality and inclusivity to their own communities.