(Unpublished - April 26, 2011)
I read with disappointment Dr Vivian Balakrishnan and his GRC team’s statement demanding the Singapore Democratic Party’s agenda and political motive.
This demand is informed by their belief in an erroneously and deceivingly titled YouTube video, which also carries misleading descriptions, of a forum held last year.
This forms part of a series of insinuations by Dr Vivian about the SDP, with invocations of private and sexuality matters. He has previously talked about the SDP team being “strange bedfellows” and they should “come out of the closet” with their intentions. These are slurs uttered to antagonise others on the grounds of sexual orientation.
Further to that, Dr Vivian’s team has pressed the SDP to come clean as to whether they will pursue the “agenda”.
Dr Vivian’s actions here play on public perception of the homophobic construction that is the “gay agenda”. It is engineered by harmful myths that trivialise and demonise gay people as preying on the young, as capable of converting the sexuality of others, or simply threats to families.
If we can take any lessons from history, this will sow the seeds for a moral panic, with its growth all the more expedited by lack of understanding and constitutional protection of gay Singaporeans.
Not only is it an insult to the intelligence and good sense of many well-adjusted Singaporeans, but the association of “lowering the age of consent for boys” and “having sex with boys” with any person in the videoed forum is deceiving and slanderous.
It is all the more audacious and uncanny that these insinuations have to be associated with a political party at this point in time.
Dr Vivian’s actions represent a mentality in segments of Singaporean society, that continue to drive the democratic process at the expense of the constitution rights of gay Singaporeans.
It is rather infantile to reduce a discussion of constitutional rights of Singaporeans on the grounds of sexual orientation to one that is forwarding the “gay agenda”.
There exist people who are guided by myths that demonise gay Singaporeans. The lack of anti-discrimination laws and absence of statutory laws to protect the constitutional rights on grounds of sexual orientation allow these myths to perpetuate.
Singaporeans are not gullible to believe such insinuations to be true. I rather have an MP who champions justice and equality for all Singaporeans than one who makes slurs at others.
Ho Chi Sam
Add: There was no way the Straits Times would have published such a letter.