The PAP has released a statement addressing the online video which it alleged the SDP is trying to suppress. The statement is below and undersigned by Dr Vivian Balakrishnan and his GRC team.
A video has been posted on the internet showing Vincent Wijeysingha participating at a forum which discussed the promotion of the gay cause in Singapore.
The discussion at the forum also touched on sex with boys and whether the age of consent for boys should be 14 years of age.
In the video, Wijeysingha was introduced as being from the SDP.
In addition to other comments, Wijeysingha stated: ‘I think the gay community has to rally ourselves. Perhaps one outcome of today’s forum would be, for those of us who are interested, to come together to further consider how we can address the 377 issue as well as further rights issues in relation to gays and lesbians.’
We believe that candidates should be upfront about their political agenda and motives, so that voters are able to make an informed choice.
The issue is not Wijeysingha’s sexual orientation. That is a matter for him.
The video raises the question on whether Wijeysingha will now pursue this cause in the political arena and what is the SDP’s position on the matter.
It is obvious the above release is aimed at smearing Dr Vincent Wijeysingha and the SDP team, trivialising and infantilising their efforts and reducing them to alleged advocates of an issue which homophobes alone in their own bigoted world find morally contentious - the "gay agenda".
I take serious issue with the sentence "The discussion at the forum also touched on sex with boys and whether the age of consent for boys should be 14 years of age."
This statement best exemplifies the hate-mongering tactic of conflating homosexuals with sex with minors, building on misinformation and irrational and ill-informed fears, to perpetuate continual social and institutional discrimination of sexual minorities in Singapore.
Moreover, the forum primarily discussed about Section 377A, and its constitutionality. "Sex with boys"? Seriously? The organisers called a forum, attended by intelligent people fighting for justice and equality and non-discrimination, just to talk about "sex with boys"?
To associate this despicable insinuation with a man and a political party says a lot about the human being that is Dr Vivian.
What is not new is the continual smearing of the SDP, lopsidedly galvanised by the lapdogs that is the mainstream media which has lacked the journalistic diligence and integrity. This time, the religious anti-gay narrative invoked in the form of the "gay agenda" is hurled at the SDP, displacing the dialogue real gentlemen and ladies in the political arena should be respectfully engaged in.
You know what? Even a reasonably media and information-savvy person like myself has negative imaginings of the SDP just by watching Mediacorp news and reading the Straits Times. These excuses for journalism (especially when it comes to domestic politics) have successfully coerced me into believing the SDP is a bunch of psychopathological headless chicken who are always physically aggressive, violently confrontational and are high level threats to domestic security. But information-savvy adults should be able to see beyond the blatant demonisation of the SDP over the years.
The title of the video already speaks of the person who posted it. "Gay Agenda" is being used.
Let me tell you something about the "Gay Agenda". It does not exist. The agenda is justice, equality, equal rights, recognition and respect for people, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity. There is nothing "Gay" about it.
I am a happily married man who values my union with my wife, and values family, and I endorse the movement towards justice, equality, equal rights, recognition and respect for people, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity.
Gay people do not ruin my family. They do not convert me or my wife to adopt "alternative lifestyles". They are not the demons that homophobes make them out to be.
Dr Vivian, in using the video with an erroneous and misleading title and description, continues to validate and perpetuate the myth that gay people prey on the very young. This is tantamount to creating a moral panic.
Moreover, should the responses of people like myself or the opposition parties be silenced or played down by the mainstream media, the insidious fabrication will continue to go unchallenged in the mainstream and may augment the democratic process.
Dr Vivian is also very reductionist, and I have mentioned, is attempting to trivialise and infantilise the SDP. It is an insult to the efforts of the SDP team that they are deemed to be forwarding or pursuing one particular cause. To demand Dr Vincent to be upfront about his political agenda and motives, all the more speaks of the political agenda and motives of Dr Vivian, even if he may believe attention will be drawn away from his (Dr Vivian's) person.
It is also a cunning move to define the motions for discussion, and possibly cause the SDP to sidetrack from discussing the true issues at heart - Singaporeans in general. In my opinion, the SDP is open enough and Dr Vivian does not deserve any attention or have his question dignified with any answer. The PAP have their status quo to defend, and onus is on the opposition to provide and argue for alternatives. It says a lot about the political integrity of Dr Vivian and his team to play the sexuality card and push the buttons for a moral panic, instead of engaging SDP directly on its political arguments/suggestions.
So what if a candidate or an MP is gay? I rather vote for someone who does not play these dirty tactics. Falsehoods are being perpetuated about a man, which has implications on further dividing our society.
I am speaking up against Dr Vivian not because I care about the SDP or support it, but because I am deeply angered and offended that he can resort to such political tactics. To make such insinuations about Dr Vincent amounts to a personal attack.
I'm primarily interested in Aljunied GRC and Hougang SMC, looking forward to a clean and fair contest between the PAP and the Workers' Party. But with Dr Vivian's involvement in this preposterous fear-mongering and hate-mongering attack on Dr Vincent's character and political "motives", I feel it is important for me as an ordinary citizen, a straight man like Dr Vivian, to condemn homophobia and the wild and false conflation of homosexuality into "sex with boys". More importantly, it is important that we condemn such smearing in the political arena.
With your recent actions, Dr Vivian, I think you're in the wrong country, playing the wrong politics. Your maturity is not appreciated, and with respect to this issue, neither is your intelligence and good sense. What's the point of talking about 3G or 4G leadership when your political maturity continues to recede and regress?
There is no "gay agenda", but there's a douchebag agenda. Since you have taken the liberty to make your agenda known, Dr Vivian, you will have to duty to face the reactions of people who disagree with you, and those who may have lost their respect for you as a human being.
Dr Vivian, I'm sorry but I think you're a dick. Democracy, no matter how curtailed and restricted it is in Singapore, can do without people like you.