A gay man’s perspective on Lee Kuan Yew

Note to LKY Ng Yi-ShengBy Ng Yi-Sheng

On Wednesday night, along with thousands of other Singaporeans, I lined up to pay my respects to Lee Kuan Yew. I was a little surprised at myself for doing this – after all, I’ve been involved in countless activist events over the years, few of which the man would have approved of: Against censorship, against the Internal Security Act, against the death penalty and the general whitewashing of national history.

Still, I did have something quite specific to be grateful for. Pictured above is what I wrote as a condolence message for the wall outside Parliament House: “Thank you for speaking up for the gay and lesbian community.”

I’m referring to the fact that Lee Kuan Yew consistently stated in interviews that he believes homosexuality is natural and should not be persecuted. His statements on this issue have been documented and praised on SG Wiki, as well as the Chiongs’ blog (a same-sex parenting site run by two of my friends) and this very news site.

He was the first Singaporean politician to say anything supportive about gay people, beginning with a CNN interview in 1998 where he replied to a gay caller’s concerns about his future in the country with an assurance that “we don’t harass people”.

In 2007, he reiterated these views at a PAP Youth Wing event: “[Y]ou are genetically born a homosexual… So why should we criminalise it?” The same year, he denied that there was any censorship of art depicting homosexuality in Singapore. In his infamous 2011 book Hard Truths to Keep Singapore Going, he went so far as to say he’d be OK with a lesbian daughter or MP.

These statements mattered a hell of a lot to us LGBT activists. We’ve been trying for years to improve Singapore’s laws and social attitudes, against a tide of religious opposition and rhetoric about “Asian values”.

Lee Kuan Yew on homosexuality in interview with the Sunday Times.

Lee Kuan Yew on homosexuality in interview with the Sunday Times.

But whenever things seemed hopeless, we were able to hearken back to those words and remember that the most conservative, curmudgeonly, establishment figure in the Singapore government was OK with our existence. And that meant that maybe, just maybe things might just turn out all right.

Given these facts, you might be wondering why a number of Singapore’s queer intellectuals – Alfian Sa’at, myself, and others – have mostly been sharing articles critical of Lee Kuan Yew on social media.

The biggest reason, of course, is that we’re not single-issue activists. We also care about the fact that he sued opposition politicians into bankruptcy, made offensive statements about Malays, Muslims and women, and caused the destruction of much of our pre-independence architecture and culture. These things matter, and we don’t want people to forget this, even in the midst of mourning.

But then there’s the fact that, deep down, we don’t feel like we were been handed a fair deal by the government while Lee was alive. While I wouldn’t say he was homophobic, he certainly had a hand in creating the culture of homophobia that exists in Singapore today.

From the very beginnings of his rule as Prime Minister in 1959, he was determined to police the morals of his citizens. That very year, he launched his attack on “yellow culture”, placing a ban on jukeboxes and pinball machines. By the 1980s, he was espousing the idea of “Asian values”, claiming that male-dominated nuclear families were the basic unit of our society.

All this emphasis on a singular vision of morality trickled down to create a policy of harassment against LGBT people: the efforts to chase transgender women out of Bugis Street (culminating in its demolition in 1984), the entrapment operations on gay men, the censorship of queer-themed plays and movies, the dismissals of gay teaching staff, the fact that in the late 1990s, the police actually spied on People Like Us, Singapore’s first LGBT organisation. (If you don’t believe that last point, check out Lynette Chua, Mobilizing Gay Singapore, p 55-56.)

Mind you, there’s no evidence that Lee Kuan Yew directly ordered any of these actions. There’s no evidence he held any animosity towards us, ever. But because he was so central to the creation of modern Singapore, it’s hard not to feel that most of our current problems are traceable back to him.

And there’s a further charge I want to lay at his feet. In spite of all the gay-affirming things he said, he never did anything for us. He had the power to get rid of Section 377A (our colonial anti-gay sex law) and to retire our anti-gay censorship policies, but he didn’t.

You can’t claim he was ignorant. He knew there were dissatisfied queer Singaporeans – they were the ones who prompted his questions during his CNN interview and his PAP Youth Rally. We know he read the papers, so he would have known about current affairs, and in Hard Truths, he reveals that he had researched homosexuality and found it natural. But when we urged him to do something about the censorship of gay art, his response was to claim it didn’t exist.

This is why I am supremely skeptical of Trevvy.com’s tribute to him, which claims, that the “repeal of Section 377A would probably had been a success had he been the Prime Minister then.” If he had wanted to, Lee could have chucked out this law at any of a number of moments in the past, simply by slipping a note into his now-fabled red briefcase.

Gender symbols (image  - Wikimedia Commons)

Gender symbols (image - Wikimedia Commons)

But he didn’t. Perhaps he didn’t think we were very important. Perhaps he never felt we were worth the trouble.

This is why, like so many other Singaporeans – members of racial minorities, unmarried women, and many others – we LGBT citizens will always feel like we were among his least favourite children.

Yet at the end of the day, I’m grateful for Lee Kuan Yew’s comments. I know this for a fact, because in the wake of his death, I find I’m worried about the future of Singapore’s LGBT rights.

When gay rights came up for debate over the constitutional challenge to 377A, PM Lee Hsien Loong refused to acknowledge the psychological, institutional and concrete harm that the law perpetuates, blithely telling the world, “Why is that law on the books? Because it’s always been there and it’s best if we just leave it.” Discussing gay rights, he said, “These are not issues that we can settle one way or the other, and it’s really best for us to leave them be, and just agree to disagree.”

Why wouldn’t he stand up for us LGBTs? Regardless of his personal beliefs, he faces a much higher cost to defending our rights. He needs to win the support, not just of his citizens, but also of Parliament, of which a disproportionate 32% are Christian. Nor does he have the authority of a founding father to back up his position.

Beyond the PAP, we have the Workers’ Party, which refused to condemn the retention of 377A during the Penal Code revisions of 377A. It also boasts the only MP to take part in the anti-LGBT Wear White campaign: Muhamad Faisal Abdul Manap.

The National Solidarity Party, the Reform Party and the Singapore Democratic Party have made statements that they believe in equal rights for all, regardless of sexual orientation. But what hopes have they of forming a government? NSP even felt compelled to add, “we do not think Singapore is ready for equal promotion of alternative lifestyle.”

With Lee Kuan Yew gone, there is no mainstream politician we can point to who is willing to even defend our natural right to exist. And with the balance of power shifting, who knows what may happen in the coming elections? Might a specific politician, or even a whole party, use anti-LGBT rhetoric as a means to rally votes? Might we become the new scapegoats for the countries’ woes?

But I have to remind myself: These are things that could have happened even when the old man was alive. Life was pretty bad for us in the days of his administration; growing acceptance amongst the young would suggest it’s going to get better.

For years now, Lee Kuan Yew has been more of a symbol than a man, more of a philosopher than a politician. His death came slowly, with forewarnings. Even without his grudging support – as the song goes – we will survive.

Things are going to change. But then things have always been changing, even before he came along.

He had a few kind words for us. Now comes the time for action.

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  • Szabo

    While a very well written article, the inherent Stockholm Syndrome-affliction of the author is unmistakable.

    Ng Yi-Sheng, recall your own words, “While I wouldn’t say he was homophobic, he certainly had a hand in creating the culture of homophobia that exists in Singapore today.”

    • Szabo

      And btw, Mr Ng, Lee Kuan Yew was definitely NOT the first politician in Singapore to say anything supportive about LGBTs.

      That credit goes to Chee Soon Juan.

      And even before that, it was gay activists who were the first to sensitize those hetero politicians to the fact about our brutalization by the PAP government.

      Give credit where it is due, in other words.

      • dazzleworth

        Baey Yam Keng too?

        • Szabo

          Don’t know what you mean.

          But if I do have an opinion about him, he is just as wishy washy as that ex-lawyer NMP – I forgot his name – who also spoke up in favour of repealing S377a.

          That’s why I think it is a folly to have heteros speak up for us when we are fully capable of doing it ourselves; heteros can speak up in support, but ONLY after they learn the issues from us.

          This is also why I had to chastise Ng Yi-Sheng for NOT giving due credit, but instead fawning over Lee Kuan Yew’s two facedness.

          • Kai_3

            From what I’ve known, Siew Kum Hong is not “wishy washy”.

        • Ng Yi-Sheng

          Baey Yam Keng and Siew Kum Hong spoke up in 2007, well after LKY’s first speech. And I suppose Baey is an example of a mainstream politician who would be supportive in a crisis. Just a pity he’s not a Minister!

          @disqus_ulhUvVnCfT:disqus , do you know when Dr Chee first spoke up about LGBTs? I’ve asked him on Facebook but he hasn’t replied. If I can establish an earlier date I’ll make a note in the article.

          • nelsonmandala
          • Szabo

            Maybe I shouldn’t have said “Dr Chee” – though it could still have been he – but SDP. It was at the beginning of 2007 – before LKY’s statement that you are referencing – that I was alerted to SDP’s support (from their website) for “non-discrimination” against LGBTs. (Early 2007 was when the rights debate began in earnest, complete with open warfare with especially Chrsitians, including those from the PAP, like Lui Tuck Yew and Ho Peng Kee.)

            When I asked the person who posted that information how long SDP had taken that stand, he replied that he didn’t know but it had been some time already, as if to suggest a number of years.

            Btw, you may wish to (re)consider how supportive LKY really was even in 2007. Sometime around the middle of that year, he was speaking to some Muslim professional group – not AMP, from my recollection – and, apparently without any prompting from the audience, and apparently out of the blue he said to the audience something about Islam not seeing homosexuality favourably.

            My own reading of it, and I’m confident I’m not wrong, was that he was just trying reinforce an idea into the Muslim community, and this was after he started seeing – also starting in 2007, and before the talk – “his Christians” coming under ferocious counterattacks by the pro-gay camp, and for the first time ever in Singapore.

            He must have been distressed by it because prior to that, Singapore had never seen such a rigorous taking to task by citizens of PAP members. So, he made an about turn.

            Perhaps, 2007 was the year he was still wavering in his opinion.

    • Adaline Wong

      There is no such thing as a ‘gay lifestyle’, but the problem with the majority of gay men is that many lead a dangerous promiscuous lifestyle like a lot of straight people do too. What society should do is to encourage gay men to be more monogamous and faithful in their relationship and encourage civil union (not calling it marriage as most conservative religious right wing Singaporeans will oppose). In contrast, you can see that most lesbian women are not as promiscuous. In terms of promiscuity, its gay-men > straight men > lesbians.

  • oleostrut

    The fact that homosexual behavior is still illegal in spite of LKY’s informed views on the subject speaks volumes about the type of system he created. This system lacks external checks and balances. It is accustomed to running roughshod over the rights and interests of citizens that it deems unimportant to its interests. So regardless of what the old man says, it will err on the side of trampling yours.

    • neutralneutralneutralneutral

      You got your logic upside down.. The fact that LKY accepts gays and yet homesexual behaviour is still illegal actually speaks volumes on how democratic our system is.

      It is not about what LKY thinks, it is about how society perceives this issue.

      • oleostrut

        Yet this supposed democracy is nowhere to be found when it comes to the population white paper and the return of CPF monies.

        • 24log

          It is because we support CPF. The population paper is correct but it is ahead of its time.

          • oleostrut

            So lets be clear, the people who support the criminalization of homosexuality also support Singaporeans not getting their CPF money and also support a Population of 7.5 million in a few years with many more to come. I hope that people like you will soon be deprived on any power to see the Singapore of your dreams come to pass.Otherwise we are doomed.

          • 24log

            I am not here to change your mind, but to lent support to the silent majority who read these comments and might think the vocal few is the popular voice.
            The popular opinion is to be against homosexuality hence PAP will continue to outlaw it for now.

            It is a catch-22, the people who demand for their CPF to have their money might not want to take responsibility for their actions. I have seen people not accustomed with money and will just spend it all and become a social problem. This same people are likely to blame their government. However for these people, they will complain if they don’t get their money. But the lesser of the 2 evils is to not let them squander it all. The CPF is a very important construct for nation building and social well being.

            Here is a positive example, I know of a close relation, they earn less than 1K (or probably more in their earlier years, paid up their 5 room HDB, happy to have their CPF convert into annuity. Fair amount of cash in their bank account. They wish to continue to work and feel rich because together with their annuity and their pay …. they have excess money.

            The last few seasons, I have supported and voted for the opposition and have asked friends to vote for the opposition. However that does not mean i don’t think through the policies.

          • oleostrut

            What a load of authoritarian shit. If people want to use their own money for an annuity, they can can do so voluntarily. The point is the at the PAP sold CPF to people using one set of rules and promises and is now unilaterally changing them. Jst because the new rules fit the needs of some of your confused friends does not mean that what is being done is proper, nor does it mean that the rules cannot unilaterally be changed again to their detriment. Most Singaporeans recognize that this is problematic because they are not stupid.– even if you and your friends lack the common sense to figure this one out.

            As for homosexuality, Singapore is one of the last developed countries to still have it criminalized. We one of the only developed Asian countries to still have it criminalized. The only common theme to all this is that PAP government errs on the side of its running people over.

          • 24log

            Why are many gays like you so angry? Why can’t they just civilly and intelligently make their case?

            You would glad to know shit is in fact rather democratic. It comes out of everyone orifices. You gotta be careful about that.

            Who are “Most Singaporeans ?” Whose common sense are you talking about? The wise and the informed or those who rant without understanding?

            Every elected government or whatever government can change the rules. The question does it benefit the people? And one should consider the long horizon.

            “As for homosexuality, Singapore is one of the last developed countries to still have it criminalized.” — How is that an argument ?

            “The only common theme to all this is that PAP government errs on the side of its running people over.” — No it cares about votes. You can vote against and you could emigrate to a country you believe share your beliefs. Make it happen, don’t whine and be angry. …

          • oleostrut

            You seem to be the only one here that is lacking in understanding and pathologically eager to rationalize away a government overstepping its boundaries. I have clearly made my case and you on the other hand have nothing to say other than to emptily repeat that only you understand the matter and that only you understand how right and wonderful this divine government is.

            The government simply cannot suka suka change the terms on when it returns your money when it has made a legally binding promise to return it when certain terms are met. Your bleating about how the government is doing out of ‘care’ for you counts for less than nothing when it comes to the principles of the matter.–Less than even the informed talk about homosexuality from LKY.

            “As for homosexuality, Singapore is one of the last developed countries
            to still have it criminalized.” — How is that an argument ?” It is an argument to the intelligent people here. Let e ask you this: Why is the PAP government so special that it can ignore progress? Many authoritarians like you speak of some nebulous Asian values that allows your government to behave against all norms and exploit its citizens. This is garbage when Singapore is one of the last Asian countries to still criminalizes homosexuality. Most of the commentators here clearly see this. Most Singaporeans I know see this but cannot do very much about it. You are the odd one out.–Like your government, the special one.

            I am not angry at the PAP government. You cannot be angry at a lion for ripping apart an antelope. Such is the nature of beasts. I don’t live in Singapore anymore. I have served in your army and have written off my contributions. Life is very good. But everyone is poorer for Singapore to remain as it has. I cannot stand deceit and stupidity. You are probably so house trained by the PAP that you instinct when you see something wrong is to shut up and hope someone else gets blamed. I am not like this. Besides the logic that underpins Singaporean ‘Asian values’ Authoritarianism is so flimsy shooting it down is a relaxing hobby.

          • PikuChoo

            If annuities are truly the solution for funding retirement, then the CPF should return to its roots. A portion of CPF contributions should go towards buying such annuities from the START of a person’s working life, rather than wait until they retire, THEN shop around for (at the present, a limited number of options) one. Isn’t this how such things are SUPPOSED to work?

            In fact, if a worker were to be unemployed for a period of time, the govt should step in and pay the premiums of such annuities. The worker can repay it back to the govt on finding employment again. If not, the govt will still likely end up saving money (in future welfare payouts) in the long run.

            As it is, the present CPF system has been corrupted beyond all recognition and has largely been used by the govt as a means of funding its own schemes, well meaning or not.

          • 24log

            “If annuities are truly the solution for funding retirement, then the CPF should return to its roots. A portion of CPF contributions should go towards buying such annuities from the START of a person’s working life, rather than wait until they retire, THEN shop around for (at the present, a limited number of options) one. Isn’t this how such things are SUPPOSED to work?” — YES that is arguably possible. And a point the opposition should debate.

            “In fact, if a worker were to be unemployed for a period of time, the govt should step in and pay the premiums of such annuities. The worker can repay it back to the govt on finding employment again. If not, the govt will still likely end up saving money (in future welfare payouts) in the long run.” — This will move us to a more socialist position which PAP is moving towards but would want to resist it. This may be a dangerous policy. Too much to debate about.

            “As it is, the present CPF system has been corrupted beyond all recognition and has largely been used by the govt as a means of funding its own schemes, well meaning or not.” — You now touch on the nation building aspect. Yes the money is an important instrument, first i believe to build the necessary infrastructure which we all (?) have benefited and in their investments. The lack of transparency in GIC and Temasek is problematic for me. But trust is the operative word to defend our institutions even if sometimes it might be an illusion.

            Th USD and the US economy is in part based on the trust they remain the / a superpower as they can print as much US$ and even borrow money on their own denomination.

            Thank You — good points.

          • Szabo

            “I am not here to change your mind, but to lent support to the silent majority…”

            Cut that crap about “silent majority”, okay psychopath?

            “Silent majority”, especially when you count yourself as one of them which you obviously do, is a cop out because you can continue to imagine that you are a part of a “majority” that is also “right”, but you are never able to prove it. So you never do.

            Why? Because this “majority” – that is also right – is SILENT, right?

            How to get any proof that those are indeed their thoughts and feelings if they always remain silent!

            Hey, psychopath. Learn another word: majoritarianism. Or another expression: The tyranny of the majority.

            No connotations of right or wrong in the use of either.

            They are both value free. And preferable for use if you count yourself as part of the rational, objective, sane, and level headed minority.

          • PikuChoo

            Come again…. how is the population paper correct but “ahead of its time”?

          • 24log

            It is ahead of its time because the public like you cannot accept it. Because you are seeing the present and not the future. In the present, the social consequences are uncomfortable. The ST headline screams of such a “big population” which grates on most of us.

            One such reason is because the current infrastructure is understandably inadequate and caused us discomfort. Reason is because we have already built in high expectations of comfort.

          • PikuChoo

            The public like me cannot accept it (the justification for PWP) precisely because we CAN “see the future”.

            HOW is it that “the present consequences are uncomfortable” and presumably, in the future, it won’t?

            What do you mean by the economy that will be less vibrant (if the population were to decline)? The economy is at best, the means to an end, not an end in itself.

            I agree on the eugenics part. We badly need it for our “leaders” at this moment. As for the rest, dis-incentives to achieve a Stop-At-Zero would hopefully solve the issue in due time.

      • Szabo

        “It is not about what LKY thinks, it is about how society perceives this issue.”

        It’s also about the constitutionality of S377a; that doesn’t require the support of the masses but a judiciary and/or Parliament with spine.

        And even if it IS about requiring support from the masses, what evidence does anyone have that those opposed are in the majority? (No, the IPS survey with its questions skewed to elicit only certain types of responses doesn’t count.)

        And do you think that the PAP will lose any elections if they did repeal the law in Parliament?

        • neutralneutralneutralneutral

          Wow! You seriously need more proof to show those opposing gays are in the majority??

          Yep, official surveys that go against what you want to see “doesn’t count”???

          The torrent of public letters and protest during the debate over the repeal of section 377a is still not enough to convince you what the majority think??

          Amazing. Let me teach u an easier way to wake up your idea. U just need step out of your gay community and show the public some gay moves on the street. Watch the stares and reactions you will get. That is how straight-up repulsive people feel about gays.

          • nelsonmandala

            when a drunk vormit..u also c him till he vormitted hiz last breath?

        • neutralneutralneutralneutral

          Why not you show us first any evidence of the majority is in favor of gays?
          If your idea of support is a few thousand people who ignorantly came to watch night lighting and torch waving during pink dot , then you are sadly deluded

    • nelsonmandala

      in true life..amon the ministers and senoir super civil serpents..there r a few gays…1 of them is a top overseas representatives and a real fren of the dropdead..without a doubt..parliament passed the laws on gays..butt still prohibited bj between the gays…
      if parliament not passed..many ministers and top civil serpents wud had been sacked

    • 24log

      “the rights and interests of citizens” — that is why it is outlawed because it is our interest which is the majority.

    • Adaline Wong

      There’s no such thing as a ‘gay lifestyle’, but the problem with the majority of gay men is that many lead a dangerous promiscuous lifestyle like a lot of straight people do too. What society should do is to encourage gay men to be more monogamous and faithful in their relationship and encourage civil union (not calling it marriage as most conservative religious right wing Singaporeans will oppose). In contrast, you can see that most lesbian women are not as promiscuous. In terms of promiscuity, its gay-men > straight men > lesbians.

  • sharkAttack777

    Don’t be mistaken as disagreeing with your gay lifestyles as homophobia. Can you accept people who disagree with you?

    • Szabo

      “Can you accept people who disagree with you?”

      Can YOU?

    • Adaline Wong

      There is no such thing as a ‘gay lifestyle’, but the problem with the majority of gay men is that many lead a dangerous promiscuous lifestyle like a lot of straight people do too. What society should do is to encourage gay men to be more monogamous and faithful in their relationship and encourage civil union (not calling it marriage as most conservative religious right wing Singaporeans will oppose). In contrast, you can see that most lesbian women are not as promiscuous. In terms of promiscuity, its gay-men > straight men > lesbians.

  • PikuChoo

    Homophilia or homophobia, neither attitudes are taught or learned. Adherents of either view or practice are “born this way” as Lady Gaga puts it.

    • 24log

      Perhaps sadly so. We all have have some malfunction DNA in our brains or in our genes.

      • PikuChoo

        Some, more defective than others. Unfortunately when the defect affects in the mind, the seat of rationality, that “chair” collapses. The insane are seldom aware of their condition and are likely the last (if ever) to admit to it.

  • neutralneutralneutralneutral

    Big Fat Dream. Things are not going to change. Let it be clear that there is no room for homos in Singapore.

    I hate how gays like to point how they are marginalized. The author even takes issues with LKY for espousing Asian values! KNN! Singapore is in Asia, we follow a certain set of Asian values – and that includes our understanding of what constitutes a normal family.

    Pink gays, feel free to migrate to “open” Western countries if you’re not happy. If not, show some respect for the majority in the country you live in and don’t try to force your disgusting behaviours down the majority’s throats and demand for changes.

    Accept that gays are not normal in our society. It has never been. Nobody ever actively prosecutes gays in Singapore. So be happy with that and stop playing the victim card.

    • dsfs

      EXCUSE YOU??? What asian values? if you’re talking about family etc etc does that mean that the west does not adhere to ‘asian values’?? Don’t bullshit on what’s normal or what’s not, its not up to YOU or whatever God you believe in. Grow the fuck up

      • neutralneutralneutralneutral

        You are too dumb to comprehend what I wrote. Who saidit is up to me or god to decide.

        But One thing we can be sure – those few self-centred homos or gay-lovers certainly have no rights to decide.

        It is our society which determine what is considered acceptable and comfortable for all. Disgusting homos concepts have never been and are definitely not gaining any decent level of acceptance in Singapore across all races. That is a fact.

        Maybe it is happening in other Western societies. So feel free to fk off to those countries. But stop harboring retarded illusions of self-entitlement and gay rights in Singapore because it will never happen here.

  • 24log

    It is not normal. Singapore is doing its best to accommodate. Don’t push it.

    • Chris Low

      It is normal!

      • 24log

        If it is normal, human beings will cease to exist. Only unnatural means will have us populate if all practice such behavior. Please use a dictionary http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/normal

        The Dolce and Gabanna gay designers understood that. They are talented, thinkers too and are at peace. I quote from dailybeast.com

        “If there is one beneficial irony to the Dolce and Gabbana controversy, it is a lesson in that not all gay people think alike. There are gays who don’t support gay rights, gay homophobes, gay misogynists, gays who don’t like gay parents, even gays who’ve despicably obstructed equality, sometimes with their own desire for power motivating them, like J. Edgar Hoover. The rainbow has many colors, some darker than others.”

        I have gay friends. I like them just in case you think I don’t.

        • Szabo

          Eh, bloody homophobe. Did you read the article, or even just the title?

          This is topic about political – and especially Lee Kuan Yew’s support (or non-support) – for the LGBT community. What is it with you homophobic psychopaths that you have to hijack every single discussion that is even remotely related to homosexuality itself, into yet another one of your tired tirades against homosexuality?

          Listen up, retard.

          We have heard it all before. And YOU have heard all the replies before. And if you refuse to accept those explanations, then just fuck off, okay retard.

          • 24log

            You sound like you have faced rejection before.

          • Szabo

            You sound like you don’t have a shred of the necessary credentials to psychoanalyze me.

          • 24log

            There is no need to. You are an open book.

        • Chris Low

          Human beings have not disappear yet while gays have existed for millions of years. So what say you?

  • cynicholas

    sentiments aside, the old chap could’ve uttered those words after looking at his rather butchy daughter and closeted older son

  • Roy Tan

    Read the full wiki article on Lee Kuan Yew’s views on homosexuality here: http://sporelgbtpedia.shoutwiki.com/wiki/Lee_Kuan_Yew%27s_views_on_homosexuality

  • Opp Suprlsr

    There were at least 2 PAP MPs calling for repealing of Act 377A what do u mean no mainnsteam politicians. Or U don’t consider PAP MPs as politicians. Off the top of my head Baey Yam Keng is one of them

  • I’m no fan of Amos, but I personally believe that taking legal action against anyone expressing their views, no matter how nonsensical, offensive, and inaccurate they (in yours or my opinion) are is over the top crazy and draconian, and especially so if that person is only a 16 year old kid. But if the sedation law is to be designed to be truly sincere and fair, then IMO individuals and pastors who make offensive remarks about the LGB and QTI people — inciting hatred, ill-feeling, discrimination, and promoting disharmony against these significant minority groups, should too by the same account, be charged with a seditious crime.

    Religion is a lifestyle choice, but being born LGB, or as a Transsexual (i.e. those who experiences intense gender dystopria since adolescence, and diagnosed by a qualified gender-psychiatrist; not to be mistaken with drag-queens, fetishistic transvestites, or hobbyist cross-dressers) or an Intersex (i.e. individuals who also has clear external physical defects of the genitalia — mixed characteristic of both gender or incomplete formation, or chromosomes i.e. XXY, androgen insensitivity syndrome, etc.; while their brain may or may not be aligned with their legally-registered gender arbitrarily assigned at birth) person isn’t.

    Hate speech against these vulnerable groups of individuals (especially the Trans- and some Intersex individuals who may not be able to completely pass and go on with their lives unnoticed by the ignorant and bigoted majority) would have a significant impact on the how society (in general) treats them as less than human, and propagating discrimination and persecution (in areas of job, rental, medical care) and putting them (including those who are still children) at risk of bullying, abuse, depression/suicide, and violence.

    =====(Some relevant articles)=====

    [Certainly a more serious case of incitement by *an adult*, than that by a mere childish insult/rant of a 16 year old kid] (Excerpt from article) – “Engaging in public discourse while expressing personal convictions is very different from representing a religious organisation in an attempt to influence laws and policies. Frankly, I am disgusted that he would use his religious position to engage in political lobbying, and when rightly accused of doing so, hide behind the excuse that religious people have just as much freedom to engage in public discourse as the non-religious.

    This is all not to mention the statement published by pastor Yang from Cornerstone Community Church. Yang’s comments are at best incredibly insensitive metaphorical devices, and at worst, incitements of violence that have no place in peaceful, rational, and civil discourse. His language is more than divisive: it demonises LGBT people as “powers of darkness” and encourages readers to “battle” against them. It is simply chilling that a religious organisation would employ such rhetoric against an entire swath of society. Note: on the 24th of January, a member of the public filed a police report against Yang for inciting violence.”http://yalenusblog.com/2013/02/02/thoughts-on-the-lawrence-khong-saga/

    “Hate speech can escalate into hate crime. As a society, we need to signal that such threats and acts are not acceptable. They offend public decency and are unjust.” http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/singapore-pastor-calls-lgbt-rights-movement-onslaught-evil-one090513

    • Adaline Wong

      There is no such thing as a ‘gay lifestyle’, but the problem with the majority of gay men is that many lead a dangerous promiscuous lifestyle like a lot of straight people do too. What society should do is to encourage gay men to be more monogamous and faithful in their relationship and encourage civil union (not calling it marriage as most conservative religious right wing Singaporeans will oppose). In contrast, you can see that most lesbian women are not as promiscuous. In terms of promiscuity, its gay-men > straight men > lesbians. I agree that we should start reporting people who promote and incite hate and discrimination against LGBT, which is a significant minority groups of people.

  • Adaline Wong

    There’s no such thing as a ‘gay lifestyle’, but the problem with the majority of gay men is that many lead a dangerous promiscuous lifestyle like a lot of straight people do too. What society should do is to encourage gay men to be more monogamous and faithful in their relationship and encourage civil union (not calling it marriage as most conservative religious right wing Singaporeans will oppose). In contrast, you can see that most lesbian women are not as promiscuous. In terms of promiscuity, its gay-men > straight men > lesbians.