The grandson of the late former Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Kuan Yew has encouraged local netizens to attend this year’s Pink Dot celebration.
The Pink Dot gathering, which is an annual event that celebrates the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) community in Singapore, will take place at Hong Lim Park tomorrow.
Li Huanwu, who is also the nephew of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, said that while he will not be making a “call to social action this year”, he appears to be employing a more relaxed, casual tone as he urged Singaporeans to join the celebrations.
In his Facebook post today, dated 20 Jul, he wrote: “Be there. (And grab a drink when you stop by.)”
His approach appears to be of a more subtle variation this year, in comparison to his more specific call to action on 1 July, the date Pink Dot was held last year:
Earlier this month, Li and his boyfriend, Heng Yirui, came out publicly, and were featured on Out in Singapore.
After his portraits with Heng were published earlier this month, Li updated his Facebook profile picture to a photo of the couple.
Li had also decorated the profile picture with a Pink Dot SG frame, declaring his support for the annual event that celebrates the freedom to love.
There were 120 sponsors through the “Red Dot for Pink Dot” fundraising campaign last year, and 113 sponsors this year, despite the ban on foreign firms’ sponsorship of the event, which took effect in 2016.
Last year, changes to the Public Order Act resulted in Pink Dot being off-limits to foreigners, as only Singaporeans and permanent residents may attend the event.
Minister of Law K. Shanmugam said last year: “Look at Pink Dot. Last year, my ministry made it clear we will not agree to foreign participation. As a government, we don’t take a position for or against Pink Dot, but we do take a position against foreign involvement.
“The point is this is a matter for Singaporeans, Singapore companies, Singapore entities to discuss.”
He added that “There was concern that when we say no to foreign sponsorship, for example for Pink Dot, it will have an impact on the event. But as you see, based on media reports, Singaporean sponsors are stepping up.
“Have confidence in Singaporeans. Don’t think you can only do well by getting money from foreigners and getting foreign participation in.”