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Hypocritical for govt to say it respects wishes of the people when it comes to gay sex but not on other national matters

The Peoples' Action Party (PAP) led government in Singapore is not known to shy away from making decisions for its people. It has, in fact, made many unpopular decisions on the basis that those decisions were for the greater good of Singapore or a necessity. It has on numerous occasions prided itself publicly on not being a populist government.

Examples of when the government has taken unilateral decisions without consulting the people would be (including but not limited to) its upcoming GST hikes, permitting the prices of basic necessities such as water and gas to be increased and building the casinos in Singapore despite widespread unhappiness at the decision. It is therefore rather surprising that on the issue of repealing section 377A (the section of the Penal Code that makes gay sex illegal), it is suddenly deferring to the public. Why the change in strategy? Is the government hiding behind the voice of the people so that it does not have to make a decision?

Law Minister Shanmugam states that it is a growing minority that wants gay sex to be legalised. On what basis is he saying this? Has there been comprehensive research done?

Secondly, isn't it the role of the government to take the lead in implementing laws that bring about progress to the nation? Going back to the casino example, many people in Singapore were opposed to the building of the casinos but the government still pushed it through on the basis that it was for the long-term good of Singapore. Why is it that the government were willing to take the lead there and not here?

Singapore is a first world country with an international reputation. It has hosted major events and is in the global spotlight as a modern metropolis. The fact that gay sex is still illegal does not gel with the first world reputation it is trying to cultivate and maintain. Shouldn't the government take the lead in this progression?

Hiding behind the alleged voice of the people is a weak way of avoiding the topic. Isn't it high time the government displayed moral courage and lead the charge? They have certainly defied the wishes of the people on many occasions so this is clearly not the reason for the delay in the repeal. Is it not hypocritical to say that it respects the wishes of the people when on so many other issues, the government has not even consulted its citizens?