Political, controversial social issues should be decided by S'poreans alone

The Government has always taken the position that foreigners and foreign entities should not interfere in our domestic matters ("Clarity needed on 'interference by foreign entities'" by Ms Corinna Lim; yesterday).

Political and controversial social questions should be decided by Singaporeans alone.

The Speakers' Corner was established to provide a space for Singaporeans to express themselves, without requiring a permit, on the condition that there is no participation of foreigners.

In line with this condition, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is reviewing Speakers' Corner rules to make clear that foreign entities should not fund, support or influence such events held at the Speakers' Corner.

We will adopt a practical approach.

When this review is complete, the ministry will set out the parameters.

The Government is committed to diversity and inclusiveness, and expects the same of businesses operating here with respect to their employees.

However, advocating positions on Singapore laws and policies on socially divisive issues is an entirely different matter.

That is a right that must be reserved for Singaporeans.

The MHA statement of June 7 made it clear that this applies equally to those who advocate lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) causes, as well as those who oppose LGBT causes.

Lee May Lin (Ms)

Director

Information Planning and Strategy

Community Partnership and Communications Group

Ministry of Home Affairs

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 15, 2016, with the headline 'Political, controversial social issues should be decided by S'poreans alone'. Print Edition | Subscribe