Adulterous affairs website 'to launch soon in Singapore'

This photo illustration taken on Aug 20, 2013, shows the homepage of the Ashley Madison dating website displayed on a laptop in Hong Kong. The extra-marital dating website is set to launch a Singapore edition this month despite widespread objections.
This photo illustration taken on Aug 20, 2013, shows the homepage of the Ashley Madison dating website displayed on a laptop in Hong Kong. The extra-marital dating website is set to launch a Singapore edition this month despite widespread objections. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP

Extra-marital dating website Ashley Madison is set to launch a Singapore edition this month despite widespread objections.

The Canada-based website, which promotes adulterous affairs on the basis that "life is short", has set up a local portal for people to register with it.

The Singapore website states that Ashley Madison is "coming in November", and The Straits Times understands that the earliest launch date is in the week of Nov 17.

Its founder and chief executive Noel Biderman is also expected to come to Singapore for the launch. Earlier media reports had said that the website was planning a Singapore launch early next year.

The local platform will be available in all four official languages, with English and Mandarin options first and Malay and Tamil later, ST understands.

Mr Biderman, a 42-year-old Canadian businessman, set up AshleyMadison.com 11 years ago. He is married.

Members pay the website to contact each other. The brand reached Asia this year, first with a Japan site in June, followed by a Hong Kong site in August.

So far, many Singaporeans have rejected the proposed local edition.

About 26,000 people showed their opposition by supporting a "Block Ashley Madison - Singapore" Facebook page. Minister for Social and Family Development Chan Chun Sing also said he does not welcome a Singapore edition. But others said banning the site would be futile.

The Media Development Authority prevents access to 100 websites, most of which are pornographic.

When asked, a spokesman said it is evaluating the site.

WALTER SIM, FENG ZENGKUN