SINGAPORE - Self-proclaimed "pick-up artist" Julien Blanc will not be allowed into Singapore to hold his seminars.
Mr Blanc, a dating coach based in the United States, came under fire when material from his courses were revealed recently. His tactics appear to suggest physical violence, intimidation and emotional abuse against women to persuade them to have sex.
Following online petitions started against him in other countries such as Britain and South Korea, Singaporean Charis Mah started one here addressed to Deputy Prime Minister and Home Affairs Minister Teo Chee Hean on Nov 14.
She updated the petition site on Nov 26, quoting an email from the Ministry of Home Affairs.
It said: "The Immigration & Checkpoints Authority, in consultation with the Ministry of Social and Family Development, will not allow Mr Blanc into Singapore, especially if he is here to hold seminars or events that propagate violence against women or to participate in other objectionable activities in Singapore."
The email further stated that violence against women or anyone is illegal.
While she said she knew she was not the only one who felt strongly against Mr Blanc coming here, Ms Mah was still happy that others supported the petition.
She told The Straits Times: "It was heartening to see them moving so fast to raise awareness and garner more support.
"I am glad that Singapore has taken an official stand against such seminars and messages, and it makes me feel proud to be part of this country," she added.
Ms Mah emailed the Ministry on Nov 19 when the number of supporters for the petition was more than 7,500. Although she had set the petition to end on Nov 20, she has opened it again "for the sake of those who want to continue to show their support". The petition has garnered close to 8,500 supporters.
Minister for Social and Family Development Chan Chun Sing voiced his support for the decision on social media on Wednesday.
"Some of you have shared with me your concerns about Julien Blanc and his seminars in various countries to advise men on how to use violence against women when dating them. I share your concerns fully," he wrote on Facebook.
Mr Chan, who is also second minister for defence added: "Violence against innocent people is unlawful and totally unacceptable. We cannot allow people to perpetuate such unlawful activities in our country."
Mr Blanc has been banned from countries such as Australia and Brazil.