How will the police enforce anti-foreigner rule in Speakers’ Corner?

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By Ben Matchap

Let’s get real, there is no way the government can enforce the “no foreigners allowed in pink dot” ruling.

Firstly the optics of police screening people at Pink Dot to see if they are local or foreigners will not look good no matter how you cut it . This is a viral news story waiting to happen.

Right now it seems the authorities are trying to scare and deter people with the whole “could be fine up to $10,000” or whatever maximum sentence they might dish out. Gone are the days where Singapore dishes out maximum sentences to foreigners in order to make a statement. That practice died with Lee Kuan Yew.

There is no way to enforce this and enforcement will just put Pink Dot and Singapore’s homophobia and LGBT issues into an even bigger spotlight.

Also there is a pretty good chance the foreigners that might get screened will be from China or the US. Can we really afford to make an example out of anyone from any of those countries while Singapore is treading on egg shells with them right now, given recent controversies? China which may not support LGBT rights would definitely not want to lose face by allowing one of their citizens to be prosecuted by a smaller country and the same could be said about the US.

LGBT rights are already a very touchy subject that the Singapore government is afraid to deal with and their stance is status quo while trying not to be “too” homophobic and actually enforce 377a despite keeping the law there.

I really doubt the government will enforce these rulings or even get the police to screen people because that could add tension to the event and risk making the police look heavy-handed which will be recorded, uploaded and go viral. This very same issue of heavy-handedness is probably the reason why there is no announcement from the police about the new rulings for this event.

All in all it is just bad PR to actually enforce the “no foreigners allowed for pink dot” ruling and only provides a lose-lose situation for the government.