Singapore: Singapore’s Minister for Families and Social Development Chan Chun Sing has publicly reprimanded the US bank Goldman Sachs for giving LGBT in the city-state better employment opportunities.
“Singapore and Singaporeans will decide on the norms for our society. Foreign companies here should respect local culture and context,” Chan said on his Facebook page following a networking dinner organized by Goldman Sachs to allow prospective LGBT employees to be able to discuss issues and concerns regarding being ‘out’ in the workplace.
“They are entitled to decide and articulate their human resource policies, but they should not venture into public advocacy for causes that sow discord amongst Singaporeans,” he added.
“SG [Singapore] is a largely conservative society. While different groups may express their different points of view, everyone should respect the sensitivities of others and not create division,” the Facebook message said.
“Employment in SG is based on one’s merit and ability. Discrimination – be it positive or negative – whether based on race, language, religion, or sexual orientation is not aligned with our social ethos, and has no place in our society,” he added.
Some media pointed out to this warped reasoning saying that the minister failed to explain how Singapore or he can espouse to upholding anti-discrimination while at the same time encouraging anti-LGBT sentiments in favor of the official “conservative family based society.”
Others also pointed out as to how offering decent opportunities to marginalized but hard working members of Singapore society creates divisions while the city-state provides special quotas based on race and religion in some areas such as public housing and government jobs.
Goldman Sachs on the other hand has been firm on being inclusive, regardless of gender, race or sexual orientation and even supports Pink Dot, Singapore’s only legal way to allow LGBT people to celebrate who they are, media said.
Singapore retains a British colonial-era “Section 377A” law that criminalizes sex between men with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years.