Chan Chun Sing is a politician and member of the People's Action Party (PAP). He is currently Minister in the Prime Minister's Office and Secretary-General of the National Trade Union Congress (NTUC). Prior to entering politics, he served in the Singapore Armed Forces, where he rose to the rank of Major-General and was appointed Singapore's Chief of Army from 2010 to 2011. Chan has publicly expressed his opinions regarding LGBT issues on several occasions.
Views on Goldman Sachs' LGBT recruitment & networking dinner
On 30 April 2014, MyPaper reported that for the first time in Singapore, a renowned multinational company - investment bank Goldman Sachs - had made a specific recruitment call to LGBT students. In early May 2014, the bank's LGBT employee network held an "LGBT recruitment and networking dinner" at its Singapore office in the CBD where the 12 university undergraduates who attended were able to "discuss issues and concerns regarding being 'out' in the workplace with participants". An event listing on the company's website also made reference to its support of Pink Dot 2014 that was to take place later in June that year. Goldman Sachs had been firm on being inclusive, regardless of gender, race or sexual orientation, boasting a list of employee networks such as The Disability Interest Forum, The Goldman Sachs Women's Network and LGBT Network.
"A number of Singaporeans read a recent newspaper article on the recruitment practice of a multinational company here, and asked for my views...
SG 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.
Singapore and Singaporeans will decide on the norms for our society. Foreign companies here should respect local culture and context. 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.
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."
Personal views at Polytechnic Forum 2016
Speaking at a dialogue with 300 students at the Polytechnic Forum 2016 held at Republic Polytechnic on Friday, 23 September 2016, Chan tackled topics ranging from staying relevant amid changing times, unequal financial assistance given to the lower-income group, to LGBT issues. Offering his personal views on LGBT issues, Chan said:
“I’m not going to discriminate...(You’re free to do) whatever you do behind your bedroom doors...It’s not my problem. I’m not a sex policeman...But if you tell everyone to champion pro-LGBT or anti-LGBT (causes), it (might) cause social divisions, so (I have to step in) to be the policeman in the middle.”
- Singapore political parties' politicians' views on homosexuality
- PAP MPs against the repeal of Section 377A
- PAP MPs for the repeal of Section 377A
- Singapore Democratic Party politicians' views on homosexuality
- Workers' Party politicians' views on homosexuality
- Reform Party politicians' views on homosexuality
- National Solidarity Party politicians' views on homosexuality
- Democratic Progressive Party politicians' views on homosexuality
- SingFirst politicians' views on homosexuality
- Singapore political parties’ positions on LGBT concerns – General election 2011
- Archive of parliamentary debate on Section 377A (22, 23 October 2007)
- Lee Kuan Yew's views on homosexuality
- Samantha Boh, "Wanted by Goldman Sachs: LGBT employees", MyPaper, 30 April 2014.
- Nick Duffy, "Singapore: Government condemns Goldman Sachs for holding LGBT dinner", Pink News, 15 June 2014.
- Tessa Wong, "Singapore dilemma: When diversity policy meets local law", BBC, 17 June 2014.
- mUmBRELLA, "Is it too risky for brands to sponsor gay events in conservative Singapore?", 6 May 2014.
- Matthew Zeitlin, "Top Singapore official attacks Goldman Sachs over student LGBT event", Buzzfeed, 5 May 2014,.
- Kelvin Wong, "Chan Chun Sing's gay recruitment", Salt*Wet*Fish blog, 14 June 2014.
- Toh Ee Ming, "Chan Chun Sing urges youth to go beyond relying on good grades for jobs", TODAY, 23 September 2016.
- Martin Piper, "To champion equality is not about being pro-LGBT", TODAY voices, 29 September 2016.
This article was written by Roy Tan.