Pink Dot event will be barricaded, with security checks

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SINGAPORE — Checks by security personnel will take place at this year’s Pink Dot to ensure attendees are either Singaporeans or permanent residents (PRs), said event organisers on Tuesday (May 30), in light of recent policy changes.

With nearly a month to go before the annual event will be held on July 1 in support of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community, its organisers have added that it will be a barricaded event.

The measures were a result of negotiations with the authorities, following amendments to the Public Order Act, which came into effect on Nov 1. 

Noting that previous proposals which they had offered to ensure that event-goers were Singaporeans and PRs — including the setting up of checkpoints in specific areas of the park — were “rejected” by the authorities, the organisers said they had to put in place “preventive measures that were foolproof”.

“The set-up of barricades and check points around the park was the only measure deemed acceptable by authorities; this was a decision taken out of our hands and is something we do not readily agree with.” said Pink Dot SG spokesperson Paerin Choa.

Earlier this month, Pink Dot organisers said that only Singaporeans and permanent residents (PRs) were allowed to attend the event. 

In previous Pink Dot events, foreigners were allowed to assemble at Hong Lim Park but not to participate. They were, however, able to observe from the sidelines. Photo: Jason Quah/TODAY

One of the amendments to the Act states that event organisers must ensure that “only citizens of Singapore or permanent residents of Singapore participate in the assembly or procession”.

In previous Pink Dot events, foreigners were allowed to assemble at Hong Lim Park but not to participate. They were, however, able to observe from the sidelines.

Individuals caught illegally participating in Speakers’ Corner events can face a fine of up to S$3,000 for their first offence, and up to S$5,000 if found to be repeat offenders.

If found guilty, organisers could face a fine not exceeding S$10,000 or a jail term not exceeding six months or both.

The new regulations also mean that from this year, foreign companies cannot sponsor the event. 

This year’s Pink Dot has attracted the sponsorships of  116 local companies  so far, said the organisers in an update on Tuesday evening. 

This year’s event ambassadors are Singapore paralympian Theresa Goh, local singer Nathan Hartono, and actor Ebi Shankara.

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