Different because some people want us always to be the same

I have nothing new to say, because it is being said by — I am sure — thousands of people in Singapore. But I want to just add my voice to the chorus of boos.


Gaystarnews reported that  Jolin Tsai’s song We’re All Different, Yet The Same has been banned from the mainstream airwaves. “Singapore’s censorship board, the Media Development Authority, recently issued a document to all TV and radio stations banning the broadcast of the song, which it said promoted gay marriage and therefore contravened Singaporean law,” Gaystarnews wrote in its story dated 22 May 2015.

I quickly checked the MDA’s website, but found no announcement about this. Assuming the news is true and such an instruction has been delivered to all broadcasting stations, then this is censorship by stealth. The government should be reminded of this every time they boast about accountability or transparency.

For background, Gaystarnews explained that “the song is based on the true story of a lesbian couple who have been together for more than 30 years. But when one was hospitalized due to old age and required emergency surgery, her partner was unable to give consent because she was not her legal spouse or family member.”

Barely a day later — how shameful for Singapore! — the same website reported cheeringly of a huge victory for gay equality in Ireland. The official count was 62% in favour (over 70% in many Dublin areas) and 38% against.  The turnout was a very respectable 61%.


The referendum asked voters whether they supported adding these words to the Irish constitution: “marriage may be contracted in accordance with law by two persons without distinction as to their sex”. According to the BBC, the constitution did not previously define marriage as being between a man and a woman, but there was a risk that legislation to extend marriage rights passed by Oireachtas (the Irish parliament) would be challenged in the Supreme Court. It was felt that making it clear in the constitution itself would be a neater solution. However, the constitution can only be changed by referendum.

All the major political parties urged a Yes vote, and many large corporations supported it too. Many bishops however urged the opposite.

Like Spain, Portugal, Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil, Ireland is a majority-Catholic country. In case you didn’t know it, all five (now six) have marriage equality. Ireland decriminalised homosexuality in 1993.


By contrast, the MDA’s move is not just regressive, it is risibly petty and self-defeating. Like many people, I had never heard of this song before. But now, it is being shared by many on social media. I am pretty sure Pink Dot organisers are thinking of a way to weave it into this year’s event.

What sort of Sarah Palins reside in MDA? (Go to MDA’s website and you will see the mugshots of the CEO and the board.) What did they imagine they would achieve by issuing such an instruction? Did they think that people in media would quietly follow instructions and not have one or two of them so upset that they’d leak their secret instruction to Gaystarnews? If they never considered that possibility, then our Sarah Palins have no clue about the real world and no clue about behaviour.

Do they think Singapore can remain exactly where we are while the world moves on?

17 Responses to “Different because some people want us always to be the same”

  1. 1 yuen 24 May 2015 at 05:18

    so the video had jolin tsai and ruby lin kissing; fine with me; it would be even nicer if they had a male singer join them for a threesome

  2. 4 Ivàn tan eng hong 24 May 2015 at 12:22

    Great news and hopefully singapore will follow by soonest ……can’t wait to get it thru

    • 5 yuen 24 May 2015 at 16:19

      so what’s your view if polygamists ask for equal status? polygamy has a venerable history, is desired by many men and some women, and is accepted by a number of religions (Abraham had two wives, with Jews descended from one and branches of Muslims descended from the other)., and is practised already in Singapore by some Muslims; should the practice be allowed in other community groups too?

      • 6 Aiyo! 28 May 2015 at 10:26

        Aiyo, why use Muslims and Jews…use something closer home laaaa….

        Unitl 1971 polygamy was legal in Hong Kong – guess why …., Asian Values maaaa…..

        If you want to use Muslims and Jews then I say go circumcision also laa….why so selective….


      • 7 Nice try.... 28 May 2015 at 10:39

        Equal status?

        What talking you?

        It is equally illegal for everyone. White, black, yellow or gay.

      • 8 Equal status for all ...ahem.... 28 May 2015 at 10:59

        So if people want to marry, they have to marry as heterosexuals – that’s fair laaaa…..

        So if they want to marry more than one, why can’t they marry as Muslims? Fair also right?

      • 9 yuen 28 May 2015 at 23:58

        in SG polygamy is practised by some Muslims; for other men there can be only one official wife, though they can have mistresses

        the reason I mention Abraham is: you cannot use the Bible to condemn polygamy, with homosexuality, some people do cite the Bible against it

      • 10 Air is safer than another boxer... 29 May 2015 at 23:21

        Bible? Which comment were you responding to? Not in the article nor in the comment you were responding to.

        Shadow boxing?

      • 11 Apenda ni? 29 May 2015 at 23:26

        You also cannot condemn the slavery, the sale of daughters and the beating of servants with the Bible. Your comments are getting more and more incoherent.

      • 12 Don't feed the troll?? 31 May 2015 at 02:09

        Yuen, from your two comments it looks like you’re a troll, ie. we’re advocating for equal rights and same sex marriage and didn’t mention anything about polygamy, but you brought it in as flame bait and to change the topic.

        Your previous comment clearly shows you believe women are only there for men to use as visual sex objects and for sexual pleasure. Shocking for a touching video that brings tears to one’s eyes. It’s no surprise that such opinions are often closely related to feeling the love between gay people is a “thing” as well, when it’s as natural and equal as that between “straights”. Such is a lack of empathy.

        What’s your view on stoning for adultery and slavery? Both are approved of in the Bible. I suppose in your view, anything in so called religious texts are to be approved of?

  3. 13 Alan 25 May 2015 at 18:23

    Why is our PAP Govt so afraid of homosexuality to the extent until MDA has to treat it as if it is such a deadly disease and they need to keep it from spreading ? Now they have always insisted this is because our society is conservative one but is it really ? How can we be considered a conservative society if we can also allow so many prostitutes to operate openly all over Singapore ? So since we are such a conservative society, how come our PAP Govt allow so many massage spas in town to operate as a front for prostitution ?

    And it is quite ironic that the Catholic Churches themselves preaches “love the sinner but not the sin” when it comes to homosexuality. How can it be a sin and yet the sinners (GLBTs) in this case be so easily loved at the same time ? Something is obviously wrong with such teachings in not keeping up with the times.

    By the way, if so many Christians happen to be GLBTs themselves, what is the Catholic Church or even Lawrence Khong going to do about this ? Just continue condemning them or pretending that GLBT Christians do not exist and keep prodding our Govt to interfere with GLBT rights ?

    • 14 Duh 30 May 2015 at 21:10

      The Church has lost their mandate as a moral authority long ago – given their silence, protection and lack of prosecution of members of their clergy who have molested children in their care.

  4. 15 Jake 25 May 2015 at 21:22

    MDA living up to its nickname of Media Disruption Authority.

    Even with the clarification that they aren’t banning to song, MDA had attracted bad press overseas for Singapore.

  5. 16 ykbever 25 May 2015 at 21:54

    Just read in the straits times about MDA’s clarification on this issue. The title of the report is ‘Jolin Tsai’s same-sex marriage music video is not banned here’, and it quotes an MDA spokesperson as saying ‘MDA advised the local broadcasters that they should not air the song and music video on channels that are freely accessed by younger viewers due to its mature content’

    It seems very disingenuous to me as the main local TV and radio channels are all freely accessible by ‘young viewers’, therefore making it an effective ban, right? A bunch of disingenuous, self-righteous dimwits.

  6. 17 ape@kinjioleaf 26 May 2015 at 17:14

    Looking beyond homosexuality, is there something else that triggered viewers thoughts? ‘Sorry ma’am, relatives only… How are you related?’

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