Lawrence Wong is a politician and a member of the People's Action Party. He was appointed the Minister for National Development after the 2015 General Elections. On 22 August 2016, he was concurrently appointed the Second Minister for Finance. He has previously held appointments in the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Communications and Information and the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth. He has been a Member of Parliament (MP) since 2011 representing West Coast Group Representation Constituency (2011-2015) and Marsiling-Yew Tee Group Representation Constituency (since 2015).
Wong has publicly commented on LGBT issues on one occasion, in September 2012 during a televised interview.
Comments during TV interview, September 2012Edit
In mid-September 2012, during a televised interview on Channel News Asia with Minister of Culture, Community & Youth, Lawrence Wong, filmmaker Boo Junfeng called up to ask him about the Singapore's marginalised LGBT community:
Interviewer: Well, in November, you're going to be heading up a new ministry - Ministry of Community, Culture and Youth - and one part of the, I mean one big part is the arts as well. That something you're going to be looking after. We have a caller and now waiting - he's from the arts community. Can you hear us?
Boo: Hi, yes I can hear you.
Interviewer: You have a question for the Minister?
Boo: Hi, yes, my name is Junfeng. I'm a filmmaker...Well, there's a second question that I wanted to ask which sort of also talks about a marginalised community in Singapore which is the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Singaporeans. I mean, from the earlier caller, I was listening in talking about single parenthood, I kind of disagree in that some of these issues need necessarily be consensus-based, especially when some of these communities are a minority. And when a minority group is concerned, how would the Government be protecting them?...and I'm talking about the LGBT community in Singapore.
Wong: No, I understand where you are coming from. We should respect the consensus of society but I think it's also important that we respect every individual and treat each individual with dignity. And regardless of one's beliefs, regardless of what one, how one, what the behaviours or the preferences of a particular community or individual, all of us should treat each other with dignity and respect. And so I think there is something about consensus that's important to understand but it's also another, it's also important to have that sense of understanding and acceptance of individuals for who they are.
Boo: Well, but the reality is that LGBT people, while there is a growing acceptance in Singapore and growing support through events like Pink Dot, for example, the reality is there is also still is a lot of discrimination and prejudice. So should it not be the role of the government to help educate and alter misconceptions about some of these minority groups because, I mean, the truth is, you know, that thousands of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people living in Singapore, and many of them are hardworking, talented individuals who contribute to society, who have their families, who love their families. So how does, I mean, should it not be the role of the Government as well to be educating the public about some of these things.
Wong: Well, I mean there is a role for all parts of society to play, I think. What exactly, what more can the Government do, or what exactly should the Government do, I think let's, we can discuss that in terms of whether it's public education or awareness. But in the end, as I said, it's more important that we also look beyond what the Government can do and look at society more broadly between people to people - how we help to raise understanding, raise awareness - and at the end of the day, I think it's important that we accept individuals for who they are. And it's important that we give support to people, you know, regardless of what their preferences may be.
So I think there is, certainly we can talk about a role , what role Government can play, but let's also think more broadly beyond the role of the Government to, how we as individuals behave, how we as individuals can reach out to others in a way that treats one another with dignity and respect.
Boo: Thank you. I look forward to this inclusive society that we're always talking about.
Wong: Thank you.
- 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
This article was written by Roy Tan.