Recently, a photo of two Singaporean men kissing has been posted on Instagram and circulated through various forums. The photo shows two young Singaporeans engaged in kissing in a public place during the evening hours.
Several netizens commented on the photo, expressing a wide variety of opinions on the matter of same sex relationships in Singapore.
Some suggested that it could be a prank that university culture does to its freshman students, as part of their orientation to college life.
While others immediately talked about getting the people in the photo involved with law enforcement.
And others were more diplomatic and called for people to just leave them alone since people were not bothered by the same show of affection between a man and a woman.
Others then got into a heated debate on homosexuality and how “natural” it is.
Some were envious of the affection shared by the couple in the photo.
Other Singaporeans had only disdain and wished the two men in the photo ill luck.
Some questioned the discrimination that the commenters exhibited.
While others were more vindictive and suggested taking some sort of action against the two men’s school authorities.
Someone did notify their school
Let it not be said that Singaporeans could not let things lie, or did not have the tech-savvy to find out their identities. Some of them were able to suss out who the two men in the photo were and quickly spread their Instagram handles.
Some of them were also able to show other netizens other personal details such as the school one of them attended, which was Temasek Meridian Junior High.
One of the commenters who may not have liked the public display of affection in the photo proudly showed off the email they had sent to tattle on the Instagram post:
The person who sent the email proudly told Singaporean forum members that he was proud of what he did.
While Alvinology is uncertain if this email was the impetus for the junior college to contact their student, the school did speak to media and say that they did not order the student to take down the photo.
According to a report, the school said that they only suggested that it would be in the best interest of the student to take the photo down. No police report was also filed by the school in connection to this issue.
“We then advised the student that it would be in his interest to remove the post to protect his privacy and wellbeing. We did not mention the filing of a police report. We have always taught our students to behave with propriety on-line and in all other situations.” Pamela Yoong, principal of Tampines-Meridian Junior College stated in the interview.
Gay relations are still illegal in Singapore
The highly-contentious Section 377A is still in effect, which means that the Public Prosecutor retains “full prosecutorial discretion” on cases that violate that particular law.
In a report on Channel News Asia, the Attorney-General said that they charge offenders based solely on the basis of assessment of the facts, the law, and the public interest. He also said that private relations may or may not be the concern of public interest.