Wijeysinga holds the record for being the first openly gay politician
This post is part of a running series about the General Elections.
Vincent Wijeysingha was a former Singapore politician with the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) from 2010 to 2013 and is predominantly known as Singapore’s first gay politician. He campaigned with SDP in the 2011 General Elections, competing in the Holland-Bukit Timah GRC, which was subsequently lost to PAP with a percentage of 39.92% to PAP’s 60.08%.
So what did Mr Wijeysingha do since he left politics? MustShareNews takes a closer look…
1. Executive Director
No, Wijeysingha did not become the Director of some large MNC, but rather, he chose to continue his work as a social activist and became the Executive Director of Transient Workers Count 2 (TWC2).
However, Wijeysingha resigned from TWC2 in 2011, some months after the General Elections held that same year. He said that he wanted to “pursue other paths and areas of interest”.
Wijeysingha also worked as a lecturer at UniSIM.
A quick search on the faculty list at UniSIM revealed that Wijeysingha no longer works there. But his Facebook profile said that he was still working there.
Very confused right now.
3. Came out as gay
This was in 2013, in a Facebook post that was published a mere day before the 2013 Pink Dot event.
Wijeysingha’s PS was with reference to an earlier PAP statement that asked if SDP was intending to “pursue a gay agenda”. So irrelevant.
4. Accused a Catholic priest of molestation
In a Facebook post on 23 June 2014, Wijeysingha dropped the molestation bombshell.
5. Attacked the Catholic Church
In the same Facebook post as mentioned above, Wijeysingha also attacked the Catholic Church over its stance on homosexuality. This was a fierce reply to Archbishop William Goh’s statement on the issue.
Obviously, Wijeysingha did not take it well.
“The universal church is guilty of the systematic rape and abuse of children committed to the care of a clergy ostensibly vowed to celibacy. What concerns me is the cynical attempt to portray the church as a compassionate and empathetic organisation concerned for the souls of LGBT people.”
Ooh burn. Read Wijeysingha’s entire damming post here.
6. Became a feminist
We’re kidding. Wijeysingha was an invited speaker to an AWARE-organised forum on civil society in 2014.
And everyone should be AWARE that they fight for women’s rights.
7. Got in trouble with Tan Chuan-Jin
Wijeysingha posted a “defamatory” (why does that word sound so familiar) note on Facebook, implying that Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin was “dishonest and deceptive” when Tan said that he did not know about the complaints from the Chinese bus drivers that had led to the strike.
To cut a long story short, Tan demanded $20,000 in damages but Wijeysingha paid only $5000 in the end because he could only afford that amount. Tan accepted the $5k “as a gesture of goodwill”.
8. Visited Russia
Wijeysingha visited the Russian Embassy to present a petition signed by 200 members of Singapore’s LGBT community. In 2013, Russia passed a law banning the spread of information regarding “non-traditional” sexuality. Wijeysingha said that the petition was in “support” of LGBT “friends” in Russia, and insinuated that Russians at the embassy were wimps for not having “the courage to come out to accept nothing more dangerous than a letter.”
9. Wrote stuff
Wijeysingha contributed two articles for independent news site The Independent Singapore. The first was on the infamous Little India riot and the second on his predictions on what would happen in 2014.
10. Set up Workfair Singapore
Workfair Singapore was established in 2012 to address issues revolving around “the rights of Singaporean and migrant workers.” Wijeysingha was a founding member.
However, the last post on their official WordPress site was dated 23 January 2014, so we wonder if it has fallen into ruin and abandon.
The Facebook page has also not been updated since 2014.
11. Writing about Operation Spectrum
Operation Spectrum was a covert operation conducted to remove communist influence from Singapore. Well, that’s the official statement, but there have been numerous counter-theories alleging that Operation Spectrum was actually used to remove opposition political influence instead.
In his ‘About’ page, Wijeysingha says that he is currently working on a “comprehensive account” of Operation Spectrum.
Where is Wijeysingha now?
We don’t know either. Much of his activity seems to have stopped in 2014 and the only activity he had in 2015 was to change his Facebook profile picture. /shrug.
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