Police state image more daring and out there, beats hip and vibrant city look.
Saying how cancelling the Future Music Festival Asia 2015 despite the event selling out 15,000 of the 20,000 tickets was a strategic move to help Singapore maintain its tough police state image, the Ministry of Home Affairs confirmed on March 6, 2015 that a lot of thought was put into this process to ensure the right message was put across.
One person from the authorities, Jin Tua Kee, said denying Future Music Festival Asia’s appeal for a permit had been debated widely internally: “The government wasn’t sure initially if the event was even big enough to ensure there will be public backlash incited.”
“But we decided that since it had sold 15,000 tickets, enough people will be inconvenienced and this is a stamp of our authority by denying the festival organiser a permit.”
The spokesperson also said that taking drastic steps to show that the government was still boss is an annual affair, as the authorities will always look for things to ban to showcase their draconian ways to the international community.
Jin explained: “In 2014, we had to ban A-Mei’s Rainbow song saying it can spread homosexuality so as to give the government the authoritarian look.”
“Hence, to make sure we can be a constant nanny and police state, we assume that anytime there are large groups of people coming together, there will be drug concerns or homosexual elements.”
The police have also said the authorities always take a calibrated and calculated approach to denial of permits to be more measured in their response.
Zhuo Jin Char, a policeman, said: “Our efforts at clamping down events is two-pronged: One is to showcase to the international community we are a police state by preventing big international acts from performing. The other approach is to take down smaller, local events.”
At press time, the authorities have confirmed they will be monitoring all public events in Singapore including Chingay, 7th month concerts and grassroots events, and will selectively prevent some from happening.
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