26 April 2011
What the video is about
THE video in question appears to be a six-minute clip posted on YouTube on April 14 by a user called JohnTan88888.
Entitled Vincent Wijeysingha – Gay Agenda, it comprises recorded excerpts of a public forum held last November by lawyer M. Ravi. He was speaking about his constitutional challenge to Section 377A of Singapore’s Penal Code, which criminalises sex between men.
The video begins with Mr Ravi addressing a small crowd, talking about the legal age of consent for homosexuality. He says that in some Western countries, it is as low as 14 years of age for males. Later, a woman is heard asking Mr Ravi what he plans to do to rally the gay community.
Mr Ravi then points to Singapore Democratic Party candidate Vincent Wijeysingha, who is in the audience, and says: ‘I don’t have time. Maybe a first gay MP in Singapore, from the Singapore Democratic Party.’
The camera pans to Dr Wijeysingha, who then says: ‘I don’t think it’s for Ravi by himself to rally the gay community. I think the gay community has to rally ourselves.
‘Perhaps one outcome of today’s forum would be, for those of us who are interested, to come together to further consider how we can address the 377 issue as well as further rights issues in relation to gays and lesbians.’
Later on, a woman is heard asking Mr Ravi how he plans to get the numbers, in terms of people, to help his cause to challenge the law.
Mr Ravi is heard saying that the numbers do not help very much, but adds: ‘If you really want the numbers, you have to vote for an MP. Gay MP there. First gay MP of Singapore, ladies and gentlemen: Vincent Wijeysingha.’
Dr Wijeysingha replies: ‘What did Margaret Mead say? Never discount a small group of committed people can change the world. In fact, it’s the only thing they’ve ever done.’
Mr Ravi yesterday confirmed that the video was of him speaking at the forum.
He clarified, however, that when he had raised the issue of the age of consent for males in other countries, it was used to contrast how adult gay men in Singapore could not even talk about consent, as the law discriminates against them.
‘It was not about how to lower the age of consent for males to 14 in Singapore,’ he said.
The video included here was not part of the Straits Times article, but for reference only: