Last edited: May 17, 2004

It’s a Crime to Be Gay but Singapore Wants Our Money Newscenter, May 16, 2004

By Peter Hacker, Asia Bureau Chief

Singapore—Homosexuality in Singapore is punishable by up to two years in prison, but, a government run bank says it is going after the pink buck.

The DBS Bank announced this week it is looking into issuing a special credit card targeting the gay market. The bank points to studies showing that gays are “affluent” and that they support brands that touch them personally.

“If the market is big enough, we will consider it,” said Edmund Koh, head of consumer banking at DBS.

The Singapore government’s investment arm, Temasek Holdings, owns 28.8% of DBS.

Singapore’s government has recently refused to let the country’s largest gay rights group register as a society. Last month the government ordered Singapore’s only gay rights organization to disband.

Nevertheless, several mainstream Singapore businesses have begun chasing gay market and are pitching their services and products to homosexual customers.

The island’s Prime Minister, Goh Chok Tong said that despite the official line, his administration would hire openly gay people.

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