Sunday, December 07, 2008

I think we can end the DBS Boycott now. (UPDATE: Maybe not)

Hey guys, I know I said we should call off the boycott yesterday. But now someone's forwarded me a message from DBS, dated December 7th, which still advertises the promotion - but with the name of Focus on the Family removed!

So DBS has learned to be sensitive to us.... by keeping us ignorant about the nature of the charity it funds?

Yes, it's true that the mailer specifies that the money's going toward the building of a centre for teaching of children with learning disabilities. And I have mixed feelings about opposing that. But I think, in the end, that this group should remain, if only to point out that the choice of charity is intensely problematic. There are other charities out there doing similar work, and I hope that my bank (UOB) does some similar work with one of them instead.

My previous entry:

Hey guys,

Thanks for all your support for this group. I never expected it to gain the attention it did, nor did I expect DBS to respond by closing the promotion (yes, I know it's uncertain how much they've closed it down, but it's still a move to show that they're worried about the reaction from this community).

You see, all I wanted when I started this call to boycott was to show DBS and the rest of Singapore that queer people, their supporters/friends, and those who believe in related issues of choice in abortion and contraception, could form a consumer bloc. And that corporations should be sensitive to our interests - it's not just about not offending religious and racial groups, after all.

So now that we've received newspaper publicity and DBS has reacted, I think I'm (personally) willing to end the call to boycott. (You guys don't have to follow my lead, of course.)

I didn't want to destroy DBS, just to provoke its attention. And I personally don't think I should campaign for the closure of Focus on the Family, because I do believe in free speech.

(And I'm not getting any benefit from ending this, I just don't believe in being vindictive.)

Thank you one and all. I owe each of you a hug and an ice cream.

Yours sincerely,


P.S. In case you want to make reference to it, the original post is still at my blog:

P.P.S. I received this informational message from Jolene Tan:

Hi Yi-Sheng

Just realised you made a call for information on the sexist and anti-choice aspects of FotF's activities. Here are some posts I've made on Glass Castle which contain summary explanations and links:

Thanks for putting this group together.

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