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PM Lee Hsien Loong: Singapore’s exclusive Swift deal not “unfriendly”

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong defends the exclusive Taylor Swift concert deal, stating it’s not “unfriendly” towards neighbors in Southeast Asia and aims to benefit the region economically.



Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has addressed concerns surrounding Singapore’s exclusive deal with Taylor Swift for her Eras Tour, asserting that the arrangement, which makes Singapore the only stop in Southeast Asia, is not “unfriendly” towards neighbouring countries.

At a press conference following the 9th Singapore-Australia Annual Leaders’ Meeting on 5 March in Melbourne, PM Lee responded to a question from The Sydney Morning Herald regarding criticism of the deal.

“I don’t see that as being unfriendly. Sometimes, one country makes a deal. Sometimes another country does,” he said, adding that the incentives provided to Swift were from Singapore’s Tourism Development Fund to revive the industry after the Covid-19 pandemic.

“If that is what is needed to be done to get an outcome that is mutually beneficial—and which, from Singapore’s point of view, serves not just to grow the economy but also to bring in visitors and goodwill from all over the region—I don’t see why not,” PM Lee remarked.

This exclusive deal sparked a flurry of discussions after it was revealed that the Singapore Government, through its Tourism Development Fund, offered incentives to Swift.

According to a report by the Bangkok Post in February, Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin alleged that Singapore had secured exclusive rights for Taylor Swift to perform at the renowned National Stadium in the city-state, effectively shutting out other Southeast Asian nations from hosting the pop sensation.

According to Srettha, global concert promoter Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) informed him that the Singapore government financially supported Taylor Swift’s concerts, offering US$2 million to 3 million per show in exchange for her performing solely in Singapore.

Edwin Tong, Minister for Culture, Community, and Youth, clarified in Parliament on Monday (4 Mar) that the figures were exaggerated and highlighted the government’s intent to rejuvenate Singapore’s tourism and entertainment sectors post-pandemic—with no POFMA correction direction issued to anyone over the supposed falsehoods.

The exclusivity of the arrangement raised questions about its impact on Singapore’s relations with its neighbours.

Following up on Tong’s confirmation of the exclusive deal on Monday, Workers’ Party Member of Parliament for Aljunied GRC, Mr Gerald Giam, inquired about the potential negative perceptions of the deal. However, Tong did not respond to Mr Giam’s inquiry about his perspective on the possibility of other countries perceiving Singapore’s pursuit of exclusivity as being mean.

Taylor Swift’s concerts, which took place from 2 March to 9 March at the National Stadium, have been seen as a major success, with tickets all being sold out, drawing fans from across the region.

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He will now considered having called voters as Free Riders is also “not unfriendly”. The alternate universe of Kayu Boy, indeed.

The above explanation speaks volume of this person characters, moral and integrity. Hypocrite at its best. This is how he treats his friends, neighbours and even family members. On one hand he held himself up in moral high ground and calls out against bullying but acted as a big bully himself. Maybe that is what explains I bullied in order to stop bullying. They could have just hold the concert here but why the exclusive clause? For those well to do TS fans who could afford to travel here for the concert is good, but what about those being deprive… Read more »

Neighbours said “ouched” he said not “unfriendly” to “steal” from them. Only a first class education sounded so much better when he rephrased it than I do(no class). If anybody can turn water into wine, he certainly can.

Hmm getting very defensive.

From mos to minister to now pm trying very very hard to justify being friendly

Oh it was very friendly!

Only 2 members of asean say not……the Philippines and Thailand!

Maybe the rest of asean will say so soon or maybe they will boot you out?

见钱眼开。Always in denial … Why ah?!?

So much is being said on TS, just give us the expenditure and the revenue. Refusal can be taken as using taxpayers’ monies to canvas for votes from the new youth voters in the next elections.

I would ask so what the fuck are the neighboring countries complaining here?
Sour grapes, envy and becos they are losers?
And Taylor Swift would definitely not even want to earn THEIR DE-VALUED CURRENCY?
Even if no Sing Dollar was offered by such ‘grant’, ah Swift would definitely not want Baht, Ringgit, Peso and Ruppiah. Tio bo?
These countries better look in the mirror, as to WHY THEIR OWN COUNTRY IS SO FUCKED UP, even after WW2 HAD ended many many decades ago.😆😆😆🤣🤣🤣