Well, this was certainly a surprise. Homegrown mega-brand Old Chang Kee — purveyors of beloved curry puffs and street snacks since ’56 — proudly proclaimed their support for Pride Month. It’s a wonderful gesture for a long-established local chain to stand behind the LGBTQ community, especially in a country with a reputation for suppressing any idea of equal rights for them.
Oh, wait, not really, though. The one making the shout out to Pride Month (with a rainbow overlaid over a curry puff) is actually the Old Chang Kee outlet that recently launched in the UK; not the one that’s here.
It’s great that the brand portrayed such bold, progressive dogma overseas, but it seems like Old Chang Kee Singapore is not making such strides in the home turf just yet. It would be quite a momentous cause to celebrate if one of the country’s oldest brands aligned itself publicly with the LGBTQ community by coming onboard as a sponsor for annual gay pride rally Pink Dot.
But that day has not arrived. Responding to queries by Coconuts Singapore, Pink Dot confirmed that Old Chang Kee has not contacted them in any way. Nonetheless, Pink Dot would be glad to welcome the beloved brand as a supporter.
“We certainly hope that Old Chang Kee can support the LGBT community in Singapore as much as they support the LGBT community in the UK,” noted Pink Dot SG to Coconuts Singapore.
Of course, that there are lots of other ways to support the LGBTQ community here aside from being a Pink Dot sponsor. It should also go without saying that the brand is in no way obligated to do so — but it is odd to see a blatant inconsistency in Old Chang Kee’s stance on the matter.
Pink Dot x Old Chang Kee SG?
With just a little more than a week to go before this year’s rally at Hong Lim Park on July 21, Pink Dot has already garnered over 90 event sponsors so far. Since the rules that governed Hong Lim Park and events that take place at Speakers Corner changed in 2016, only Singaporean companies are allowed to sponsor the rally. Ironically, local corporate support for the annual gay pride rally is stronger than ever before due to the government’s ban on foreign funding.
Since Old Chang Kee UK announced its support for Pride Month, Singaporeans have been clamoring for Old Chang Kee SG to do the same by way of sponsoring Pink Dot.
Facebook user Risa Tan wrote at length about her hope to have Old Chang Kee to publicly support gay rights not just London, but in Singapore too.
“…if you as a company are going to publicly support gay rights, you have to support it in all countries, not just the ones where it is convenient/profitable for you to do so,” she wrote. “Otherwise, your support is vacuous and won’t do much for your image.”
Despite the hubbub and messages of support, Old Chang Kee has remained mum about the whole thing. A spokesperson for the brand declined to comment on the matter when we approached them with queries.
Editor’s Note: Article amended to reflect Old Chang Kee Singapore’s response to our queries.