Speaking at a dialogue with 300 students at the Polytechnic Forum 2016 held at Republic Polytechnic on Friday, Mr Chan discussed topics from staying relevant amid changing times, unequal financial assistance given to the lower-income group, to LGBT issues.
Offering his personal views on LGBT issues, Mr Chan said: “I’m not going to discriminate … (You’re free to do) whatever you do behind your bedroom doors ... It’s not my problem. I’m not a sex policeman ... But if you tell everyone to champion pro-LGBT or anti-LGBT (causes), it (might) cause social divisions, so (I have to step in) to be the policeman in the middle,” according to Today online.
The comments have naturally irritated members of the LGBT community in Singapore and beyond.
In an article written for The Independent, Molly Meek questioned:
“Who says LGBT issues are confined to sex or what people do in the bedroom? You may not regard them as your “problem” but why are they a problem in the first place? Are you going to police it if a gay couple were to kiss each other in public the way some straight couples do?”
In 2014 Mr Chan seemed to admonish a multinational company in Singapore for its recruitment practice of seeking LGBT recruits saying that foreign companies “should not venture into public advocacy for causes that sow discord amongst Singaporeans.”
“Singapore a largely conservative society. While different groups may express their different points of view, everyone should respect the sensitivities of others and not create division,” he said in a Facebook post.