Singapore Activist Offer To Pay Minister Shanmugam To Debate With Them

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Activists in Singapore are unhappy with Minister K Shanmugam for inviting British billionaire Richard Branson to a debate on death penalty. They think they should be the ones invited instead.

They are more qualified than a British billionaire

They find it unfair that Shanmugam reached out to a foreign tycoon and not them, as they have been fighting against death penalty for years. They think they are more qualified to debate with a minister because they have “witnessed the horrors of the legal system”.

They told Shanmugam to “pick on someone his own size”. There are many activists who are already in Singapore. Why is he not talking to them?


One of the activists was very sure that the debate, if it happens, will not be an inspiring one.

“The very best ones leave you feeling like you’ve witnessed a meeting of top-tier minds engaging on important issues of the day and providing insight to participants and audience alike. But it’s clear that the challenge issued to Branson is not going to be like that. It’s not going to be a debate in which any of us will learn anything useful.”

They think Branson was invited because he is rich and white

Another activist questioned why Shanmugam picked Richard Branson:

“Is it because he’s rich? Is it because he’s white?”

Clearly, Branson was invited because he, as a foreigner, overstepped his line by imposing his views on our domestic affairs. Clearly, it is not acceptable for a foreigner to force Singaporeans to do things his way.

According to MHA, “Mr Branson is entitled to his opinions. These opinions may be widely held in the UK, but we do not accept that Mr Branson or others in the West are entitled to impose their values on other societies.

Clearly, it is not because he is rich or white.

They offer to pay Shanmugam to debate with them

Regardless of whether Branson accepts the invitation, anti-death penalty activists in Singapore would rather Minister Shanmugam debate with them than with a billionaire entrepreneur. As such, they have gladly offered to pay for the minister’s transport and meals to meet them.

They dared him to “meet the people (he’s) betraying with the death penalty”.

“We don’t have the resources you do at our disposal, but we have clarity and conviction in our principles. Will you accept the challenge? Will you face your own people? Or are you afraid of losing to us?”


Richard Branson is a British billionaire who founded the Virgin Group. He recently claimed that:

  • Drug trafficker Nagaenthran was hanged despite being intellectually disabled
  • Singapore’s laws are racially biased
  • Lawyers who defend death row inmates are always harassed

All of his assertions are false. In response, Minister Shanmugam invited him to a live televised debate so he can show us how Singapore is wrong even though our laws have kept us safe from the proliferation of drug use.

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