Philippines lawmaker urges country to protest clause that bar Taylor Swift from performing in other SEA countries

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 29 — A Philippines lawmaker has urged the country’s Foreign Affairs Department to formally protest the grant given by the Singaporean government in exchange for pop star Taylor Swift agreeing not to perform elsewhere in South-east Asia.

In criticising Singapore, Joey Salceda said the city-state’s move is detrimental to its diplomatic relations with Manila.

“(This) isn’t what good neighbours do,” reported The Straits Times, quoting Salceda in a media statement.

An economist by training and representing the province of Albay in Congress, Salceda also chairs the House committee tasked to oversee Bills that generate government revenue.

According to the portal, Salceda has a reputation for frequently shifting his political allegiances and is also known for latching onto political controversies and other trending issues.

“Our countries are good friends. That’s why actions like that hurt,” Salceda added, acknowledging that the move worked for the city-state as it boosted hotel sales in Singapore, as well as air travel.

He hoped Manila would improve their infrastructure to host concerts for world-class acts, adding that the country needs to step up on their game in the long run.

The move by Singapore first came to light on February 16 when Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin revealed that concert promoter Anschutz Entertainment Group told him the Singapore Government allegedly offered subsidies of up to US$3 million (RM14.3 million) for each concert as subsidies that Swift do not perform in other countries in South-East Asia.

The matter was later confirmed by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and the Culture, Community and Youth Ministry but they did not reveal how much the payment was.

They, however, said the republic’s tourism sector is likely to benefit from the Cruel Summer singer’s six-day concert in Singapore, for which more than 300,000 tickets have been sold.