Singapore’s social and family development minister has criticized investment bank Goldman Sachs over its plan to host an upcoming dinner and networking event for LGBT students.
In a Facebook post, Chan Chun Sing referred to “a recent newspaper article on the recruitment practice of a multinational company here,” saying that foreign companies “should respect local culture and context” even as they have the right to follow their human resources policies.
Noting that Singapore is a predominantly conservative society, the minister says corporations “should not venture into public advocacy for causes that sow discord amongst Singaporeans. Employment in SG is based on one’s merit and ability. Discrimination — be it positive or negative — whether based on race, language, religion, or sexual orientation is not aligned with our social ethos, and has no place in our society.”
On the invitation, Goldman Sachs’ LGBT Network says the event, scheduled for May 14, provides a forum for attendees to find out more about the company, its culture and the network and to “discuss issues and concerns regarding being out in the workplace.”
The invitation also notes that the company received an Asia Pink Award for its contribution to the LGBT community and will be a sponsor of the Pink Dot event in June.
BuzzFeed quotes a Goldman Sachs spokeperson as saying, “Our goal is to hire the best people we can find and to build diverse teams that are a reflection of the clients we serve.”