Vincent Wijeysingha quitting SDP

Vincent Wijeysingha quitting SDP
Dr Wijeysingha said the discussions that followed his disclosure of his sexual orientation "show there is misunderstanding of these issues, primarily because of lack of mainstream access to appropriate information".

SINGAPORE - Singapore's first openly gay politician is resigning from the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) to focus on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights and other civil liberties.

Dr Vincent Wijeysingha, 43, the party's treasurer, announced his move on his Facebook page on Wesdnesday.

He said the discussions that followed his disclosure last month of his sexual orientation "show there is misunderstanding of these issues, primarily because of lack of mainstream access to appropriate information".

As an SDP member for three years, he was "engaged in social and economic bread-and-butter policy issues", he added.

"But after reflection and consultation with friends and colleagues, I have come to believe that I should participate in the more intangible but no less important work to promote our civil liberties," he wrote.

In an interview with online news site The Independent, he said that if he stayed in party politics, he would focus on mainstream issues, which "could result in the sidelining of marginal concerns such as those faced by the gay community".

When asked by The Straits Times which organisations or platforms he would work with, Dr Wijeysingha said he has "not taken any decisions on future activities".

The SDP said yesterday it was sad and disappointed to see him go, but understood and fully supported his position.

"Our loss is civil society's gain," it said, adding that it had benefited from his intellect.

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