Singapore chided for using 'law of the jungle' to bag Taylor Swift concert | Inquirer News

Singapore chided for using ‘law of the jungle’ to bag Taylor Swift concert

/ 03:34 PM March 05, 2024

‘GETTING YOUNG PEOPLE ACTIVATED’ Taylor Swift performs in Inglewood, California, on Aug. 7. Swifties registered in huge numbers as voters upon her urging last month. —AFP

Taylor Swift performs in Inglewood, California. (File photo from AFP)

MANILA, Philippines — The admission from the Singaporean prime minister that the city-state brokered an exclusive deal to host pop star Taylor Swift’s concert showed that the ‘law of the jungle’ was observed.

This view was expressed by Albay 2nd District Representative Joey Salceda.


In a statement, Salceda said the exclusive deal — which resulted in Swift only making a stop at Singapore for her Southeast Asia concert leg — was very successful for Singapore.


However, the lawmaker said Singapore, in doing so, disregarded the “law of a neighborhood.”

This law supposedly means allies are expected to support each other.

On the other hand, “law of the jungle” happens when the strong (Singapore in this case) always gets to do what it wants.

“At last, Singapore officially admits that it did negotiate an exclusivity deal to lock other ASEAN neighbors out of the tour,” Salceda said.

“No doubt that it was very successful for Singapore,” he observed.

“Judging by the Singaporean Prime Minister’s words, the weak must do what it can, but the strong can do what it wants,” the lawmaker noted.


“That’s the law of the jungle. That is not the law of a neighborhood of countries bound by supposed principles of solidarity and consensus,” he pointed out.

Salceda was referring to Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s admission that they negotiated a deal where an incentive was provided to Taylor Swift to make Singapore her only stop in Southeast Asia.

However, Lee maintained the deal was not a hostile act towards its neighbors.

“(Our) agencies negotiated an arrangement with her to come to Singapore and perform and to make Singapore her only stop in Southeast Asia,” Lee said in a press conference in Melbourne, Australia.

Lee is in Melbourne, along with Philippine President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and other Southeast Asian leaders, for a summit with Asean and Australian leaders.

On February 28, Salceda urged Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to ask the Singaporean ambassador to the Philippines about rumors of exclusivity in hosting the only Taylor Swift concert in Southeast Asia.

The request was done amid talks that the grant given by Singapore Tourism Board (STB) to the producer of Swift’s concert included a provision that prevents the firm from staging concerts in other Southeast Asian countries.

AEG Presents was the producer of the event.

Such a practice, Salceda said, is not “what good neighbors do.”

The allegation was made public by Thailand Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin.

He said Singaporean government’s grant was offered on the condition that there be no other stops in Taylor Swift’s Southeast Asian leg.

Filipino fans were disappointed upon hearing the news that Taylor Swift would not be holding a concert in the country.

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The announcement led “Swifties” to fly off to other locations like Japan and Singapore just to see the artist performing live.

TAGS: concert, Singapore, Taylor Swift

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