Man rips pride flag from Lau Pa Sat food stall's counter & throws it at staff

The owner said that the pride flag would continue to be on display at the store's two outlets.

Nigel Chua | January 19, 2021, 02:11 PM

Follow us on Telegram for the latest updates: https://t.me/mothershipsg

Staff at health food stall SMOL Singapore in Lau Pa Sat were confronted on Jan. 18 by a man about a rainbow flag displayed at the cashier counter.

A video of the incident was uploaded online by the owner of the stall, Charmaine Low, who was apparently at the stall at the time.

According to the caption on the video, the exchange between Low and the man began with him asking what the flag was.

When Low explained that it was to show support for the LGBT+ community, the man apparently said: "Do you know that this is a public food court? Not everybody support LGBT!!?? How can you put this flag??"

He also called the stall's staff "the kind of people who is destroying Singapore" and told them to "go to hell".

Low, calling the incident "homophobic abuse", expressed concern for her team's safety, but said that "we will not stop displaying our little pride flag at both our outlets".

The brand has another outlet at PLQ mall.

What the video showed

The video shows the man dressed in business attire with a tie and lanyard, walking past the storefront.

He pauses, appearing to notice the flag, and walks over to confront the staff about it.

Screenshot via SMOL Singapore.

He starts to walk away, but turns back, apparently to engage with one of the shop's staff, appearing to inquire about the flag.

The man gesticulates vigorously in their short exchange, before walking over to the flag, unceremoniously grabbing it from where it was mounted, and throwing it at the staff.

GIF via SMOL Singapore.

The man appears to leave the bewildered staff with some parting words, pointing a finger at them accusingly, as he walks out the glass doors which he entered from.

Screenshot via SMOL Singapore.

Reactions online

Across SMOL Singapore's posts on both Facebook and Instagram, commenters expressed their shock, and disapproval of the man's actions.

A number of commenters called for legal action against the man, urging SMOL Singapore to report the matter to the authorities.

Many others, though, pledged their support for the stall and said that they would patronise and support SMOL Singapore, including some who said that they had not heard of the establishment prior to the video being circulated.

SMOL Singapore's support for LGBTQ community

SMOL Singapore's owner, Charmaine Low, explained in the video's caption that she supports "diversity and inclusion in all its forms, especially the inclusion of marginalised communities such as the LGBTQ community".

She added that she believes in using SMOL Singapore "as a platform to amplify the voices of those who are not heard," and that the "small pride flag" shows solidarity with the LGBTQ community and also served as a conversation starter with their customers.

"Discrimination against LGBTQ people in Singapore is well and alive"

Low described the events as "an unfortunate incident with someone who was not interested in having a peaceful conversation".

She said that the incident was also a reminder that "discrimination against LGBTQ people in Singapore is well and alive".

Expressing concern for her team's safety, Low nonetheless said that "we will not stop displaying our little pride flag at both our outlets".

Low also called on "other homegrown SMEs to show their support for the LGBTQ community in their own ways".

"There is so much more work to be done to promote understanding, love and tolerance for this community," she said.

You can see the full video here:

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by smol (@hungryforsmol)

Totally unrelated but follow and listen to our podcast here

Top image via video by SMOL Singapore on Facebook