Singapore said on Oct. 25 last year that it would consider growing public complaints against infidelity Web site AshleyMadison.com when deciding whether to allow the platform to operate.
Scrutiny of the site, which has 22 million members in about 30 countries, forms part of a wider debate over censorship in Singapore. The city state bans Playboy magazine, removes racy scenes from movies and blocks dozens of Web sites, in moves that have added to its image as Asia’s “nanny state.”
AshleyMadison.com, founded in Canada in 2001, began a Japanese service last year in June and a Hong Kong service in September. Its operators have announced plans to launch this year in Singapore, which has a population of 5.4 million.
“I do not welcome such a Web site in Singapore,” Minister for Social and Family Development Chan Chun Sing wrote on his Facebook page.
“Promoting infidelity undermines trust and commitment between a husband and wife, which are core to marriage,” he said, adding that many Singaporeans shared his view.
AshleyMadison.com’s operators have said the site does not make people cheat but rather provides a platform for those who have already decided to have an affair.