I’m late to the party on this one. I first read about this in The New Paper some days back. (CNA version of that story here) In that story, Wildlife Reserves Singapore Group CEO, Isabella Loh gave the reason for the cancellation as such:

Isabella Loh, Director & Group CEO of Wildlife Reserves Singapore, said: “The successful launch of Moon Night which was attended by the President, marks the first of many Asian-themed festivities and family bonding events to be held at Wildlife Reserves Singapore parks.

“We are now staging a festival centered around Deepavali in October in our parks. This is a multi-cultural family event for all Singaporeans and tourists to join in. With our focus on Asian festivities, we have therefore decided to cancel Halloween in view of the clash in dates.

Amid the online furore over the last minute cancellation of the event, Isabella Loh tried to find a ‘mountain’ to back her up. Too bad, this mountain was wise enough which prompted this ‘clarification’ (CNA report on that. link here):

Ms Loh said she would also like to clarify that she did not intend to link President Tony Tan’s comment made at the Singapore Zoo’s Mid Autumn Festival “Moon Night” celebrations to the decision to close Halloween Horrors.

She added that the decision was made in consultation and agreed by the management of Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

Apparently, the simple cancellation of an event isn’t as simple as meets the eye. From mrbrown (link here):

What was particularly disturbing was a report from the SP team that someone in the senior management said, in response to why the event was canceled, ‘We should not worship the devil. We can be creative and turn the bad for good.”

Note of caution here. mrbrown does say that the tidbits gleamed were from unestablished sources. For even more unestablished sources, check here which has some really interesting tidbits which may speak about the hasty decision to cancel the event so aburptly.

Anyway, to me, the whole affair smells of personal agenda. Deepavali comes around every year and the preparations for this event were into the final stages, if it did not make economic sense from the beginning then why only pull the plug now? Therefore, if it’s not about the money, why pull an event right when it’s supposed to be launched? Why not, as some astute commentators have pointed out, let this Halloween event be the last one. After all, it’s been done for a few years, and yearly affairs tend to get staid and therefore require renewal.

I don’t know if it’s because of personal religious reasons (which of course Isabella Loh will deny) of because she took President Tony Tan’s words at the Moon Walk event too seriously and engaged in the reflex ‘suck up’ activity but one can’t deny that her sense of timing and subsequent attempts to explain it away are horrible.

Afterwords:

Cynical Investor weighs in on the issue too.

Isabella Loh still trying to worm her way out of this one (link here). Still doesn’t explain her lousy sense of timing.

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