The Lifelong Learning Institute (LLI) has cancelled my booking of its event hall for the launch of Never On Bended Knees on 26 January 2019. I received an email yesterday informing me of the cancellation.
I had made enquiries with the Institute in November 2018 about renting one of its rooms for the occasion.
The LLI had then replied: "Before we can advise you on the availability, we would like to find out more about the event that you intend to hold on campus. Please send us more relevant details on your event." I did.
The Institute then responded: "Your event is allowed here at LLi Premise."
I paid a visit to the facility and was shown some of the rooms that were available. I reserved one of them and submitted the booking form which was approved. I subsequently paid the rental in full.
For the next two months, everything was quiet until I announced the launch this past Saturday. Four days later, its manager, Mr Dan Soh, informed me of the cancellation. The reason, he says, is that the event and the book "do not appear” to be "related to training, skills upgrading and lifelong learning for the workforce."
First, no one at the LLI has read the book. The decision seems to have been made based only on "appearances". Two, why should a book discussing national issues not be regarded as relating to "lifelong learning for the workforce"?
Such arbitrary decisions and last-minute cancellations by government bodies are troubling, to say the least. It does not speak well for the future of our country. I will keep my options open on how to deal with the matter.
In the meantime, the venue for the event has been changed to the SDP's office at 3 Ang Mo Kio Street 62, #02-30, [email protected] The date and time remain unchanged: 26 January 2019, Saturday, 2-4 pm.
I apologise for the inconvenience caused. Please help me spread the word and tell your friends about the change of the venue, and I hope to see you at the launch.