Singapore prime minister defends exclusive deal with taylor swift amidst regional controversy.

Singapore’s Prime Minister, Lee Hsien Loong, addressed concerns on Tuesday, emphasizing that the exclusive deal offered to Taylor Swift to make Singapore the sole Southeast Asian stop on her world tour was not intended as a hostile act towards neighboring countries.

Speaking at a press conference in Melbourne during a regional summit, Lee clarified, “(Our) agencies negotiated an arrangement with her to come to Singapore and perform and to make Singapore her only stop in Southeast Asia. It has turned out to be a very successful arrangement. I don’t see that as being unfriendly.”

Currently in the midst of six sold-out shows in Singapore, Taylor Swift’s presence in the city-state was facilitated by a grant from the government, although the terms of the deal were not initially disclosed.

The announcement stirred controversy among neighboring nations, with the Thai prime minister suggesting that the grant was contingent on Swift’s exclusive performance in Southeast Asia. A Filipino lawmaker criticized the move, stating it “isn’t what good neighbours do.”

Last month, Singapore’s tourism board and culture ministry highlighted the economic benefits of Swift’s concerts globally, citing her popularity, and revealed collaboration with concert promoter AEG Presents to bring Swift to Singapore.