Apparently, there isn’t enough Taylor Swift to go around. Well, her The Eras Tour dates, to be specific. The “Bad Blood” singer’s time on the road is in high gear. After spending two weeks traveling across Australia, including stops in Melbourne and Sydney, Swift is heading to Southeast Asia. Unlike her other performances, Singapore will be the sole destination in the region, reportedly due to an exclusivity deal inked with AEG.

Today (March 3), Swift will kick off the first of six shows. While local Swifties are in high spirits, one neighboring lawmaker isn’t happy. According to Inquirer, on February 28, Philippines politician Joey Salceda slammed the deal in a statement to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA). Atop the Albay’s 2nd District representative list is it simply isn’t “what good neighbors do.”

Salceda accused Singapore officials of throwing around its financial weight to selfishly block other nations from cashing in on the superstar’s presence. “Some 3 million USD in grants were allegedly given by the Singapore government to AEG to host the concert in Singapore,” he said. “The catch was that they do not host it elsewhere in the region. I give it to them that the policy worked. Regional demand for Singaporean hotels and airlines was up 30 percent over the period. I estimate that the exclusivity term caused an increase in industry revenues by USD 60 million. So, the grant produced 30 times more in economic activity.”

The public figure urged the body to take action to prevent something similar from happening. “But it was at the expense of neighboring countries, which could not attract their own foreign concertgoers and whose fans had to go to Singapore,” he said. “I doubt the exclusivity terms were on the grant contract itself. But I don’t think we should just let things like this pass. We should still officially register our opposition. It also runs contrary to the principle of consensus-based relations and solidarity on which the ASEAN was founded.”

Thailand’s Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin initiated the examination of the policy during the iBusiness Forum 2024 in Bangkok. “The Singapore government is astute,” he said. “If she came to Thailand, it would have been cheaper to organize it here, and I believe she would be able to attract more sponsors and tourists to Thailand. Even though we would have to subsidize at least 500m baht (or $13 million), it would be worth it.”

Taylor Swift hasn’t discussed the matter.

Posted in: Pop