Controversial sugar dating website Sugarbook is behind a Singapore Grand Prix F1 party – here’s what we know

The website thesugarbook.com, which was launched in December 2016, is known for its money-for-love dating platform.
Screengrab / thesugarbook.com

Malaysia-based dating platform Sugarbook has been listed as one of the co-sponsors of an upcoming F1-branded party. The event, Sky Grande Prix, is set to take place from Sept 12 to 16 at the Grand Hyatt hotel’s Martini Bar.

Sugarbook has run into controversy as it claims to match younger “sugar babies” with older, wealthier men. Its app allows users to “chat, negotiate, meet” and states that “mutually beneficial relationships are just a tap away”.

The site made headlines just earlier this year when one of its VIP parties in Kuala Lumpur – with ticket prices running into thousands of ringgit – was called off.

According to a report in The Straits Times, Sugarbook issued a statement last month promoting its The Fast Lane event on Sept 14 as an opportunity to give party-goers a better insight into the world of “sugar dating”.

Founder and chief executive officer, Darren Chan, said in the statement: “Get up close and personal with Sugar Babies or meet your next sugar daddy in person at this lavish soiree – buy a drink or two for the sugar babies and dance the night away. After all, girls just want to have funds!”

In the same report, The Straits Times said it has reached out to Singapore Tourism Board’s (STB) director of sports Jean Ng who stated despite the Sky Grande Prix being marketed under the board’s Grand Prix Season Singapore, STB did not organise or support the party.

She added: “We were not aware previously that Sugarbook is a co-sponsor of Sky Grande Prix as this event is not organised or supported by STB (and) we are currently following up with the organiser of Sky Grande Prix on the matter.”

The Straits Times also said Minister for Social and Family Development Desmond Lee had told Parliament that authorities will monitor dating platforms like Sugarbook closely; and if any monetary exchange takes places among users of these sites, police will action against the sites and its owners under the Women’s Charter.

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