Well, at least the truth is out now and the speculations can stop. It was revealed that the main motive of the take-over of AWARE was that it was perceived to be pro-gay and that senior lawyer Thio Su Mien was alarmed and felt that she had to put everything straight (pun unintended) into perspective.

When the coup happened, everyone was speculating what their motive is. Well, it does seem now that she (they) had been their motives clear and I think everyone can relax and be assured that they are only anti-gay. Phew. Yup, that’s all. It’s just a group of women who are pro-family, pro-women and pro-Singapore who felt that the burden was on them to put things into perspective – that AWARE shouldn’t be… erm, losing sight of their original goal – that is to make sure that women are treated equally.

As a Christian, I see this as a calling. A calling for them to change things for the better. A calling for them to take the burden unto them and carry out what’s right in the name of God; and that because of what they believe in and what they have acted upon as good faith in the name of the Lord, they have received persecution. For this, I quote (from the Bible and also shortcut’d from here) :

John 15:18-21

“If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you… If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you… because they do not know Him who sent Me.”

And my words of encouragement goes out to them that:

Matthew 5:10-12

“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven….”

Then again, Singapore is a secular state. I am not sure if imposing my Christian beliefs unto people is right. Hmm… And I somehow wonder how this will change the perspective of people on Christians. Already, “someone” had been telling me “isn’t this what you all Christians want?” and when we watched a totally unrelated movie, Knowing - where everyone on Earth perished and only “the chosen ones” get to escape apocalypse and start life anew, I was asked “why should you be afraid? they (the aliens/angles/watchacallthem) are one of you anyway? isn’t this the way of the Bible?” Er… . I don’t really think that there is a Christian theme behind this and I did get a little freaked out because of the show.

Duh…

Well, seems like there are some “personal” repercussions to the “Christian” takeover of AWARE afterall. Persecution? Nay. Endless rants of how “we Christians want to take over the world”? Maybe. So… perhaps I am not so comfortable with them taking over AWARE afterall? I’m not sure. However, when they pray to God and seek guidance from the Lord God Almighty, Jehovah Rohi, and march forth under the name of the Lord, Jehovah Nissi and trusting that the Lord, Jehovah Jireh will provide, I hope that God gave them the wisdom of what’s to come and that the Lord, Jehovah Shalom – God of Peace, is with them.

Make love. Not war. 

Editor: Having said that, I went on to read news of how the new guards are quite literally, taking over the organization, changing locks, having husbands record everything that was going on, firing more old guards and leaving old guards out of the press conference. Their choice of words, to say the least, was quite… unexpected. Yes, it does seem like… an overthrow.

The start of a new dynasty. Not as… Christian-like as I’d have imagined it to be. Then again, thanks to the new AWARE’s expose of what they considered was damning and sinning on the part of the old guards, people will be starting to search for “spider lillies”, “SG butterfly” and perhaps “Alex Au”? Nay, the last one is famous enough. Oh, as for the EOGM, I think the old guards can might as well forget it. If the new guards want, the number of people they can get to support is enough to drown the old guards. And their supporters. Twice over.

SENIOR lawyer Thio Su Mien on Thursday revealed the key role she played in bringing about the change of leadership at the Association of Women for Action and Research (Aware).Appearing at a press conference called at short notice by some of the association’s new leaders, she said she was alarmed to discover that Aware had lost sight of its original purpose and become pro-lesbian and pro-homosexual.

Dr Thio, 71, a born-again Christian who runs her own law firm, is the mother of Nominated Member of Parliament Thio Li-ann and her nephew, Dr Alan Chin, is married to new Aware president Josie Lau.

She was the first woman dean of the Law Faculty at the then-University of Singapore, from 1969 to 1971.

Introducing herself as a ‘feminist mentor’ to working women, she said she began monitoring Aware’s affairs about a year ago.

Disturbed by what she saw as signs that it was promoting lesbianism and homosexuality, she began urging women she knew to challenge Aware’s attempts to redefine marriage and families.

On Thursday, the new Aware leaders said that they and their families had been threatened and even received death threats, and they have reported them to the police.

Dr Thio said: ‘I feel kind of responsible for these difficulties they are going through, because I was the one who mentored them over the years.’

She said she had been teaching and counselling some of them in different groups for up to 10 years.

She was ‘absolutely outraged’ that a group of women who just wanted to contribute to society are now facing ‘ferocious attacks’. ‘I don’t understand what has become of our people,’ she added.

Source: Straits Times Interactive, http://www.straitstimes.com/Breaking%2BNews/Singapore/Story/STIStory_367834.html

Article extracted on 24th April 2009

Just barely hours after I gave my views on the recent “take over” of AWARE by new members, the old guards have submitted a request to hold an extraordinary general meeting (EOGM) on a motion of no-confidence on the newly elected ExCo. I am not sure if this is a good move, but I think it does help to speed up the pace of the new ExCo to issue their press release. I had been waiting eons for it. Any longer, my head will have to rest onto the next cubicle. :-)

SINGAPORE : 160 members of the Association of Women for Action and Research (AWARE) have submitted a request to call an extraordinary general meeting for the society, where a motion of no confidence in the newly-elected Executive Committee (ExCo) will be considered.

It all started at the AWARE annual general meeting on March 28.

Nine of the 12 Executive Committee positions went to newcomers during that meeting. Over 100 people had turned up to vote and many of these voters had only just joined AWARE.

Some of the newcomers have previously written to the media speaking against homosexuality. AWARE, on the other hand, is known for its liberal stance.

“It (AWARE) stands for choice, it stands for gender equity, it stands for democracy, it stands for diversity, plurality. That’s why our membership has always been open,” said Corinna Lim, a former Executive Committee member and AWARE member since 1992.

When asked for their reasons for seeking leadership, the new ExCo members declined comment.

“We told you that ExCo is going to be meeting sometime this week, after which there will be a press release. So there is no comment,” said Charlotte Wong, VP of AWARE.

Its newly-elected President, Claire Nazar, a longtime member of AWARE, resigned barely two weeks after being voted in.

Some past presidents in the meantime, have been collecting signatures to call for an extraordinary general meeting – prompting some observers to comment that they are behaving like sore losers.

“We welcome change, it is not about losing at all. Someone from a different group came in, have certain ideas about what AWARE should be doing and hasn’t communicated it, and all we want to know now is what this is about,” said Lim.

“The extraordinary general meeting is an opportunity for the new guard to explain their position and win the members over. We can’t really comment whether they will hold fast to the traditional line of AWARE, but I can’t imagine why not, if they chose to enter AWARE and run for office there,” said political analyst Gillian Koh.

The current committee has not replied to members’ request to hold the meeting.

AWARE has about 500 members. – CNA /ls

Source: ChannelNewsAsia, http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/singaporelocalnews/view/422301/1/.html

Article extracted on 14th April 2009

Be aware?

Singapore April 14th, 2009

So much has been written about the recent “fiasco” (or what ST seemingly made it to be) that I would probably refer you to here and here to get in tune of what’s happening. If you ask me, I think…

Everyone is over reacting.

No doubt a few of them are allegedly/seemingly against the idea of repealling Section 377A; or that some of them believe in Christ (and are hence fundamentalists???), but I somehow feel that, in my personal opinion, everyone is overreacting and seemingly putting relationships where they probably do not exist.

Having held on to, or currently still holding on to “leadership positions ” in a couple of societies, the “fear” (if I can even term it as one) of having other members running for office and garnering a lot of support and hence “taking over the entire committee” is very real. As a matter of fact, I have heard, first hand, from my previous President of one of the societies that a member had joined the society with a lot of friends, got all of them to vote for her and did nothing during her office.

Now, doing absolutely nothing during a Presidential term is probably more fearful than having someone “unfamiliar” take over. Essentially, this wastes not just everyone’s time, but results in wasted opportunities – but I will keep this for another day.

So, what do I have to say about the “new women on the block”? I’d say, well, they fought hard for it (in a sense) and have either mixed around really well during their short term of membership or have really went all out to garner support. In this case, they should show us what they have got and not let whatever that the past teams of AWARE have built be put to waste. Of course, if they want to change the Constitution, impose more rules, and change their direction – that is probably their prerogative now. They can even change from an “all-inclusive” to “ours-exclusive” stance if they wish to. Afterall, an ineffective society will just die by itself. What’s wasted is the effort that’s been put into making people… more aware of it now :-)

And oh, someone mentioned that this is happening now because AWARE supported the repeal of Section 377A and that someone has to be put there to put things right? Nay. Nothing is stopping the current group of members from coming out and starting their own group all over again. Afterall, if they have supporters, it doesn’t matter if they are AWARE or simply A-MARE, does it?

Now, does it seem that this post is full of disclaimers? :-)