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27 Apr 2009

AWARE: Anti-gay Christian lawyer comes out as instigator of takeover

Thio Su Mien - mother of noted anti-gay NMP Thio Li-ann admitted to playing a key role in the leadership change of AWARE; media warns of emerging Christian-based militancy.

A name not unfamiliar to the Singapore gay community, lawyer Thio Su Mien denied being the mastermind but admitted to playing a key role in the leadership change of AWARE at a press conference organised by the new exco committee on Thursday, according to media reports.

The 71-year-old is the mother of Nominated Member of Parliament Thio Li-ann who infamously described anal sex as "shoving a straw up your nose to drink" while arguing against the repal of Section 377A which criminalises sex between men during a parliamentary debate in late 2007.

Thio Su Mien, lawyer and Senior Executive Director of corporate law firm Thio Su Mien Partnership, admitted to playing a key role in the leadership change of AWARE.
Described as a born-again Christian by the media, the former Dean of the law faculty of a local university also revealed that she had asked newly appointed president Josie Lau to join the women's organisation after becoming "disturbed" when she noticed what she felt was Aware's promotion of lesbianism and homosexuality. Lau is married to Thio's nephew, Dr Alan Chin.

Her self-description as a 'feminist mentor' to working women and claim of having been involved with Aware in its early days drew a sharp rebuke by founding member and former Nominated Member of Parliament Dr Kanwaljit Soin: "I had not heard of Dr Thio Su Mien being a feminist. So this was a little bit of a surprise for me. But then, we always have closet feminists."

Dr Thio and four or five members of Aware's new executive committee are reported to attend the Anglican Church of Our Saviour which provides a link to its Position Statement on Homosexuality on its main page of its web site.

It states that "Homosexual practice is clearly sin against God" and promotes its Choices ex-gay ministry which is linked to Exodus International in the United States.

In 2007, social commentator Alex Au documented on his Yawningbread blog that Senor Pastor Derek Hong of Church of Our Saviour ranted from his pulpit that the struggle for gay equality as a selfish attempt to gain "special rights".

Au wrote: "It's so over-the-top, it's hard for any thinking person to take him seriously. He says Christians must "rise up" to fight the culture war, and that gays are acting on behalf of Satan. There's also an incredible amount of disinformation - about how gays are scheming to eradicate Christianity, for example. In the middle part of Derek Hong's rant, he accuses gay people of wanting to "eradicate all self-help groups.... that seek to help homosexuals recover."

Dr Thio has written in the press as early as 22 July 2003 in the now defunct newspaper Streats to argue against legal protection and equality for gay men and lesbians and "not allow our society to be slowly eroded by the growing agenda of homosexuals in our society." She again wrote to Today newspaper on 9 Feb 2006 disagreeing with the scientific view that homosexuality is not a mental disorder and is in fact normal.

Media warns of emerging Christian-based militancy
Meanwhile, the local press has for the first time explicitly warned against the Christian Right in Singapore. Senior writer Chua Mui Hoong, wrote in her column "AWARE saga: A new militancy emerges" in the Straits Times on 25 April 2009:

"It is especially troublesome when people go beyond spreading their religious beliefs to attempting to legislate their preferred moral practices. For example, they may believe that the moral values their church subscribes to should govern civil law. So if their church says homosexuality and abortion are grievous sins, then the laws of the land should outlaw such practices, even if many other people do not agree.

"The so-called Christian Right has made its presence felt in recent years: in opposing the setting up of casinos, and in lobbying against a motion to repeal section 377A of the Penal Code which criminalises sex between males.

"In recent years, much attention, for good reason, has been focused on Islamic fundamentalism, given the violence of militant groups claiming Islam as their inspiration. But religious fundamentalism of all kinds can do harm - not necessarily to the physical body but certainly to the body politic of a multi-faith society - if it invalidates others' faiths and seeks to use the law to suppress the practices of minority groups."

The same weekend, Today's Terence Chong wrote in his column, "Don't pretend that Christian activism doesn't exist here."

"The strong religious links here should not be ignored. It has been discovered that many of the new exco members belong to the same church and one must at least consider the possibility that their Christian faith may influence their direction for Aware.

"After all, it is not the Buddhist, Taoist, Hindu and Muslim conservatives" who are agitating for a new Aware. This is in no way an attempt to paint the entire Christian community in Singapore with a broad brush but an empirical observation of the acts of certain segments within this community.

"There are signs that some within the broadly-tolerant local Christian community have become more pro-active in making their views heard on public policies.

"In 2004, religious conservatives campaigned vigorously to resist Government plans to built the two integrated resorts, with the Christian conservatives the most vocal. In 2007, the parliamentary debate over Penal Code 377A, a law that criminalises homosexual sex, served as a public platform for the community's vivid expression of its anti-gay sentiments.

"Given these trends, warning against 'playing the religious card' is but a disingenuous attempt to pretend that such Christian activism does not exist in multireligious Singapore."

For more media stories and updates, visit we-are-aware.sg

The EGM will be held on Saturday, 2 May 2009 from 2 - 5pm at the First Choice Auditorium, 3 Lorong 6 Toa Payoh #01-01 HSR Building. Only AWARE members can attend and vote at the EGM. If you are not yet a member and wish to attend, you should sign up online at the AWARE website or at the door on May 2. Signing up online is a two-step process - register for an account first, then sign up as a member. The membership fees are $40 per annum. Only female Singapore citizens and Permanent Residents are allowed to vote in person. If you are overseas or male, you may support by signing the ONLINE PETITION.


Reader's Comments

Comment #1 was deleted by its author
2. 2009-04-28 04:08  
Death threats? hahaha..zzzz.. They sure flatter themselves. The oldest trick in the book. It's always these type of scheming wolves we see so often in TV series drama and stage that field this card for easy escape. Boring!

They are true pawns of Satan as they work for him tirelessly to give real good genuine fellow loving Christians (very rare-tell u first ok?) a bad name. Come to think of it, the new AWARE Exco is definitely self employed, cos even the devil wouldn't go so low..no, no, no, no!...lol. :P
3. 2009-04-28 11:20  
Stand back, GLBT S'pores! Give them lots of room - to hang themselves. Stand firm, stand tall, but don't let them BAIT you into public arguments - especially about THE BIBLE. But if and when they do succeed in backing you into this PROOF TEXTING corner, just ask them to read aloud to you EVERYTHING that Jesus himself said in their holy bible about homosexuality. That always shuts them up. These fundamentalist Christians, smitten and drunk on their own newly gained "power" eventually prove to be their own worst enemy - and once the wider thinking public sees them for all their virulence and venom, they always do something to lose any and all credibility, not to mention their so-called self-righteous authority to speak on any topic, let alone homosexuality. We went thru it in America with Anita Bryant then Jerry Falwell and his crowd, only to discover, as the bumper stickers on cars began to say:
4. 2009-04-28 11:51  
5. 2009-04-28 12:12  
Connor, if sex and self-pleasuring is all you care about, then please go. No one will stop you.
6. 2009-04-28 13:03  
There's pretty much a lot of the same-ness going down on this tiny little island, isn't there? Pettiness . . .

Maybe she'll have something really to fight for if her 3 kids turn out to be gay . . . hmm . . . she must pray a lot for that not to ever happen.
7. 2009-04-28 13:48  
#3 connor: here's two suggestions for you to become a successful gay man: FINISH filling out the questions in ur fridae profile, and post a pic of you with a MAN, and not one you obviously sent home to please ur mommy and daddy!
8. 2009-04-28 14:37  
Talking about her is giving more importance to her.
ignoring her is the best way to fight.
9. 2009-04-28 14:55  




10. 2009-04-28 15:40  
Let's just be calm and remain focus.

Being gay is already so hard. Yet we want to be accepted by mainstream and at the same time a voice of our own , so we need to get out acts right.

Lets from now on , be in our best behavior. Show the damn world that being gay is not a disease , is not an outcast and we deserve to be treated equally and nothing less.

How then can we do it. We need to stay united and we need to portray a proper behavioral norm for others to perceive us.

I know I am going to get bashed here with some of my thoughts. If we always associate ourselves with bare bodies , close nudity and eroticsm , how then can we expect people to show us some respect ???

I think we need to work together to gain it.We must remain united and act as one. If we are divided , how can we have a common voice and fight for our existence ????

I feel this is the perception others have of PLU. IT's sad but reality bites. IF all we care about is sex , hump , anal , bare bodies , ONS etc ......

We need to also focus on other more less kinky lifestyles to show that gays can also lead meaningful lives.

Just my 2 cents. Forgive me if I have offended anyone. It's just my personal opinion and something which caught me thinking after some straight friends passed such comments. Of course I beg to differ but the more I see what is happening around me , sad to say there is some truth in it.

Lets move together and work together to make PLU a group of people that mainstreams will not belittle.
11. 2009-04-28 15:45  
We need to be aware of any fundalmentalists pushing their beliefs !!!

How can we allow bigotry to exist. Beware everyone. They come in all shapes and sizes and they may be somewhere near YOU.
Comment #12 was deleted by its author
13. 2009-04-28 15:53  
To Connor and anyone alike,

There is room for almost everyone in the LGBT camp. Note the "B". The only people we exclude are people who undermine our existence. And i'm afraid you are one as well. How so? Because your ignorance and/or apathy is exactly what is in our way. Sure we all love "fun" and "class" (whatever you mean) but only on a fine summer's day. However on days where its rain and thunder, we prefer to pick up our arms and charge ahead if we have to. And if we lose, i'm sorry but you might just get a 377A slapped on your sexy little torso as you sunbath in Ignoramusland. With all the evidence pointing at a Christian fundamentalist group trying to annihilate our legal-existence by bringing down one of our allies, this is clearly not "just some women's group issue" . Unlike the fundies, we don't force all our "members" to join gay advocacy, but surely someone has to be at the front line. We don't mind fighting battles for you too and we don't expect you to remember in gratitude the concerned gaycitizens when you are getting sarked off, but we don't need you screaming how ignorant you are around here either. I suspect it won't have much influence ard here cos your kind hardly reads the forums, but just the CAPS is UBER ANNOYING honey. So much for asking for "values" (e.g. manners?) and class.
14. 2009-04-28 15:59  
Post #10 matahari_gar says (Posted : 28 April 2009 15:45) : "Beware everyone. They come in all shapes and sizes and they may be somewhere near YOU. "

Thay already are. If you've been on fridae long enough you'll know ;-) As Pim Fortuyn says, communitites which are open are the most attractive BUT unfortunately the most easily under siege. Just as you strengthan the body to develop immunity fr diseases, I believe we will have to look a little closer in our community, sift out the weeds- or at the very least seperate the wheat fr the chaff- then get better organised.
Only then we will be in a position to overcome BOTH overt & subtle brainwashing ;-)

15. 2009-04-28 15:59  
-after having barked at connor and the rest like him-

Turn the all-embracing, unassuming Christians against Thio and Co.
Turn the less informed and less concerned Singaporeans against them.
Finally, once we have turned the people against them, the govt will step forward. They have thrust themselves into the limelight and more or less admitted their agenda. Now all we need is the basic moral judgement and rationality of all Singaporeans to see the true colors of this "new militancy".
16. 2009-04-28 16:16  
Dear Connor, would appreciate if you can show some class yourself by not screaming all yr words out in caps- that's very bad internet ettiquette. :-)
And oh, by keeping yr self-styled 'bisexual' skankiness to youself & the likes of ppl like you, thank you very much. See, it's because of people like yr type that I initially had a very bad impression of bisexuals...until I got to know a few GENUINE bi guys...and girls myself. And found to my pleasant surprise that they aren't all superfical pricks :-)

As for Thio Su Main, we should all thank her...for bringing gays into the public domain. ;-)
She & her similarly homo-obsessed daughter have in fact roused even more visibility & subsequently empathy for us by the public than GBLT groups can ever acheive on our own.
God is indeed subtle...but never malicious ;-)

Comment #17 was deleted by its author
18. 2009-04-28 17:19  
This is a good article addressing the wider implications of aggressive and inappropriate actions by extremist religious activists. It looks like people are waking up to them, and what they could mean for the rest of the population.

Someone below referred to the old guard as our allies. I wouldn't think of them as such; like many other professional bodies they just took a rational and caring approach on the issue of homosexuality along the lines of the rest of the world and all medical evidence. They seem to have been unaware, until now, of the fundamentalist agenda, to deliberately push irrational myths such as that people can be converted to become homosexual, and to silence and bully everyone who is actually knowledgeable in the field in Singapore (and elsewhere).

It can be seen by contrasting the videos of the old and new execs how genuinely caring (and trusting) the old guard was, compared to the tight-lipped, deceitful, clueless, one-issue new guard. The old guard were about creating trust, the new guard about destroying it.

If the religious extremists are allowed to get away with this, they will certainly set their sights on their next target.

19. 2009-04-28 17:39  
Comment #20 was deleted by its author
Comment #21 was deleted by its author
22. 2009-04-28 18:06  
Re matahari_gar (Post 9): yr suggestions are all v good & I'm sure you mean well...but some of yr ideas abt gays ' associate ourselves with bare bodies , close nudity and eroticism etc' sound eerily similar to what militant "Christians' a la Thio allege about us. Indeed as they say stereotypes have a certain degree of truth..but have you ever thought the REASON we are all being tarred by this brush? The LGBT community normally doesn't HIDE their sexuality behind closed doors. If you are well aquainted with the so-called 'normal' hetero world, there are lots of dirt you can dig...enough to fill a soap-opera plot...promiscuity, affairs outside marriage, using sexuality to climb the ladder, 'swinger' parties...the only difference? They are better @ at sweeping them all under the carpet ;-) Trust me, once your straight friends get to know the real world, they'll soon find their own kind can be as wild as, if not wilder than, GLB people. ;->

P.S- Poor Connor doesn't seem to understand English very well. He should have the brains to just save himself the stress of shouting out so loud for attention & head straight for Trevvy where he'll be much, much happier :p
23. 2009-04-28 19:02  
I think the diverse behaviour of various straights and gays is a red herring; the point made by the article is that there must be room for everyone in a diverse society. The religious extremists are totally opposed to a diverse society and want to impose their own beliefs, misinformation and rules on everyone. It is these fundamentalists, not us, that have an agenda to convert everyone (it's called evangelism) and take over the country, so naturally, using "reversal", they accuse the gays of this, and push the nonsense that we can change peoples' sexual orientation, potentially turning the whole population gay. Seeing the extreme level of ignorance in the posts in the ST, there perhaps needs to be some proper public education about the nature of sexuality.

An example of what these religious extremists can lead to if people are not careful is that in South Korea it's reported that the government recently caused outrage by removing all the Buddhist holy sites from the maps.

The religious extremists want to (and do succeed in Singapore to a certain extent - look at the TV codes and censorship of the film festival) silence anyone with a different view.

You can also see this in their not-so-subtle posts in this column trying to stop this discussion, with clearly fake IDs, no profile, and having joined Fridae at the same time as people were joining AWARE to take it over.

24. 2009-04-28 20:13  
yeah talk talk talk argue argue argue.just get married first and then get a divorce and obtain the new legal status of a divorcee. simple.
25. 2009-04-28 20:43  
This "connor" thingie belongs to a group of self creating profiles of kampong tarts that refuse to go away quietly. They are like reused condoms that refuse to break. They feed on their own s.h.i.t. Ignore them.

Post #19 Raph says (Posted : 28 April 2009 20:13) :yeah talk talk talk argue argue argue.just get married first and then get a divorce and obtain the new legal status of a divorcee. simple.

==> And pray tell, what relevance is your comment to this issue of Aware at hand and what is the moral of the story, if any?
26. 2009-04-28 20:44  
It is a new comfort to see the main media "rebuking" the extremes of religious militancy. This should work against the better interest of this group of people now in the limelight. For TSM, by her being exposed visually and by her firm's name, TSMP, revealed again in public, time will tell if such notoriety will repel or consolidate the fair minded within the social, professional and religious circles to take a stand for non discrimination and religious elitism. True colors is now for all to see. Bravo. It's a good thing now. ;)

Comment #27 was deleted by its author
28. 2009-04-28 20:58  
singapore has a lot of evil christians!
29. 2009-04-28 21:10  
Thank you to Fridae team and Alex for keeping us updated on the development on the AWARE issue.

Like I have said to my friends, those who think the AWARE saga has nothing to do with us, there is nothing wrong with you. It just shows that you are an excellent end product of our fine national education system. The government's very careful way to manage gay issues in Singapore has also obviously caused your tunnel vision.

If you are tired of reading the articles on Fridae and need something more visually exciting, you can always close your browser window and go on to other sites. I am sure you do not need someone to teach you that. Likewise, I hoped you do not need a website to teach you how to be a happy or successful gay.
30. 2009-04-28 21:10  
I'd like to think of myself as an unassuming, all-embracing Christian (Hi again amoebavirgin!). For one, I believe that personal intergrity and a positive attitude towards fellow people of any kind accounts for the majority of my faith and doing-good, rather than following rules down to the letter when you are actually destroying its spirit (Christian love, yes?).

I look at it this way: Christians have successfully reached out to the likes of convicted murderers. They have showed levels of compassion that made me gasp sometimes when it comes to ministering even to the very person, in one case, who was on death row for raping and murdering their own daughter. Even if homosexuality was a sin, surely it can't be nearly as bad?

In any case, Christian beliefs states that everyone has sinned, even the likes of whatshername above. All are equal in that aspect, so, spiritually speaking, everyone is in the same boat. 'Magnitudes' in sin, explicit or implied, are a human convenience that prevents us from sentencing everybody to death, even a kid who shoplifts.

If I had to say anything to the fundamentalists, I'd say, "If you're Christian, then be Christian first, not straight/gay/bi."
Comment #31 was deleted by its author
32. 2009-04-28 21:29  
Post #19 Raph says (Posted : 28 April 2009 20:13) :
"yeah talk talk talk argue argue argue.just get married first and then get a divorce and obtain the new legal status of a divorcee. simple. "

Deceptively simple. But as Jammy says, what's that got to do with this article Raph/Ken?

Your previous post on PInk Dot:
Post #24 Raph says (Posted : 19 April 2009 11:14) :
"people please face facts and don't live in your fantasy world. No "normal people" would ever truly like "abnormal people". And if you voice out you're dead. "

Total nonsense, but your fear of the vocal bigots underlines the need for public education about the nature of sexuality. And of course if you don't "voice out" on issues like AWARE, you get another fundamentalist coup.
33. 2009-04-28 22:06  
Post #24 Scissors says (Posted : 28 April 2009 21:10) :
"I'd like to think of myself as an unassuming, all-embracing Christian (Hi again amoebavirgin!). For one, I believe that personal intergrity and a positive attitude towards fellow people of any kind accounts for the majority of my faith and doing-good, rather than following rules down to the letter when you are actually destroying its spirit (Christian love, yes?)."

That's my understanding of the central message of this faith too; Jesus was not that interested in the letter of the Mosaic law, unlike, apparently, TSM; and in any event nowhere in the four gospels is homosexuality condemned.

The vast majority of Christians in my country would be appalled at the idea of criminalising gays, and some mainstream denominations have long sought to help end discrimination against us.

But it seems the American fundamentalists have an alarming grip in Asia; maybe it's time for the moderates to speak up.

34. 2009-04-28 22:45  

I don't know if these are the latest or whether or not they have been mentioned BUT here goes!!!

MOE gave an official reply to TSM's accusation that Aware's sexuality programme teaches "lesbianism"! See "singaporeenquirer.sg/?p=3533"

I think they stepped on the wrong tail this time round! The dragon awakes!

I quote:
"6 The schools that engaged AWARE found that the content and messages of the sessions conducted were appropriate for their students and adhered to guidelines to respect the values of different religious groups. The schools did not receive any negative feedback from students or parents who attended the workshops and talks.

7 In particular, MOE has also not received any complaint from parents or Dr Thio Su Mien, who was reported to have made specific claims about sexuality education in our schools. MOE has contacted Dr Thio Su Mien to seek clarifications and facts to substantiate her claims."

We must be careful not to practise reverse prejudice (ie comments like "sg has alot of evil christians" from kel00) . We embrace diversity and openness as long as it subscribes to universal human values and our nation's legal standards. We don't want to make everyone gay, nor do we want to paint anyone as evil just because they don't like us. We would change them if we could, like they would "straighten" us up if they could. But they can't so we can't. But that doesn't mean we have to tear each other's throats out - why not agree to disagree?

As Mikey said in QAF S5:
"We are different and thats what makes us all the same."

I forgot to thank Fridae for the great follow ups. It was very important that our community had somewhere to look to when in need of updates and mental support. Thank you again! (oh btw, i think alot more gratitude will come pouring in if you could do sth bout the Connor person)

P.S. Of course an opinion has to be logically sound and expressed in a civil manner for anyone to even give a hoot about it. I think, raph and connor has got to understand that because sometimes we can't decipher unintelligible sound that insects make, we choose to SMACK them - pls pls understand that we didn't mean to condemn you!

(hi Scissors!)
35. 2009-04-28 23:01  
Anyways, i do realize there are a few concerned and outspoken regulars here like Scissors, steveuk, bains, jammyboi, percole etc., its been great to have a few people who are rational enough to put forth an argument and concerned enough to bother to speak up. I was just wondering if any of you guys know where else we can do our part for our community? I'm sorta new in this "scene" if there IS an "activist scene" at all. Something positive, legal and friendly to newcomers. I don't mind drawing posters!

btw, i can't access gopetition from Shanghai and THAT S-U-C-K-S.

36. 2009-04-28 23:35  
thats it. they are going DOWN!

why each and every time the fundamentalists and that lady above have to refer us like some kind of aliens or diseases when it comes to talking about the LGBT communities?

i mean, COME ON. are those people and those extreme Christian leaders think they are THAT good? that perfect? do they seriously think that we CHOSE to become homosexual? do they even consider the hardship we have to go through? i thought Christianity supposed to teach them something like, understanding others and not condemning them. or just plain good moral values. is this morally or ethically good? because i hope she realised that we are still indeed humans.

some of you guys mention about amending the way people perceive us.. because the public perceive as 'erotic', 'sexual' and all those nonsense...
whats so different from the heteros? they are not angels ya know.

i think SPEAKING UP is important too.
telling others that we are just the same as them.

we cannot let them mess with our dignity man.
37. 2009-04-28 23:37  
Hi amoebavirgin,

(Sorry for the upcoming digress)

I'm not really an activist in any sort of way nor do I really consider myself one, per-se. Right now all I really do is observe, and sometimes toss out a comment or a vote for or against. I am aware, however, that the likes of Alex Au is the closest we've got to any activist scene.

I am, like you, educated in the Arts (visual in my case) and was taught jewellery making and design. Although I do not gear my work or concept towards social commentary or critique, my education in said field provides alot of insight to society, I'm sure you're aware.

I do apologize for my, eh, conflict with you on an article some ways back. My first involvement in the gay clique in Singapore was a bad one, where the majority of my peers were initially masquerading as caring parent figures who turned out to be power-hungry troublemakers who indulged a twisted form of 'mama-san' hierarchy, sugar daddy-son relationships to gain petty wealth, pimping, theft and gangfights. I learned sometime later that this group accounted for only a small amount of the gay people in Singapore, and the majority of people like us deliberately distanced themselves from this group because they were the ones tarnishing our reputation, even so far as to mark out 'gay territory' in Singapore.

This seems to reflect in some ways on the current situation. I know one or two peeps from Church of our Saviour itself, even a pastor amongst them, and they are in fact rather 'moderate' too, and so seems most of the congregation that one time I went there. The only problem is when a few hardcore haters who brood over this one thing start getting on their high-horse and earns one heck of a name for the whole church. It made more than a few of them squirm in their seats, and even the pastor I knew didn't like it, and eventually more than a few of them leave, when they can't let it breeze over anymore.

Drawing this parallel, it's really the few in both groups that spoil it for the many.
38. 2009-04-28 23:39  
very sad - why always christianity=> anti gays. no problem with other religions.. sigh.. wat does the bible actually teach ? i am so confused.
39. 2009-04-28 23:46  
Post #28 amoebavirgin says (Posted : 28 April 2009 23:01) :
" I was just wondering if any of you guys know where else we can do our part for our community? I'm sorta new in this "scene" if there IS an "activist scene" at all."

No use asking me I'm afraid. I guess the pink dot thing might be a place to meet people who care, whatever their sexuality. The last I heard, a few years ago, it was illegal for gays in SG to form organisations to defend themselves from all the misinformation put out by people like COOS, but I get the impression things might have improved a bit in that respect.

40. 2009-04-29 00:02  
amoebavirgin, you're so right! It's one thing for Thio Su Mien to attack gays and Lesbians (an easy target in Singapore) and even the Aware "old guard", but now she seems to have pissed off the Ministry of Education as well. Let's see who comes out on top this time (my money's on the MoE).
41. 2009-04-29 00:33  
Watching these incidents unfolding from the sideline, the AWARE saga only succeeded in provided the much needed comic relief amidst news of economic regression. An aging woman possibly senile and bitter from not getting any attention from delectable young men, often gay, vent her frustration by taking things upon herself to "make things right". Media has never look this good.
42. 2009-04-29 00:33  
we must pity them
i believe these ladies must be fell in love with gay b4 and rejected so many time so now they got psychological trauma and hate gay so much :)
43. 2009-04-29 01:08  
Absolutely. joke aside..Its a pity to know these ladies were so highly educated but yet so misinformed.
Comment #44 was deleted by its author
45. 2009-04-29 01:42  
All it clearly says about these women at the new exco thru' their actions is POWER, CONTROL, INSECURITY. I amusingly pity their hen-pecked partners (closeted or not).

Whilst pondering the life & death situations of porcine flu invasion over my bowl of hot minced pork noodles a while ago, it struck me that tolerance can also be likened to acceptance and choice. Just because Malaysia is predominantly Islamic & Israel being Jewish, India being Hindu & Thailand being Buddhist, that does not mean, pork and beef cannot be present or consumed within those respective countries. It can apply to those who CHOOSE to practice the faith & observe its respective rules exclusively but never blanket. If religiously skewed nations with inherent tradition, like those mentioned hereof, can exercise secular tolerance, I am appalled that these fundies at the new exco can CHOOSE to blatantly set the stage for a new world order in rainbow Singapore. Shocking!

Now we wait for the Right (fundies) hand to fight with the Left (guess who) hand. :P
46. 2009-04-29 01:43  
one homosexual's agenda:
- watch tv
- play xbox 360
- cook, eat, wash dishes
- shower
- read
- swim
- housework
- read
- write post on fridae
- sleep
47. 2009-04-29 01:46  
Ah, don't need to debate any further and give them more attention, just let them have their AWARE all to themselves. No member support. No funding. Everyone else to boycott all activities and support and lets see how far they will go!

Perhaps the new group could be called BEWARE! :)
48. 2009-04-29 07:31  
We cannot let a group of prejudicial moralists take over AWARE. In fact, the gay community should support the old guards outset the new exco.

AWARE has gained international status and credibility. It takes years acquire a trusted ''brand'' name. It is likely because of this reason that this group of religious fanatic women takes over AWARE - in order to use the good NGO name of AWARE to promote their ''black and white'' values to the masses.

We should not let them succeed. Boycotting is not an option. Support of the old guards and get rid of the new exco.
49. 2009-04-29 07:40  
cheezoid says:
(Posted : 29 April 2009 1:43) :
"one homosexual's agenda:
- watch tv
- play xbox 360
- cook, eat, wash dishes
- shower
- read
- swim
- housework
- read
- write post on fridae
- sleep"

No problem. Good existentialist epitaph.

50. 2009-04-29 07:45  
It's clear where the Ministry stands on this issue.

It's also true that the media has been most uncharacteristic in their vilification against the Christian Taliban.

At the risk of sounding like a hardened cynic - I assure all that I'm not - I would have to say that this new development did not come about by magic.

It was during the heated debates of 2007 that Singaporeans - including the media and the government - first came to learn about the antagonistic and acrimonious relationship between queers and the Christian Taliban.

That relationship was something that gays experienced only offline, and away from the public eye.

Until 2007.

And it was all due to gays ourselves - I was in the thick of it.
Comment #51 was deleted by its author
52. 2009-04-29 08:23  
I'm amused that so many of you call these antagonistic, factional, squabbling, power hungry, agenda pushing, fundamentalist women " ladies"

They are far from "ladies" in the true sense of the word.
53. 2009-04-29 08:24  
Thank you Connor for raising the anger of true GLBT members. I agree that you have no class with your anti-social use of upper-case (not upper class honey) text. It's very rude to SHOUT everything dear and shows us just how you try to talk down to us all. I rather suspect that your head is even emptier than your profile. It is also a trait of the ultra-religious persons who have no idea what they are on about. You say you have class but in reality deary; you have no class at all. It's not enough to say that you have class - you have to be class and show class.

I have to agree with the view that religious fundamentalism is dangerous and totally unwelcome in this world. I detest being told what to think and how to behave. The church crowd tell us that God is Love and that Jesus loves all of us but in the next breath they are spreading lies and hate about everyone and anyone who has a different view of the world to themselves. Did you people forget the Commandment - judge not lest ye be judged? Your narrow minded and anti-love venom is known by your God and when you have to account to Him for your time on this planet what will He say? Shame on you!

It is easy for the so-called Christians to attack the GLBT community. But why are they so afraid of us? Are they really that full of self loathing that they seek to destroy us; the very community that practices the word of Jesus to treat others as we would have them treat us - with respect and tolerence.

Maybe they rather suspect that their own Jesus displayed homosexual tendencies and this is so shocking to them that all they can do is try to destroy us so that their view of the world might prevail. The following was sent to me by email recently and I feel it adds to this discussion so with thanks to the author here it is.

Was Jesus queer? We don't know. But it is a possibility that cannot be ruled out. One version of St. Mark's gospel - which is still the subject of academic dispute - alludes to Jesus having a homosexual relationship with a youth he raised from the dead.

According to the US Biblical scholar, Morton Smith, of Columbia University, a fragment of manuscript he found at the Mar Saba monastery near Jerusalem in 1958, showed that the full text of St. Mark chapter 10 (between verses 34 and 35 in the standard version of the Bible) includes the passage: "And the youth, looking upon him (Jesus), loved him and beseeched that he might remain with him. And going out of the tomb, they went into the house of the youth, for he was rich. And after six days, Jesus instructed him and, at evening, the youth came to him wearing a linen cloth over his naked body. And he remained with him that night, for Jesus taught him the mystery of the Kingdom of God".

The veracity of this manuscript is hotly contested by other Biblical scholars. This comes as no surprise. The revelation of a gay Jesus would undermine some of the most fundamental tenets of orthodox Christianity, including its rampant homophobia.

But even if the text is genuine, does this ambiguous, elliptical passage offer evidence of Jesus' homosexuality? The precise nature of the relationship between Christ and the youth is not spelled out. Sexual relations are suggested but not explicitly stated.

The Morton Smith document is, in fact, irrelevant to the vexed issue of Christ's sexual orientation. What we can say for certain is that the standard, accepted Biblical narrative gives us no information at all about Jesus' sexuality.

This absence of firm information does not, of course, mean that we can take it for granted that Christ was heterosexual. Far from it! The lack of information about his erotic inclinations begs more questions than it answers.

The truth is that we simply don't know whether Jesus was straight, gay, bisexual or celibate. There is certainly no evidence for the Church's unspoken presumption that he was either heterosexual or devoid of carnal desires. Since nothing in the Bible points to Christ having erotic feelings for women, or relationships with the female sex, the possibility of him being gay cannot be discounted.

In the absence of any evidence - let alone proof - that Jesus was heterosexual, the theological basis of Church homophobia is all the more shaky and indefensible. How can established religion dare denounce homosexuality when the founder of its faith was himself a man of mysterious, unknown sexuality who could, for all we know, have been homosexual?

The Bible tells us that Jesus was born a man and therefore presumably had male sexual feelings. It would have been more or less impossible, biologically, for him not to have an element of erotic arousal - even if only having the normal male response of waking with an erection.

54. 2009-04-29 10:02  

Hi M:

wow, you write me such a long note

frankly, why dont we set up our own men's organization called AMARE and let the girls fight their own battle, don't underestimate those lesbians they will fight and be tougher than us gay guys, but our gay leaders getting involved just getting gives the old battle axe Christians Cruella Deville types more AMMO

the gay leaders there want to help but AWARE association with PLU hurts them more and backfires

all the old Aunties in my neighborhood like those Christian ladies believe it or not

Alex Au is so sleazy and like 70 or something and know one listens to him, he is like Lindsey Lohan so overexposed no one is listening anymore to him. doubt if there is any image makeover in the works

he is over exposed and like Jesse Jackson is outdated to BLACKs, where is Singaporean's gay OBAMA?

most PLU types are so creepy and clouds hang over him just like Michael Jackson cause everyone know Alex is like a Catholic priest doing young boys

anyway, do a scientific focus group cause we are losing this 377A battle and the gay leaders we aren't following anymore are losers, running gay saunas or writing about how to get sex in Thailand, too much baggage our gay leaders in Singapore have and Christan ladies know this

Lesbians need to find better guys to hang out with and to help there cause, they can find better guys and more influential in the NUS science lab, or computer department incubation so dont outrule the gay nerds out there

By the way the reason I writing in upper case is not because i lost my virginity during an episode of South Park, but because the hot foreign guy i am fucking (I am awesome bottom by the way) well his computer was broken and the CAPs key was STUCK

MR. M, let's move on and be friends and it would be fun to have a arguement over a drink sometime and then some make up sex after, OK?

55. 2009-04-29 10:27  
Post #43 jupiter101 says (Posted : 29 April 2009 8:23) :

I'm amused that so many of you call these antagonistic, factional, squabbling, power hungry, agenda pushing, fundamentalist women " ladies"
They are far from "ladies" in the true sense of the word.'

Well-said Jupiter; I've googled the new Aware members' pics out of curiosity...and wonder if their coarsened facial features are the direct outcome of fighting one 'crusade' too many :p
Or is it prolly resulting fr the stress of falling for unattainable men, i.e gay men (winkwink) like what Post #34 OrientSoul & Post #35 heimuk says?
From a psychological viewpoint it is highly probable
hehehe... I too long suspected the Thio women esp.Thio Li Ann- are closet fag-hags. ;))
56. 2009-04-29 10:29  
Sure, Connor, by telling the whole world you're whoring yourself, you must be better than Alex. Ever heard of the term "TMI"? Of course, you must have. What am I saying? You ARE the classy one here, after all.
57. 2009-04-29 11:13  
Post #45 connor says:

"Alex Au is so sleazy and like 70 or something and know one listens to him, he is like Lindsey Lohan so overexposed no one is listening anymore to him. doubt if there is any image makeover in the works
he is over exposed and like Jesse Jackson is outdated to BLACKs, where is Singaporean's gay OBAMA? most PLU types are so creepy and clouds hang over him just like Michael Jackson cause everyone know Alex is like a Catholic priest doing young boys."

So out of fairness (me being a Libra) I googled some info on Alex Au to see if it's really true, Here's what I found:

Alex Au Waipang, also known by his Internet nom de plume as Yawning Bread, is part of the Singapore gay equality movement.
He is the author of a website, where he provides analyses of Singaporean politics, culture, gay issues and miscellaneous subjects.

Au, English-educated and of Cantonese descent, was born in Singapore in 1952. He attended the Anglo-Chinese School for his primary and secondary education and obtained his tertiary degree from the National University of Singapore.[

After graduation, he worked in a managerial position at a British multinational corporation before branching out on his own as the proprietor of several business catering to the gay community, as well as freelance writing.
He was one of the founding members, along with Joseph Lo and Dr. Russell Heng, of Singapore's main gay equality lobby group People Like Us, and also the founder and list owner of the Singapore Gay News List (SiGNeL), the first[1] and still the foremost discussion forum of Singapore's gay intelligentsia.

He is also the co-author of two books, People Like Us: Sexual Minorities in Singapore and a French-language treatise on homophobia entitled L'Homophobie.

In 2002, he was presented with the Utopia award for outstanding contributions towards the advancement of gay equality in Asia,[5] the only Singaporean recipient thus far of the honour

My oh my connor- you've been caught not doing yr homework ;)) As my childhood English teacher would say to those who like to mis-spell deliberately: "Are you affecting attitude to show off yr illiteracy...or are u just plain lazy?" :p
58. 2009-04-29 11:14  
I find him (coughs, points to we-know-who) much more endearing in lower case.
i think what connor has been trying to say , that was summed up in his rare, fleeting moment of sanity is:
We need a new leader and new methods.

I don't agree with his "standards" for a leader cos he seems to be scouting for a pop/sex icon instead. But i agree with him in the sense that we need a leader that everyone can identify with. Not political commentators that appeal only to the intellectuals; Not a raging queen that commands respect on the dancefloor. Like any other community, we need someone who is looking out for everyone's rights and is brave and decent enough to present to the public. By decent i mean, charming and vocal and someone the heteros and "connor"s can/will listen to as well.

But with all that said, Alex Au as a social commentator has been more than effective in voicing out what we all have been feeling but haven't been able to say. I would like to see what your defense would be when caught ****ing with your "hot foreign guy". I can't imagine anything more than what any bitchmouth would say. And if thats the kind of people we have standing right in front of repeal-377A, chances are the death sentence for homosexuals isn't too impossible. For a 28 year old (if his profile reads accurately), i would have expected more maturity and more gratitude but if TSM can be 71 and still so bigoted, nothing really surprises me anymore.

andy370 - i think it was an interesting piece of information you gave us. But sadly, NOTHING can prove that Jesus is homosexual even if we do find his DNA on a fossilized dildo. The point is religion is societally contextual and in our times, its really impossible to get christians to believe that He is anything lesser than what they already perceive Him to be since their value system is wholly dependant on his moral flawlessness (which in turn is a product of their value system). Its not arguments like this we want to throw out during such debates because it really isn't what we're preaching either. We don't care if He was gay, we just believe that your religion is not my business and since we live and let live, you can do the same.

As to cheezoid's "homosexual agenda" for a day:
Change "write post on fridae", "watch tv" and "swim" to "Play soccer / Watch ESPN" and i think we've got the typical heterosexual's daily routine as well. So what's your point? If you're trying to show how superficial and hollow homosexual lives are, i think you simply described the average life of an average Joe with a thick coarse generalizing whiteboard marker. We don't all have to save lives, help the old lady cross the street and bring up 100 happy babies everyday to make our existence legitimate do we?

Scissors : I agree with you totally. That is why i keep reminding myself and people around me that we are only against the bigots. Not any organization, Not any religion, Not any group in particular cos if we do generalize out of proportions, we are the bigots.
59. 2009-04-29 11:41  
I got this off ST online.
I quote:
"Speaking after a ministerial visit to Nee Soon South, Dr Balakrishnan prefaced his remarks by stressing the Government would not be getting involved 'at this point in time'.

Saying the dispute is 'not a national problem', he added: 'This is a problem they (Aware) have to solve themselves. Let me state categorically that at this point in time, the Government has no intention of intervening.

'Let them settle this democratically, according to their own rules, abiding with their constitution.'

But what he would do is to offer three pieces of advice - to not just Aware, but all Singaporeans.

ONE: religion should be kept above the fray of petty politics.

TWO: do not let one issue hijack the agenda and polarise Singapore.

THREE: A rainbow coalition is vital for any group here to make meaningful change. "

I decipher:
"rainbow coalition" - i think the choice of words is interesting, i wonder if it was his intention to show cordiality.

That one issue must be the issue on homosexuality which yes, is polarising Singapore. I can't agree more. We're losing the fence-sitters.

"religion should be kept above the fray of petty politics" - a good way of keeping the new guard's dignity intact, but at the same time telling them to back off.

Optimistic i am.

60. 2009-04-29 12:15  
saddest of all ironies: Christianity teaches about love unconditionally (without discrimination and prejudice) yet there are Christians who cannot love gays (unless they are "healed")...
61. 2009-04-29 12:23  
Connor, Alex may be over-exposed, but at least he's done lots of marvelous things to make life easier for gay people in Singapore. For one thing, he dared to speak out in public against the homophobia that surrounds us. Without people like him, you will probably be too frightened to ever come out in the closet, much less tell the whole world of your sexploits (like we need to know). You just can't buy this kind of freedom at the pasar malam hor.

Really, if you don't want to contribute positively to the cause, no one can fault you on that. But don't be an ingrate and bite the hands that made your life as a gay man possible.

Comment #62 was deleted by its author
63. 2009-04-29 16:26  
See, already both govt and non- govt. opinions are lining up on the side of the GLBT community once they learned of the AWARE takeover tactics and subterfuge by those evil CHURCH LADIES! Like I said before: just stand back and give them lots of room to keep shooting themselves in the foot! They ALWAYS do..but if some ballsy drag king or queen wants to give Thio Su Mien the ANITA BRYANT treatment by smacking her in the face with a BANANA CREME PIE, then go for it! Always remember, The Straits Times (like ALL newspapers) is about one thing and one thing only: selling newspapers and making money! SO come on S'pores, give them some front page photo ops!!! Especially youbrave and big dicked hot studs like CONNOR! Show us what u got!!!!
64. 2009-04-29 17:06  
I nominate 71-year-old Thio Su Mien as the new authority on anal sex. "Shoving a straw up your nose to drink" is the most accurate description ever in the history of human sexuality. Such succinctness can only come from immediate personal experience of course.

Fridae should invite her to write a regular column on all sorts of sexual practices. In her 71 years she must have experienced more than most of us here.
Comment #65 was deleted by its author
66. 2009-04-29 17:43  
Aware releases Youtube appeal video

EGM moved to Singapore Expo - reasons exposed
Comment #67 was deleted by its author
68. 2009-04-29 17:47  
Post #54 shitzutonka says (Posted : 29 April 2009 17:06) :
"I nominate 71-year-old Thio Su Mien as the new authority on anal sex. "Shoving a straw up your nose to drink" is the most accurate description ever in the history of human sexuality."

I thought it was her unmarried, and thus presumably virginal, daughter that gave that speech and was the expert on this.
Comment #69 was deleted by its author
70. 2009-04-29 18:13  
Post #44 andy370 says (Posted : 29 April 2009 8:24) :"According to the US Biblical scholar, Morton Smith, of Columbia University, a fragment of manuscript he found at the Mar Saba monastery near Jerusalem in 1958..."

That's interesting, I hadn't heard of that. But there are several references to "the disciple that Jesus loved" that did make it into the final version of the Bible. E.g.
at the Last Supper: John 13 v. 23:
"One of them, the disciple he loved, was reclining close beside Jesus. So Simon Peter nodded to him and said, "ask who it is he means." That disciple, as he reclined, leaned back close to Jesus and asked, "Lord, who is it?" Jesus replied, "it is the man to whom I give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish."

71. 2009-04-29 19:33  
Post #55 S2 says (Posted : 29 April 2009 17:43) :
Aware releases Youtube appeal video
[click here]
moved to Singapore Expo - reasons exposed
[click here]
[click here]

I couldn't get those links to work, but found the items anyway.
What? The new location of the EGM is right next to a conference of COOS and 40 churches, and a "call to arms" has been made by email to wage a spiritual and moral battle for the control of a secular organisation ?

Have these people no shame?

Comment #72 was deleted by its author
73. 2009-04-29 21:04  
Post #55 S2 says (Posted : 29 April 2009 17:43) :
moved to Singapore Expo - reasons exposed

Looks like the venue has since changed again to Suntec since exposure, anyone involved in all this clearly needs to keep an eye on the AWARE website.

Comment #74 was deleted by its author
Comment #75 was deleted by its author
76. 2009-04-29 21:41  
You have got to be kidding. I believe it's time for a divine intervention. The whole new Exco MUST be dissolved and new election called again. This time, only members who served 12 months or more can be eligible.

My, my. the top brass at the media press are gay. How wonderful. haha. They must be informed dutifully.

In their delusion, everyone opposed to their extremism is evil. They truly believe they are waging a HOLE-Y war for their god. Hey bruther, a kinda jihad you know?..LOL. Everyone else is the forces of evil against these "valiant" (vomit) women. They should just save rent money and hold the EGM in their church. They can claim that food and refreshments plus some live band music will be provided too to inject some family atmosphere. Yikes. :D
77. 2009-04-30 00:40  
Has anyone read the latest from AWARE's current EXCO claiming that "Old Guard hijacked against family values".
Frankly it is specifically on homosexuality and lesbianism rather than family values, but i guess to the activists from this Church, they are pretty much one and the same.

Have a look.


The new EXCO have clearly been very aggressive in digging out everything that might remotely implicate the previous committee.

Oh well. This coming AGM is turning out to be a very significant event.
I really wonder what the government will do if it becomes blatantly obvious that religious beliefs IS the basis for this fight.
But then, it is ALREADY blatantly obvious, isn't it?

Comment #78 was deleted by its author
79. 2009-04-30 06:18  
An unconfortable feeling in my gut tells me that, especially with the fever pitch mobilization of their sheep - great analogy - that the COOS-led new exco will win come Saturday.

But this has got so many people up in arms that if the government doesn't intervene, there would be far larger proportion of the population that it is going to alienate.

Well, the PAP has only itself to blame for the decades that it has spent emboldening the Christian Taliban.
Comment #80 was deleted by its author
81. 2009-04-30 06:20  
Here's another video taken just last week (or weekend) of Mullah Derek Hong preaching to his cult.


82. 2009-04-30 06:28  
Most recent quote from Josie Lau:

"What about the interests of lesbians or what some call 'sexual orientation' or 'sexuality' rights? It depends on what interest is at stake. For example, we do not think lesbians should be discriminated against in the workplace, either in terms of promotion or pay; like every woman, they deserve equality of opportunity. The only relevant consideration is merit.

There is a world of difference between fair employment rights and claims to 'same-sex marriage'."


Lesbians - and I suppose gay men as well - shouldn't be discriminated in those areas that count towards the Gross Domestic Product. (How very Singaporean and PAP!)

However, they deserve to continue being discriminated against in all other areas, says the Feminist Impostor-trained women's rights advocate.

I wonder about a possible future scenario in which a lesbian is being discriminated against at the workplace where it comes to spousal benefits.

What would Singapore's leading women's rights advocate have to say then?
83. 2009-04-30 07:34  
This evening in Dublin, I walked along the River Liffey, which was lined with lots of giant green flags with pictures of Oscar Wilde on them, promoting this year's Dublin gay and lesbian theatre festival, and I was reminded again of the intolerance that's practised in Singapore, and this particular thread/topic.

A leading British national newsppaper had several letters in it today from its readers, who were outraged that various religious schools WOULD (in theory) be allowed to preach anti-homosexual lessons/theory etc under new legislation, I think.

It was felt that there was no excuse,, and no place in society, for intolerance to be preached against a minority within the greater society/culture - this includes homosexuality, of which they were supportive and tolerant, viewing it as a normal and acceptable part of British contemporary society.

As one of the readers who wrote in to complain put it, permitting discrimination in the guise of religious belief would be akin to a racist teacher telling students that it was okay and good to discriminate against black people.

Contrast That stance to how Singapore's government, and the whole fiasco that this thread delves into, treat indigenous gay men and women.

Shame, shame, shame on them all, and their backward and bullying ways...
84. 2009-04-30 07:36  
aware is sadly unaware
85. 2009-04-30 08:49  
this alleged, self-proclaimed "mentor" named Thio has stated that anal sex is like sticking a staw up one's nose to drink? How does she know? Knowing myself from frequent anal encounters with young men how wonderful THAT feels, I'll have to try the straw trick.....maybe she's on to something; a new trend...better alert my broker to buy stocks in straws.
86. 2009-04-30 11:05  
It's so weird that thru'out the saga, there is no ONE real lesbian that is being featured. Isn't it strange?

Do lesbian exist in Singapore? Why, I thought the newspaper will sell like HOT CAKES if there's frontpage/headline feature on it. All gay & esp lesbian community leaders of any form should pave way for ALL S'porean lesbians to come out same time and change HISTORY! Do some PR ads on guess who is lesbian and show that they are loved and accepted like any other. That we have same emotional feelings and that this is 21st century DIVERSITY.

By god, I think the education should start at narrow-minded parents like that Maureen & Josie & her pussy-cats first already!
87. 2009-04-30 16:26  
Knowing how we Singaporeans are like, i suggest a lesbian old AWARE member staging an attempted suicide with a suicide note saying "This is what an intolerant society did to me".
Not only will the papers sell like hot cakes (with extra maple syrup and butter), the votes will swing so quickly in our favor that the pendulum flies into space. Nothing can change the apathy of most Singaporeans (gay or straight) like a Little Nonya drama. And if thats being unfair, we can always compare it to Josie Lau's claim to having receive "death threats".
88. 2009-04-30 16:27  
Read wayangparty.com for more news. But I don't recommend it for the faint-hearted, the fury-induced blood pressure might just kill you before May 2nd.
89. 2009-04-30 17:26  
Post #64 percole says (Posted : 30 April 2009 6:28) :
Most recent quote from Josie Lau:
" we do not think lesbians should be discriminated against in the workplace, either in terms of promotion or pay; like every woman, they deserve equality of opportunity. "

Oh really? Did any in the new exco object when COOS and Cornerstone organised a hate mail barrage complaining about PM Goh's statement that the government had no problem with the employment of gays? Or did they participate in it? They should be asked.

Is her statement true, or is it more "spin" and deception?

On a different note, I read in ST that the latest venue change for the EGM was forced on the exco by the police, rather than any sudden rationality on the part of the exco.

Comment #90 was deleted by its author
91. 2009-04-30 18:53  
Post #70 amoebavirgin says (Posted : 30 April 2009 16:27) : "Read wayangparty.com for more news. But I don't recommend it for the faint-hearted, the fury-induced blood pressure might just kill you before May 2nd. "

Actually I find the entire farce more pathetically amusing than genuinely infuriating ;-> Though admittedly it's been disturbing. The new Exco. COOS, J Lau, TSM & gang,their inter-existential links, how they exploited the trusting openess of civil societies & twisted it to their advantage, how far they will go to achieve their objectives (incl. blatant lying &
self-contradiction) ,their passionate, obsessive followers...they bring to mind the following phrase:

Fools & wise men are both are equally harmless.
It's only the half-fools & the half-wise who are really dangerous.

So the big question now is: has an important part of Singapore's civil society fallen into the hands of the half-fools & half-wise? That is one very scary thought to ponder.
92. 2009-04-30 19:21  
I just took a look at the background to that conference that the EGM was going to be next to. The Wiki on this Transformation movement, says it seeks to link all the churches in a city, that it encourages individual prosperity to be worn as a badge of honour, and that it is not generally in favour of the manipulation and manoeuvring usually apparent in the Christian Right (e.g. the activities of the COOS group taking over the Exco, presumably).

But this is from the publicity for the conference:

"... illustrating how we may cooperate with God to effectively catalyse Kingdom transformation in us, our families, our schools, our businesses, and in our nation. So get set for God's agenda in transforming Singapore for His Kingdom! "

This is probably meant in an innocent and positive way, but note the last sentence: given the sensitivities in multicultural, multireligious, secular Singapore, is it really appropriate? Does this sort of rhetoric possibly encourage the sort of gung ho behaviour we've seen from the people behind the coup at AWARE?

93. 2009-04-30 22:18  
To [steveuk]:

"Is her statement true, or is it more "spin" and deception?"

Of course, it is spin AND deception; the strategic re-working of words - but not necessarily with any meaningful followup action - is the forte of the Christian Taliban.

When have we known them to be associated with the telling of truth?
94. 2009-05-01 08:35  
Another petition to sign.

This time it's from Christians disgusted with the Christian Taliban, as they ought to be if they are true Christians.

Scroll down and click as prompted.


95. 2009-05-01 08:40  
And there might be some hope for recourse. This is taken from wayangparty.com:



Under provision 24 of the Societies Act (CAP 311), the minister may order dissolution of any society whenever it appears to the minister that:

(a) any registered society is being used for unlawful purposes or for purposes prejudicial to public peace, welfare or good order in Singapore;

(aa) the registration of any society has been procured by fraud or misrepresentation;

(b) any registered society is being used for purposes incompatible with the objects and rules of the society;

96. 2009-05-01 10:23  
I think we have just lost our strongest ally :

THE Ministry of Education (MOE) is investigating the sexuality education programme run in some schools by the Association of Women for Action and Research (Aware) after receiving complaints from parents.

The move comes two days after the ministry said in a letter to the media that it had not received any complaints about the programme and thus saw no reason to intervene.

But since then, it said, some parents had expressed concern about the content found in an instructor guide for Aware's programme, which had been posted online.

The Straits Times understands that since the ministry's letter was published on Wednesday, the new guard of Aware has encouraged parents to make their concerns known to MOE.

In addition, a petition has been circulating online. It wants the Education Minister to probe Aware's programme.


The online petition, meanwhile, is gaining steam.

In just a few days, more than 1,200 people have put their names on it.

Apart from seeking a probe, it also wants the Education Minister to inform parents 'more accurately about values and contents' of sexuality programmes taught in schools.

It was started by a woman who signed off as Madam K.F. Khoo.

She declined to be interviewed by The Straits Times.

Mr Vincent Lim, a 34-year-old private tutor and father of two young children, said he signed up because he wanted MOE to carry out a 'thorough investigation' into Aware's programme.

He said: 'If it is found out that Aware's programme portrays homosexuality in a positive light, I will strongly object to it and want it to be stopped in the schools.'

97. 2009-05-01 17:45  
Post #77 amoebavirgin says (Posted : 01 May 2009 10:23) :
"I think we have just lost our strongest ally :..."

I don't think it should be seen as a question of us versus them; it is more a question of facts and science, versus ignorance, alarm, and the extreme religious agenda of a group of people.

We have to take on board that a small (hopefully) number of people may be genuinely concerned, thanks in part to the scaremongering and misinformation put out by TSM and colleagues. Some parents may be so ill-informed that they really think that young people can "turn gay" by merely discussing the issue in a neutral, factual and scientific way.

The best way to reassure these people may be for they themselves to be better educated on the nature of sexuality, in a neutral and factual way, through TV and other media. Their ignorance is what is causing the alarm; they are not equipped to brush off the propaganda of the religious extremists.

98. 2009-05-01 23:47  
To amoebavirgin:

"THE Ministry of Education (MOE) is investigating the sexuality education programme run in some schools by the Association of Women for Action and Research (Aware) after receiving complaints from parents."

I'll bet that these parents have been trallied by their church/es to lodge this complaint.
99. 2009-05-02 00:49  
steveuk: i agree totally but with regards to this incident, i think its all about politics. The line is drawn and sides are forced upon anyone who isn't apathetic. Honestly , I am very confused : Does one clear-minded Christian/Gay who takes a relatively neutral stand mean one less fighter on either camp? The recent trail of events seem to suggest that the clear-minded will only get trampled upon because all these ultimate values of "right" and "wrong" and "facts" and "science" seem to take on an entirely different meaning to different people with different beliefs, and it seems that "the loudest wins" in our civil society. I identify the problem as the ignorant singaporean flock. They scurry from side to side as petty truths
surface and flee at the suggestion of danger. As such, fear mongering tactics are so efficient and our "rivals" know that.

I won't be so pessimistic as to say that mutual understanding or the normalisation of homosexuals will never be attained eventually. But that road is a long one to walk and in the meantime, there are still small but significant battles to be won. And i see this entire issue as one of these.

percole : wayangparty has commented on that in a very biased manner that even i cannot agree with. There is such a possibility but in the light of our lack of evidence, i suggest forgoing that possibility and stay focussed on what we are trying to right.
100. 2009-05-02 00:52  
I'm very nervous about tomorrow's results and if "we lose" , what it means for the progress of civil society in Singapore.

I hope whiskey helps. *gulps*
101. 2009-05-02 04:45  
The sad thing is - the new exco will probably win today.

If they play the game right, and they have clearly shown themselves to be smart, organised and deceitful, they would have drummed up an insurmountable majority from their Christian brethren as well as the general homophobes out there. They have fear and "godly righteousness" on their side.

The majority will always win against the minority. This is of course exactly why as a civilised society, the government needs to take a stand and pass laws to protect the minority.

Unfortunately this seems unlikely at the moment. Not until the majority accepts that sexuality is as immutable as race.

(I am appalled by some of the comments on the Straights Times forums - if one substituted the word "homosexual" with a racial group, those comments would have been removed quick smart. But they are not because it is ok to vilify homosexuals.)
102. 2009-05-02 14:04  
The new team will be employing all the lowest tactics they can use at he EGM. From what I read, the new Exco refuses to raise the option of calling for a confidence vote on the new committee. They also refused to answer any queries from the media and the old guard or allow any new agenda to be added to their fixed schedule of discussion. Basically, they are deleting the right for a no confidence vote. Unbelievable. Barbaric.
They also hired one of the top legal firms, Rajah and Tan to be present to take fielded questions and address legal implications arising.

They are openly flaunting & insulting the civility of everyone by disregarding fair play, and right in the face of the authorities too. This is very interesting. If their brand of extreme fundamentalism is tolerated, that signals the end of fair play in Singapore's already questionable democratic processes. Let's see the results by Saturday end.
Good luck old guard and to the democratic process.
103. 2009-05-02 19:21  
Latest Update (1711hrs HK/SIN Time)

A good fren of mine tweeted me the latest from Suntec.

1. Vote counting still on with both sides watching the count with police looking on.
2. Josie Lau was booed continuously when she tried to speak and explain the motivation of the new exco
3.The new Exco spend more than S$90,000 since elected. Under the constitution of AWARE, they are only allowed to spend up to S$20,000 maximum monthly and with member's approval. The new exco did not seek any approval for all the expenses. A possible lawsuit is imminent to hold the new exco responsible to recover the money.
4. The general sentiment is against the new exco. Alot police and security personnel around.

Will update again. Hopefully good news.

104. 2009-05-02 21:07  
Vote counting ended:
1414 vs 761 , for the vote of no confidence! WE WON.
New guard recommended to resign.
Give 5 min to discuss whether or not they want to.
They ran away! (GASP)

MP Siew says according to Article 9 of their constitution, they can assume that they have resigned. They are now choosing the new exco.

Justice Prevails people.
They did it! We did it!
105. 2009-05-02 21:18  
Hallelujah, Amen ! :) Bravo !!!
106. 2009-05-02 21:56  
Thio Su Mien (Your So Mean), you and your bunch of Christian fundamentalists can shove your anti-gay agenda up your f**kin asses! Your ridiculous anti-gay programme to convert gay to straight 'with God's love' has been PROVEN to not work! CHOICES DOES NOT WORK. Period.
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115. 2009-05-02 22:10  
Truly disgraceful flock these COOS creatures. Seems alot of fundamental "christians" were there to support Josie Lau & her team & they argued with women supporting the old guard there.They kept bringing up that they were pro family and against teaching their children gay sexuality and were gravely concerned as "christian" parents. Josie even threatened the use of security to throw the old guard out when things got heated. Shocking!!! What kind of low life resort to such low level tactics even in FULL view of everyone? They are seriously hardcore dangerous fundamentalist who has NO respect for anyone opposing them. Lousy losers. They really brought unredeemable shame upon themselves and their church and seriously gave their brand of "christianity" a bad name. Now mother taliban can go back hiding in her TSM cave and mentor her goats till the next assault. Maybe now she will aim at taking over DBS bank. Boorish disgraceful bunch of losers!

Hurray for justice. Well done!

116. 2009-05-02 22:12  
Unbelievable!!! After the no confidence vote victory, when the disgraced exco was given 5 mins to formally step down, they vanished, only to suddenly appear 30 mins later, after AWARE had elected the new President (Dana Lam) & VP, both from the old guard. Josie Lau and her team then issued the statement that they gracefully step down and wish the "new" team success but urge them to abide by serving the original interest of women. Pure trash. (Spit!)
117. 2009-05-02 23:35  
This has been nothing short of a truly dramatic episode, and one which Singapore has never witnessed.

This has been a victory for gays!

(I sincerely hope that the unnamed Save AWARE member who requested Alex Au to get gays to tone down on our online activism will come around to understanding what we knew from the word "go": we were and have always been the true target; we will NOT back down!)

This has been a victory for feminism!

This has been a victory for secularism!

This has been a victory for democratic development in Singapore!

Gay Singaporeans can be justifiably proud of our striking accomplishments in the human rights desert that we live in; I share the opinion that we have the most high voltage gay activism in Asia.

Let's show our brothers and sisters in all of Asia how bullies ought to be treated.

Go Dana!

118. 2009-05-03 03:33  
OMG OMG I can't believe it - reason and sense prevailed!

This is an affirming victory indeed. I really did not believe it would have been so decisive. This is a significant move against these fascist "christians". Against bigotry and hatred.
119. 2009-05-03 09:24  
Congrats to the women of Singapore in facing down the fundamentalists and regaining their space.

Derek Hong should also resign from COOS for his part in all this.
120. 2009-05-03 13:41  
Shut up and sit down, says Sally Ang to Margaret Thomas:

Hear it for yourself here:

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122. 2009-05-03 16:28  
A few months ago I had a fight with an American friend over the issue of gay marriage. He preferred that gay people take the revolutionary road. I shared some insight, based on my perception, about how Singapore works. That we are basically evolutionary and things will happen when it is time for things to happen. He said I, like many of the other Singaporeans he has encountered, was brainwashed.

Fast forward to today. I believe what has happened with AWARE is our version of Stonewall. Sure, the scale is smaller and no real legislation to repeal old laws etc have been made. Still, it is a show of strength, not just by the LGBT community. Religious hypocrisy, bigotry, prejudice etc have been denied entry. And people have spoken out in support of gays.

So the signs are there. We are evolving as a society. It is a matter of time before the pink community here is officially recognized, organizations given status, and business function without scrutiny.

All tithout American styled revolution.

Now how great is that?
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124. 2009-05-03 23:39  
Derek Hong from COOS miay just be a closeted gay. It is common knowledge that many of these vehemently anti-gay people (Right-wing politicians & preachers) are themselves secretly homosexual. Most are self-hating and it's this self-loathing that causes them to spew their anti-gay venom against the LGBT community.

125. 2009-05-04 04:14  
Post #95 euro-asian says (Posted : 03 May 2009 23:39) :"Derek Hong from COOS miay just be a closeted gay."

Whatever the reason for the COOS obsession with homosexuality and the misinformation and fear they create about it, the involvement of this church and it's pastor in creating or supporting this coup, and misleading his flock is a major scandal and an apology simply doesn't cut it, any more than it does for the Ted Haggards of America.

A person with integrity would resign.

On a separate note, it would be good to know who organised and paid for the reported bussing in of 750 red-shirted fundamentalists for the vote, who were so disinterested in the work of AWARE itself, they left immediately after the vote.
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127. 2009-05-04 10:25  
New guard ousted
May 3, 2009 by admin
Filed under News

They came to reclaim what they had lost, and they did.

In a big show of solidarity, stalwarts of the Association of Women for Action and Research (Aware) and their supporters turned up in force and won it back.

Nearly 3,000 people attended an extraordinary general meeting and over nearly seven action-packed hours, blasted away at the team of unknowns which snatched the Aware leadership on March 28.

Then they voted resoundingly to oust the team led by DBS Bank vice-president Josie Lau and inspired by senior lawyer Thio Su Mien.

The final tally that they should go: 1,414 to 761.

Even then, Ms Lau and her team did not step down immediately. They consulted their lawyer, ignored calls to resign, then were told they could retire for five minutes to decide.

When they did not return, the meeting elected a new executive committee headed by former president Dana Lam.

It was half an hour before Ms Lau and her exco reappeared to say that they had decided to step down.

Yesterday's meeting at Suntec City Hall 402 drew Aware founders, past presidents and long-time members, as well as many women who joined only in recent weeks.

Many said they had been moved by the tumultuous events since March 28, when a team of new members seized nine of the 12 positions on the exco.

New president Claire Nazar quit 11 days later, to be succeeded by Ms Lau. It then emerged that several of the new leaders attended the Anglican Church of Our Saviour, and were strongly against homosexuality.

Then, Dr Thio revealed that she had encouraged the women to join and change Aware because she felt it was promoting lesbianism and homosexuality.

In particular, she attacked an Aware sexuality programme for schools, saying it too promoted homosexuality. She called herself a 'feminist mentor'.

Over the past five weeks, the Aware exco shrank from 12 to eight as members resigned. There were only seven present yesterday, as the eighth, Ms Peggy Leong, did not attend.

Yesterday's marathon meeting, which started at 2.30pm, was dominated by Aware stalwarts and their supporters, who criticised the newcomers and Dr Thio for the way they took over the association, disregarded older members and sacked staff. They also criticised the team's lack of diversity.

Ms Lau's team had several hundred supporters at the meeting, but mostly the sparring was done between the audience and the exco, and Dr Thio.

There were some tense moments at the start of the meeting, when Nominated Member of Parliament Siew Kum Hong was told to sit with the men and expatriates in one side of the hall.

He refused, saying that he was there as a legal adviser for the old guard.

Ms Lau started to make a speech but was interrupted several times, including by former vice-president Margaret Thomas, who wanted the vote of no confidence to be tabled immediately.

In the ensuing war of words, assistant honorary secretary Sally Ang told Ms Thomas to 'shut up and sit down'.

That caused an uproar and Ms Ang refused to apologise until after Ms Lau apologised.

Former presidents Dana Lam, Zaibun Siraj and Constance Singam criticised the new team for lacking the moral authority to lead Aware.

Mrs Singam asked: 'Where were you when women were abused and battered in the home, and girls raped? Where were you when children and husbands of Singapore women were denied citizenship? Where were you? You were not there.'

The crowd echoed: 'Where were you? Where were you?'

'Feminist mentor' Dr Thio tried to speak but was mostly drowned out. She said they should respect their elders, and someone called back: 'Respect has to be earned.'

Ms Lau and her team referred regularly to the lawyers from Rajah & Tann hired for the occasion.

Her team had several hundred supporters in the room, but they were mostly quiet. Only a handful spoke up.

It was not until 8.05pm that the results of the no-confidence vote were finally announced. The exco sat in stunned silence as the hall reverberated with loud cheers.

A check with the legal team drew the advice that the exco should step down out of 'courtesy, custom and common sense'.

It was around 9.10pm when Ms Lau told the room: 'The exco has graciously decided to step down and we wish Aware all the best in its future endeavours.'

Source: The Singapore Enquirer
128. 2009-05-04 10:35  
Post #96 steveuk says (Posted : 04 May 2009 4:14) :
"On a separate note, it would be good to know who organised and paid for the reported bussing in of 750 red-shirted fundamentalists for the vote, who were so disinterested in the work of AWARE itself, they left immediately after the vote."

These people can only parrot mindlessly they want Aware to revert to its 'original' intent, yet none of them show even the remotest interest in the plight of abused women, sexual harrassment, girls fr poor families,etc...which IS its original intent.
All they care about & are obsessed with: homosexuality. ..as my grandpa used to say,
take people for idiots & soon you'll be treated like one...perhaps Thio, Lau & gang can learn fr his words of wisdom. :p

Bt thankfully calm has now returned.
Justice has long arms indeed. ;-)
Still, be careful as J Lau & gang will want to remain as Aware members. Knowing them, they will try launching another assault, so to all Aware members, pls keep yr eyes peeled.
129. 2009-05-04 10:59  
Post #93 percole says (Posted : 03 May 2009 13:41) : "Shut up and sit down, says Sally Ang to Margaret Thomas"...nothing surprising or unusual. They had always been typically like this....
comtempous, arrogant, rude & snobbish to you if you are a commoner. They will only be polite, deferential or subservient even, if you are someone in power or authority...anyone remember J Lau's infamous toadying statement where she says she will be 'following the admirable leadership' of Lee kuan Yew? In other words, typical sans noblesse. How original. Duh.
130. 2009-05-04 11:57  
Congrats again to the success of the old guard.

For one, nothing CUTS to the bone of the rich & elitist like public shaming. They have thick skins but every cut counts. Keep slashing and dun forget, these creatures have more than 9 lives, they will certainly plan for another misdeed. How else can fairytales continue otherwise, ya? LOL

And to want Derek Hong to resign? We all slowly wait. That is like expecting them to play fair and we already know these are minions of satan. Try a Ted Haggard public "remorse". Derek Hong already said to the media that he would be more sensitive in future and "apologised" for rallying the church to support their hole-y war sisters. Translated, it means, 'Ah well, u win some u lose some. Next!" >:P

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135. 2009-05-08 14:50  
If this inccident teaches us one thing it is that you cannot trust christians. Time and time again they have shown that they are preapred to decieve and lie to push their agenda.
136. 2009-05-08 17:31  
Re: #135 helixator: Well I wouldn't say ALL Christians are homophobic...here in SG there are quite a number of Catholics & esp. Methodists,I know while nt exactly gay-friendly, are to their credit quite neutral & non-judgemental towards gay people. Homophobia really depends on the person's character...I've noticed homophobes tend to be those with very absolutist mentality, esp with rgd to traditional gender roles (dominant male/ submissive female).
Some supposedly-"tolerant" Buddhists actually believe homosexuality to be 'bad karma' & consequently a form of 'punishment' to the individual; in other words; in their world, you wld be classified as 'lesser' than a 'healthy' or 'normal' human being.
Though whether it's really Buddha's teachings or influenced by Confucian patriarchy, I'm nt too sure.

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