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4 May 2009

AWARE members vote out anti-gay exco

A vote of no confidence was passed after a seven-hour face-off in the extraordinary general meeting at Singapore's Suntec Convention Centre on May 2, 2009. A new committee with diverse representation was elected to lead Singapore's largest women activist group.

It was an extraordinary general meeting in every sense of the word. A showdown at Singapore's Suntec Convention Centre attended by some 3,000 people, who wanted a say about the Association of Women for Action and Research (AWARE) and the direction it would take as Singapore's main women's advocacy group.

The meeting, held on May 2, was the climax of a tussle that had dominated headlines and online discussions this past month, and called a pivotal moment in the history of Singapore's civil society.

From top: About 3,000 members and associate members in AWARE's largest ever gathering; vote of no confidence cast on exco; tension and passion mounting as pointed questions raised from the floor sought to establish AWARE's belief in inclusivity and secularism; outgoing exco led by Ms Josie Lau will step down; new exco elected, with Ms Dana Lam (right) as president and Ms Tan Joo Hymn (left, one of the petitioners for the Repeal377A campaign in 2007 calling for abolition of laws against homosexuals) as Honorary Treasurer. (Images courtesy of Genevieve Chua)
On one side, supporters of president Josie Lau and her team, who had seized control of AWARE on Mar 28 under the guidance of born-again Christian lawyer and self-styled 'feminist mentor' Dr Thio Su Mien. Dr Thio is a well-known figure to the Singaporean gay community, primarily for her Christian fundamentalist, anti-gay views.

On the other side, AWARE stalwarts and their supporters who refuted the exco's claims that the group had become too 'single-focused' on gay and lesbian rights. Their stance: That it was important to maintain the secular and inclusive nature of AWARE to benefit 'all women'.

Members began gathering as early as 9 am to queue in front of the registration counters. The meeting was scheduled for 2 pm but was delayed for half an hour due to the large crowd still streaming in. Many were new to AWARE, spurred on to sign up and be counted, for whichever side they took.

A commotion began as soon as the exco (executive committee) took their places and Ms Lau, as chair, tried to call the meeting to order. A reading of the agenda and the president's address was interrupted as the AWARE veterans called for the vote of no confidence to be tabled immediately. This, they said, was their primary reason for calling the meeting.

Chaos and tension ensued during the rest of the afternoon and into the night as members of both teams interrupted to correct each other, and the microphones were intermittently turned on and off.

Civil society at risk: hijack of an activist and welfare NGO by fundamentalists

The run-up to the meeting and its proceedings was also nothing short of dramatic.

Issues of homophobia, and religion, specifically Christian fundamentalism, were raised by both reporters and bloggers shortly after AWARE's takeover by a group of virtual unknowns (See earlier article 'Anti-gay Christian fundamentalists hijack Singapore women's group'; link below)

These reports pointed out the fact that six of the newly elected members, including Ms Lau, were also members of the Anglican Church of Our Saviour (COOS), which runs 'Choices', an ex-gay ministry. In addition to being her 'feminist mentor', Dr Thio Su Mien is also the aunt of Ms Lau's husband, Dr Alan Chin; and the mother of Nominated Member of Parliament Thio Li-Ann. Both Dr Chin and the younger Thio have regularly made public their views against homosexuality. Ms Lau, as a vice-president at DBS Bank, was revealed to have led a credit card promotion scheme that benefitted Focus on the Family (See 'LGBTs protest Singapore bank's charity drive for anti-gay Focus on the Family')

In the weeks that followed the takeover, the new team systematically removed long-time volunteers or excluded them from meetings. An office manager dismissed from duty was replaced with another member of COOS. They also changed the locks of the office at AWARE Centre.

Another question that was raised repeatedly in the media, and at the meeting at Suntec: Judging by its actions, and in spite of its new 'Pro-woman, pro-family, pro-Singapore' vision, how inclusive and secular a stance would the new team take?

A week before the meeting, news of an email by a church member rallying women to vote at the meeting was also reported. This led to further speculation that COOS was involved in the takeover.

A sermon by Pastor Derek Hong of COOS, posted on the church's website urged female members to support the new AWARE. His statement: "It's not a crusade against the people but there's a line that God has drawn for us, and we don't want our nation crossing that line" drew negative responses from both moderate Christians and members of other faiths.

Apart from religion, another hot topic that was touched on was sex education. Although not a member or the exco herself, Dr Thio revealed in a press conference that she instigated its takeover after learning about AWARE's neutral stand on homosexuality. She cited AWARE's Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) programme, and a Mother's Day event that celebrated reconciliations between mothers and their lesbian daughters as examples of AWARE being hijacked by gay activists. (See 'Anti-gay lawyer comes out as instigator of takeover')

All this unfolded as petitions for and against the AWARE veterans began online.

Queries from the floor: Calls for inclusivity, secularism, neutrality, pluralism

At the meeting, longtime and new supporters of AWARE took to the floor one by one to express their views from multi-religious and multi-racial perspectives and question the sitting exco's stance on diversity and inclusivity.

"We are not here because we are gay and lesbians," said member Alexandra Serrenti. "We are here because we were deeply troubled by how this executive committee came to power. We are here because we are deeply troubled by the usurpation of civic space, and the lack of respect for the values of pluralism, democracy that this new executive committee has demonstrated," said one member of the audience.

"We need to have evidence, the spirit of inquiry to enable our ladies to make informed choices," said an associate member, a man who identified himself as a Muslim father of three teenage daughters. He added, "I would be very proud of my daughter to go through the CSE programme."

Men, as associate members, were not allowed to vote, but many turned up in support of their partners, family members and friends.

Another member who approached the open microphone said, "AWARE is about inclusiveness, AWARE is helping women, helps everybody, male and female. And whatever their sexual orientation can be, it does not matter, because they are first and foremost a person. A human being and that's what AWARE is about."

Throughout the impassioned speeches, supporters of the AWARE veterans jumped, clapped and waved cards that said 'TRUST. RESPECT. CHOICE.' The other camp stayed in their seats and applauded politely when the few who spoke up for the exco addressed the crowd.

At the end of the seven-hour meeting, the vote of no confidence was passed against the exco. The final results: 1414 to 761. The exit of the exco after their statement of resignation sparked off a thunderous round of cheers and applause amidst the diverse majority who had shown up to fight for the inclusivity and secularity of their association.

Editor's note: The AWARE extraordinary general meeting concluded with the election of a new executive committee representating a diversity of faiths, races, age and background. Former AWARE president Dana Lam will lead the committee.

Queries from the floor AWARE EOGM: May 2, 2009

Former AWARE president Constance Singam speaks up on 25 years of AWARE's active and broad-based involvement in civil society: May 2, 2009

Reader's Comments

1. 2009-05-04 18:31  
WAY TO GO GIRLS!!! Thanks to your story we are all smarter, and keenly AWARE of the wolves in sheeps' clothing who pretend to tolerate us, and the Trojan horses lurking in the shadows of darkness waiting to spread their lies and their treachery called "Fundamentalist Christianity". We are no longer naive or oblivious to the religious cults with hidden agendas designed to further oppress, marginalize and segregate us and brand us as "less-thans".
2. 2009-05-04 18:44  
we should be taught at the earliest possible ages that we are spiritual beings in physical bodies....that we are also naturally sensual, sexual beings....that sexual feelings of all sorts are perfectly normal and need to be discussed, explored and experienced (as often as possible!)....that sexuality is a wonderful gift from our creator to be enjoyed, and that sexual encounters are coupled with enjoyment AND responsibilities. The myth called "Christianity" has managed to virtually eliminate sex and sexuality by creating a virginal birth and a son of god who allegedly never had sex, never took a wife, never fathered children, but hung out with guys all his life...they've eliminated the joy of sexuality by replacing it with guilt, dogma and a host of rules which even their own clergy unabashadly abuse and ignore. Let's get over this big lie and move closer to the truth!
3. 2009-05-04 18:55  
i thought singaporeans were a bunch of docile sheep. there is hope yet!
4. 2009-05-04 19:15  
Post #3 Present says (Posted : 04 May 2009 18:55) : i thought singaporeans were a bunch of docile sheep. there is hope yet."

We used to be...not anymore. ;-)
5. 2009-05-04 20:32  
We have to be careful. The placing of Thio Li An as NMP and the now revealed subversion of Aware..there seems to be a larger game at play with [b]one common denominator, COOS and Pastor Derek Hong...

We must not forget the real puppet master, who hides in the darkness..
From an online blog, seems he wasnt sorry at all, and was mentioned to have said.. well if the media wants an apology, I will give them an apology..

I am not sure if it is all a concerted scheme to influence the social-political sphere to achieve their misguided intended ends..

His modus operandi is clear. Work behind the scenes, stir up parents' emotions through emails on appeals to do God's work, provoke them into action via feedback or petition to the authorities.

All civil organisations, Action for Aids, Trevvy. Fridae etc.. be AWARE.

The Puppet Master runs free... Pastor Derek Hong.
6. 2009-05-04 21:14  
The misrepresentaions of AWARE's work, scaremongering, and support for Josie continue on the "Christian Post" website. There is no condemnation of her Exco's methods, or the invasion of secular space. They have learned nothing, and see nothing that was done by them as wrong. It is to be hoped that more of the moderate Christians who supported the old guard will speak up.

This is how the Christian Post latest article concludes:
"According to the 'We Are Aware' website launched by the old guard in opposition to the new exco having taken over the organisation, an objective of the CSE programme is to inculcate children in a liberal worldview where all views are shaped by one's religion, culture and other social dimensions, demolishing the idea of an absolute morality and running counter to what is taught in Christianity and other religions."

This sounds very much like they totally disagree with diversity, and that the fight to create a theocracy with one world view will continue. Black and white. For fundamentalists, there is only one "truth", the one that they have chosen to believe in. Everyone else will be told to "sit down and shut up" (to quote one of Josie's gang), or they will turn off the mikes, and of course they will continue to censor any rational discussion or representation of issues of sexuality in TV and film.

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8. 2009-05-04 23:38  
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

9. 2009-05-04 23:39  
SINGAPORE : They decided to "graciously resign" from the exco although they were not legally bound to do so, said the AWARE exco which lost a no-confidence vote at its extraordinary general meeting (EGM) on Saturday.

"We need not step down, but we considered it and came to the conclusion that for the sake of AWARE, we would step down," said Ms Maureen Ong who had been the honorary treasurer.

At a post-EGM news conference, Ms Lau also responded to criticisms raised over the S$90,000 spent in the past month under her watch, of which S$23,000 went to renting the exhibition halls at the Suntec convention centre for Saturday's meeting.
Ms Lau said: "I am sure we are very above board in those expenditures, given the circumstances surrounding events in the last few days. We had to spend what was spent

Any more proof they are pure trash? And those who support TRASH are rubbish bins. Need I say more? And I read TSM and the new exco exited via the rubbish chute exit ways after the no confidence vote. How appropriate. LOL.
10. 2009-05-04 23:40  
Just wanna add that the 761 who supported the exco are a bloody disgrace to humanity to discriminate against any marginalized groups, especially when women themselves are marginalized. Brain dead zombies!

COOS and its affiliates alike all around the world, you all are the main reasons why there will be an Apocalypse.

11. 2009-05-04 23:54  
Hey steveuk,

Considering the number of bloggers who were charged or reprimanded or demanded to make a public apology for making inflammatory remarks in Singapore last year (and the year before), i think you stand a good chance for pulling the Christian Post down (at least blocking it in Singapore)if you write in to the ST or some MP or minister's office. And I, for one, believe in your rhetorical skills. Singapore cannot risk unsecularity or upsetting its claims of being a multi-religious, multi-racial society. And what better timing to chase our victories. Give it a thought.

12. 2009-05-05 03:36  
Post #10 amoebavirgin says (Posted : 04 May 2009 23:54) :"Hey steveuk..."

Thanks for the feedback, but I think there are plenty of people much more articulate than I am, both posting here and speaking at that EGM; I'm just a concerned foreigner expressing my opinions here on an international website/forum. Writing to the local press and ministers is for Singaporeans in my view; hopefully there will now be more people willing to write in to balance the homophobia and ignorance that is regularly posted in ST, and to warn when the fundamentalists are overstepping the mark.
13. 2009-05-05 03:52  
Post #7 jammyboi says (Posted : 04 May 2009 23:38) :"Derek Hong already said to the media that he would be more sensitive in future and "apologised" for rallying the church to support "

Didn't that supposed apology come before the reported bussing in and attempted queue-jumping of the fundamentalists? So can someone confirm that the bussing took place, and establish who organised and paid for it?
14. 2009-05-05 06:04  
Don't forget that the Thios and Derek Hong are tightly linked to Focus On The Family, a christian fundamentalist group run by James Dobson in the US. They also operate in Singapore as a "secular" organization, running programs in schools to promote abstinence and condemn LGBT. We must expose all these hidden puppet masters now. Can Fridae do an investigative journalism piece on the relationship between Thios, COOS and FOTF and their many projects?
15. 2009-05-05 07:58  
Some videos here, including a priceless one of the newly deposed Exco slinking out the back exit through the refuse dump:

Also if you are on twitter, follow the #awaresg hashtag to see what people are talking about.
16. 2009-05-05 08:16  
Looks like nothing is accomplished and Singapore is back to normal. The lesbians are back in charge of AWARE, Josie and the Pussycats are slinking back to their basement churches and glided gated communities and extreme werid and confused Christians at the Church of our Savior, and our Gay leaders are trying to steal their thunder of those old guard capable women and make this a litmus test of all things gay and go back to running their gay businesses and writing creepy articles. Where are all the normal people cause last night me and my under thirty gay friends went out and non of this is on our radar screen and we dont care a bit. Singapore is becoming too extreme on all sides, that is why I am leaving and going to Sydney to study nursing in a month. I have to get off this island and meet some normal people that actually work for a living. I think its tacky to keep attacking anyone any more on both sides and MOVE ON. Don't gloat on this victory cause the under thirty crowd needs classy leaders not ones that constantly go around with a chip on their shoulders. Hire a focus group and get to the truth cause this was a secular victory for women, not a gay victory at all for us. Dont gloat about the losers escaping out the back door cause this was a mob lynching, better to show class and have the losers exit through the front. Gay men should show better sportsmanship and class even if we just watch by the sidelines.
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19. 2009-05-05 12:01  
There had been a couple of letters sent to the forum page of Straits Times ystr where the author obviously writes without thinking much:

Home > ST Forum > Story

Steer clear of acrimony towards graciousness

THE weeks past have seen both sides of the Aware saga as both victors and vanquished. Social activism has suddenly resurfaced in Singapore, and even as an overseas Singaporean, I was engaged through Facebook forums and, of course, The Straits Times online.
The question now is, with the latest turn of events, where do we go from here?

I say all parties should take this opportunity to steer the activism and debate towards graciousness, rather than gloat over the mistakes of some, or praise the 'victors' at the expense of those who have stumbled. With regard to financial issues, let it be resolved through orderly legal proceedings, not an acrimonious court battle and further mud-slinging.

Demonising former president Josie Lau and her team, or a particular church group, is exactly what we want to prevent in Singapore - a polarised and fragmented society rather than a home of unity and reconciliation.

How we handle the coming weeks - whatever our faith or social viewpoints - will speak of Singapore's civic society, the civic groups involved and the direction we want Singapore to go. Let us choose graciousness.

Raymond Tham

Dear Raymond, do you know the full extent of what Josie Lau & her gang had done???
As soon as they came to power,

1) they FIRED Brama Mathi & confiscated the Cedaw report she painstakingly created & compiled over the years. Only a terse email was sent; they never even had the common courtesy to thank her service or inform her face-to-face.
Very 'gracious' behavior I suppose *snigger*
2) They've totally disregarded remaining old guards Constance Singam & Chew I-Jin, who was unceremoniously excluded from a media meeting
by not being informed earlier. Soon after, Aware's long-time manager Schutz Lee was fired fo 'insubordination"..for what reasons, it wasn't clearly or coherantly explained. When Schutz attended the Suntec meeting, some Josie Lau supporters reportedly tried escorting her out the 'classy' way...by manhandling,pushing & shoving her.
3) Barely two weeks in charge, Josie Lau & her team changed the locks to the Aware office without informing or consulting other members.
Three burly men were seen loitering the place, who got all agitated & aggressive when other Aware members wanted to know what's going on & why was there a change of the security system in the office. They were brushed aside brusquely by the men: "If you've done nothing wrong then what are you afraid of?"
4) Spent S$90,000 since it took office in March. including S$20,000 hosting the extraordinary general meeting (EGM) at Suntec on Saturday. It was disclosed by J Lau herself after prompting from members to explain the expense of hosting the meeting at Suntec. Under AWARE's constitution, the organisation's limit is S$20,000 a month.

All these whilst affecting a subservient attitude with the authorities, preaching 'inclusiveness' & 'secularity' to the public, & giving a smiling face to the media...talk about FAUX class lol.
Nobody likes cunning schemers. If you had behaved like a clown, do not expect people to sit back passively & smile @ you a la Holy Saint Maria.
20. 2009-05-05 12:07  
Agree with Bain.

Raymond Tham is probably a lackey of the usurping camp. But no thanks to the Straits Times to publish such an unjustified article. Let's see if our newspaper is really shrouded by an invisible 'iron-fist' to disallow any retort to his email on the ungracious demeamour of TSM/Josie & her pussies.
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24. 2009-05-05 12:28  
Post #15 connor says (Posted : 05 May 2009 8:16) :"Dont gloat about the losers escaping out the back door cause this was a mob lynching, better to show class and have the losers exit through the front. Gay men should show better sportsmanship and class even if we just watch by the sidelines. "

I have something to clarify:
The losers CHOSE the rubbish chute exit to avoid the ensuing media embarrassment after their defeat. NO ONE from the Old guard or their supporters pushed them there.
Besides, most of the men @ the meeting were heterosexual/ married who accompanied their spouses & girlfriends.
Get yr facts clear & here's some advice to serve you well in yr future in Sydney: never ever take people for idiots.
25. 2009-05-05 14:50  
Ah, another delightfully oddball posting by Connor, I see, who on the one hand accuses gay people of seizing the AWARE turn of events as some kind of lame and unconnected victory for 'us' (and he has a point), but on the other (indirectly) talks about him and his gay friends somehow viewing the whole things as some form of public entertainment.

Must be nice to have it both ways - on the one hand to condemn something, but on the other to revel in it...
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27. 2009-05-05 15:04  
Connor is just the classic gay "parasite" - sucking all from the society that sustains the likes of him and giving nothing in return but his vitriolic cynicism. Go to Sydney, we don't need you here.
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31. 2009-05-05 15:52  
This so called fake profile "connor", bears an uncanny resemblance to the writing style of another loser, "brownhard". They attend the same kampong tart church, so ignore these cockroaches.

Why else would this loser need to announce (really, who cares) that it goes out with under 30 toddlers and cannot wait to wear a pussy white dress to study nursing in Sydney. Truth be told, with its broken written "england", it probably is going to a red light back street in Geylang to be a lab rat. The mamasan wanna learn how a self hating eunuch can insert it's own circumsized straw tail up its own nose and still pull a st8 face. LOL

And (yawn) if this AWARE saga really did not register at all to this fake loser, then why specifically even bother to post here to seek attention? Obviously its own stupidity knows no limits. Raymond Tham must be its mother through inaccurate ejaculation. Amen!
32. 2009-05-05 15:55  

Singapore is actually growing into civilisation!
33. 2009-05-05 18:06  
Wanna know what transpired behind the scenes between TSM & Josie Lau after the no confidence vote? Then u MUST watch this: Shocking!!! :P

34. 2009-05-05 18:07  
I just listened to D. Hong's sermon and Thio's writings. To do evil in Satan's name is one thing. To do it in God's name, that's worse. Hey Hong/Thio, your god has a special place in hell for you.
35. 2009-05-05 18:11  
jammy boi-- you are in HK so why does this even concern you, please debate issues even me as a product of NUS knows this. anyway i am real guy and will lend you my facebook to prove it, but tonight i take my shirt off at Cali Fitness on Orchard Roadand everyone knows who i am and how hot I am so I don't need your certification, but I know I strike a nerve and piss you off cause you know my words are true, you have no appeal to guys under thirty, and I personally hear you have had way too many Mrs.Field Chocatlate Chip , cookies there, ha, I am popular and happy but cant stand your hippo- cracy, cause you so outof touch with this generation
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39. 2009-05-05 18:32  
This what happened one day before the EGM:

40. 2009-05-05 19:18  
See the latest article on Christian Post singapore concerning Derek Hong's rap on the knuckles, if you want to see more spin and misinformation being put out. They claim no conspiracy and only 4 members of COOS on the new exco. I guess polite, factual and rational corrections may be posted in reply. We don't want to be like the covert fundamentalists that post on this site.

The women at AWARE are still facing attacks from the fundamentalists: the petition whipped up based on misrepresentations and scaremongering by the people at COOS. Some deluded people are even suggesting that the 1400 approx women who voted out the fundamentalists are all lesbians.

41. 2009-05-05 19:57  
wooohoooooooooo! the right to wear mix matched socks! wooohooo!
42. 2009-05-05 20:08  
Spread the words to all your friends. Josie Lau and Dr Thio are an abomination to Singapore Society. Anglicanism has started to creep into society and destroy Muslims, Hindus and all other genders including homosexuals.
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46. 2009-05-05 20:15  
On the subject of invasion of secular space, I was surprised to see that COOS still has their action plan (as drawn up by Cornerstone) for their anti-gay crusade after PM Goh's speech a few years ago, in the resources section of their website; it includes covert influencing of opinion by appearing to be secular:

"5. Write Letters to the Press (Chinese and English language: Straits Times, Streats) presenting various viewpoints from secular and non-secular perspectives (Medical / Legal / Sociological / Moral) - some co-ordination needed here."

You can see the whole document at:


and if the link doesn't work here is the full address:

w w w .coos.org.sg/resource/articles/homosexuality-what_we_can_do.pdf

47. 2009-05-05 20:40  
Post #29 Geo_Science says (Posted : 05 May 2009 20:08) :"Anglicanism has started to creep into society"

The problem is fundamentalism, not one particular denomination or religion. There are plenty of moderate Christians who supported the old AWARE. And COOS is certainly not representative of the Anglican church in my country, the leader and most members of which would be totally appalled at Hong's behaviour and stance on homosexuality.

To me, COOS appears to be only nominally Anglican, from what I've read they appear to operate more as an American style charismatic pentecostalist type church with healings, speaking in tongues and so forth; also I've never heard of an Anglican vicar being called a pastor before. There's nothing that I would recognise as Anglican in their approach from what I've read; however, no doubt some one who's actually attended could shed more light.
48. 2009-05-05 20:49  
Anybody who reads the comments below please note. This is not the voice of gays. Real gays are peace loving people who don't give a damn about all these whether good or bad, because we are just not interested in drawing attention to ourselves anymore since long time ago. who are these people who posted these comments anyway. i am curious too.
49. 2009-05-05 21:20  
Hi Raph/Ken,

You're the guy that told people not to speak out on the AWARE issue or they're dead, right?

Just another variation on the "shut up and sit down" mentality of the fundamentalists.
50. 2009-05-05 22:11  
I read once on an online website about huskies (yes the canine). They were described as extremely sociable animals, so much so, as the person described, that "they would not only chase the thief out of the house, they would show him where all the good stuff is and help move 'em out".

And thats what i think of Raph's "peace-loving" crap. And seriously, who are YOU again Raph? An alter ego of connor? Jeesie Creesie, where do these people come from! If "peace-loving" equates to being a pushover and a "silly little faggot" *wags wrist*, i'd much rather be a queen who's a havoc-wreaker. And bringing attention to ourselves, HMMM. I won't deny that we love the limelight honey, but not in vain, not in vain.

And as for connor : THANK YOU SYDNEY.
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52. 2009-05-05 22:33  
On a lighter note,
has anyone gotten the "Shut up and Sit down" T-shirts already? I can't believe ST online did a report on it - its good comic relief.

Can someone tell me how the quality of the t-shirts are if u've bought it already?
53. 2009-05-05 23:03  
Connor, can you make up your mind whether you are gay or bi?

And is there any way of verifying all the claims that you are making about yourself, icluding your oh-so hip lifestyle?

I would imagine that for a lifestyle as hip as the one you claim to lead, you could hardly have the time to read- you ae obviously doing more than reading; you're STUDYING - and much less post here
54. 2009-05-05 23:07  
To the others:

You nmay wish to know that I have read a couple of comments elsewhere now 'warning' of the gay activism that has just started in fridae.

I don't know how many of you are familiar with the PAP's internet brigade (or PAP IB) who wage attacks of all manner on any dissenting views.

Connor seems to be Christianity's answer to the PAP IB posting here under the guise of a cool and hip queer man.
55. 2009-05-05 23:24  
Post #32 Raph.... you should get a new profile pic. You look kinda pale, bloodied...old (about 2 thousand years to be exact) and eerr a little dead. I know facial hair is 'in', but that beard is a tad Taliban-ish.
56. 2009-05-05 23:55  
Post #37 percole says (Posted : 05 May 2009 23:07) :
"To the others:You nmay wish to know that I have read a couple of comments elsewhere now 'warning' of the gay activism that has just started in fridae."

Please could you be more specific (where, what?). Is it the usual reversal tactic where fundamentalists accuse us (and others they see as "the enemy") of doing what they are actually doing, in order to distract attention from their activities?
57. 2009-05-06 00:04  
Raph: "not interested in drawing attention to ourselves"? Then why are you even here in Fridae? Evangelizing, I suppose? Really, you should just crawl back into your hole and rot, you spineless creature who cannot even stand up for your own rights as a human being!
Conner: I can't believe that NUS spawned such a foul-mouthed brainless sot like you . You're a disgrace to NUS - go to Sydney and stay there, we don't need you here.
58. 2009-05-06 00:55  
Wow percole's reminder came in very timely. Thank you. I think alot of us are losing our cool as people like connor and raph make inflammatory remarks and launch personal attacks on some of us to distract the thread from advancing further rhetorically.

I googled the supposed PAP Internet brigade. Here's a link for reference. :
"h ttp://www.sgpolitics.net/?p=1827"

As the writer pointed out, it is not known for sure whether the IB exists, but what i learnt from the end of the article was that : There are people out there who are batting for the other teams and are here to disrupt our PEACEFUL and LEGAL discussions.

Their strategies include "engaging in flame wars, personal attacks, defamatory statements, and impersonations". So people, we have to be AWARE and resist our urge to deviate from our trail of thought and bark at them. We don't want to lose our concentration and miss a chance of communicating our concerns to both readers and commenters. Nor do we want to , upon being provoked, say SOME THINGS that might land us in a lawsuit.


btw, upon this revelation, i realized connor has very different writing styles all the time. sometimes its bad grammar, the others, bad spelling, and once in a while someONE totally rational seems to be speaking. Could there be a joint account shared by a few infiltrators? Hmmm.
59. 2009-05-06 01:40  
Wow. So much activity in Singapore these days. Nice to see fundies beaten to a back seat. They never go away so all must keep your guards up. Once they see an opening, they will attack again. I suggest the Aware old members vet through all their new members and keep a tab on them. Be safe. Having your enemies inside your fortress is never a good idea.

Post #23, 25 & 26- jammyboi. Hilarious clips although I need to understand more of your event to appreciate it more! Nevertheless, you have a wicked sense of humor.
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61. 2009-05-06 01:50  
Post #41 amoebavirgin says (Posted : 06 May 2009 0:55) :
"Wow percole's reminder came in very timely..."

It's ironic that those who are supposedly religiously motivated resort to fakery and deceit either here or in the AWARE saga itself, and seem to have missed one of the main messages of religion, just because they are so blinded by the untrue anti-gay rhetoric and articles of some individuals.

62. 2009-05-06 01:55  
Connor: Perhaps you should learn to spell properly so that you can articulate your arguments more clearly. I'm sure that with all the time you spend in Cali though you have better things to do, right? By the way your quote "tonight i take my shirt off at Cali Fitness on Orchard Roadand everyone knows who i am and how hot I am so I don't need your certification" proves only one thing, that you feel the need for validation from others. I pity you and your kind to not have an understanding of what real validation is.
63. 2009-05-06 06:47  
wow, OMG, when do we have to prove our gayness? what about diversity and different ideas in the gay kingdom? is Fridae only for gay radicals that want to overthrow the world? get a clue people and hire a focus group leader and live out in the real world, I am real guy and real person sorry if you don't like what I have to say and if truth hurts, but not every gay guy agrees with creeps like Jammyboi and by the way people know who I am in Singapore and I am smart and successful and no daddy issues or money issues to speak of, clearly a new generation of successful gay men is not gonna be taken for granted anymore and we are not gonna be force fed to believe this stupid AWARE bullshit victory when nothing happened except we can create a mob, the sad thing is now everyone is parnoid and creating a gay witchhunt now, when really cool gay people don't want to have anything to do with this crap for over 40 old gay men that didn't do anything smart or cool with their lives and just use some lesbians to fight a battle for us with no result and just creates disharmony in our own gay community, come see who really cares about this tonight in a formal survey or California Fitness or this weekend at PLAY, cause normal happy gay guys life certainly isn't any better and freaks are taking over over voices out there
64. 2009-05-06 07:06  
I find it discouraging that an Anglican church would be so anti-lgbt as the one mentioned in Singapore (COOS). Overall, the Anglican communion is generally much more tolerant and aware.

Christian fundamentalism, which has hi-jacked Christianity throughout the world, is not representative of the Jesus found in the Gospels (New Testament). I don't believe one can look at Jesus' openness and tolerance, and read the parables he taught, and still be anti-lgbt as are Christian fundamentalists.

It is interesting that Jesus never says any word about lgbt issues (the one or two references usually cited by fundamentalists are from Paul--and I believe the fundamentalists are twisting Paul's comments).

Yet Jesus strongly condemns divorce. I wonder why the Christian fundamentalists are not in line with Jesus' teachings on this important marital issue.
65. 2009-05-06 09:31  

"Please could you be more specific (where, what?). Is it the usual reversal tactic where fundamentalists accuse us (and others they see as "the enemy") of doing what they are actually doing, in order to distract attention from their activities?"

Both of those comments were on sammyboy.com, and on threads on the AWARE controversy.

I know it would be nicer if I could post the urls to the two threads themselves, but the threads there on this topic have been long and I would have to go through all of them to find those two specific comments. But they were both made within the last few days.

As for the reversal tactic, I couldn't tell if the writers were Christian Taliban; there are an assortment of other homophobes - seemingly pro-democracy on all other issues - all over who live by the dictum: "Democracy for myself, but not for others."

66. 2009-05-06 09:45  
Hi amoebavirgin:

The writer(s)/editors of sgpolitics are known persons, and would therfore have to be guarded in their commentary.

But the PAP IB is far more insidious than the description in that article.

I know two people now who have had their PCs repeatedly crashed by their hackers, and the timining is uncanny: it always happens when tensions are at their peak and only to those on the side of a democratic cause.

More recntly, the guys from wayangparty.com tracked the IP addresses of many of the trolls harassing them and vandalizing their site to government or publicly funded bodies. The editors wrote an expose revealing the information - I remember MFA and even the innoucuous NLB being among them - and then guess what?


Here's wikipedia's introductory sentence on the topic. Take note that manipulating public opinion is also on eof the goals of the PAP IB.

"Internet police is a generic term for police and secret police departments and other organizations in charge of policing internet in a number of countries.[1] The major purposes of internet police, depending on the state, are fighting cybercrime, as well as censorship, propaganda, and monitoring and manipulating the online public opinion."

67. 2009-05-06 09:49  
Guys, notice how connor is maxing out on every gay streotype in the book.

Which gay man (or has he become bi again?), even with severe internalized homophobia, do you know who does that?

Perhaps connor feels very anxious to PROVE that he's gay, given that nothing else he says about himself or any gay-themed topic is likely to convince anyone that he is queer.
68. 2009-05-06 10:33  
You are right. Notice the number of "gay"s he used. Its as if he was describing something detached from his own identity. And the use of "kingdom", strangely familiar to the "Transformation 09"'s message to public? And the boring repetition of terms like "Cali Gym" and "Play", as if it were the "gayest" words possible? Also, how he chooses to attack jammyboi (who came the closest to engaging him in a flame war) although all of us have lashed out at him? Interesting, we should turn this thread into a How-to-Identify-the-Infiltrators-thru-Close-Reading lesson, conducted by percole and jammyboi. =)

For a moment there, i wondered if he could be REALLY one of us , and because of his new initiation to his own, true sexuality only at the age of 28 , displays a uncontrollable need to stereotype himself for self-recognition's sake. Hmmm. NAH. Silly me.

But everyone, take a deep breath and notice how he has got us to deviate from our original discussion. Even our mature commenters like steveuk can't bear not to tap him on his head. WHERE IS OUR FRIDAE BRIGADE THEN?! HELLOOOO!

69. 2009-05-06 11:11  
hey steveuk: sorry for my late reply. i can't believe you're a foreigner! We ought to be ashamed of ourselves that one of the most articulate and poignant speakers here is actually a non-Singaporean. (and also cos we have dorks like u-know-who) I am curious to know if you are just into Singapore's affairs or generally concerned for every country's gay rights (and i'll be in awe if you call your participation till now a "general concern")? And if its just Singapore you wanna "liberate" (haha), why us!

After the rude disruption of our infiltrators, its only right to consolidate the arguments till now and focus focus focus:
2 issues:
1) COOS is starting a petition against us? Any updates? And the point about blatantly anti-secular remarks existing on certain Christian websites - can we do anything about it?
2) the Internet Brigade (PAP or otherwise) - does it exist and how can we defend our freedom of speech?
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72. 2009-05-06 11:34  
Connor, the website has gays, lesbians, bisexual & transgendered people of all ages, ethnicities, socio-economic status & walks of life, which I'm very sure you are aware of, no pun intended- when you signed up as a member. Welcome..bt do not overstay yr welcome & take advantage of our inclusive stance & freedom of speech to launch personal attacks & sap the community's morale. If you want to flaunt yr self-appointed 'hotness' or 'popularity' , then Fridae's clearly nt for you as this website is not for superfical people. I've used simple English, so hopefully you can understand my msg. Otherwise don't cry foul when I shout 'QUEL CONNARD!' to you if you carry on with yr behavior. ;-)

The AWARE outcome is not just a triumph for women & sexual minorities, it was also a brilliant demonstration of how civil society can solve their own problems without the Government's interference. A couple of readers mentioned to the Straits Times Forum how the event powerfully shattered their infamous stereotype of Singapore women as apathetic/ materialistic.
An Indian lady, Ms Devi, also wrote of her relief & delight that the new leadership reflected a 'multi-racial, multi-religious' mix that assured her AWARE will be in good hands. And I believe not a few of the women who turned up @ Suntec were the very ones AWARE had previously helped.
What goes around comes around...it's the good karma of the Old Guard that helped restore the natural balance of things. Go!Go!Go! allez allez. :-)
73. 2009-05-06 11:49  
As i was walking my dog just now, i pondered over a question:

If we do do something about the anti-secularist "absolute moral authority" stance that certain religious groups have taken, will we be outstepping our domain of interests? Of course the civil society's integrity should be upheld at all costs and by any group,but further provoking this particular group seems to be an unwise strategy. We all know "pushing our enemies to the wall" will definitely generate more dissent than approval. I think the AWARE saga should end here, while passionate voices die down, because we must remember that our "victory" was only possible because neutral voices were polarized (to our advantage) by Josie and gang's anti-secularist intentions. IF we pursue this so-called victory, i think we might be pushing our luck.

But either way, knowing such information will definitely back us up when similar debates resurface.
74. 2009-05-06 13:14  
to 'amoebavigin' re post 51.
I actually think YOU are the most articulate person in this particular forum. Your last post 53 is so very 'spot-on' . I was actually thinking along these same lines, regarding not provoking any backlash, and that the sg gay community should be knowing when to moderate the outcry. But I couldnt have put as eloquently as yourself.

The biggest victory could well be in our dignity. Lets never sink to the level of our persecutors.
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76. 2009-05-06 14:41  

Very good points you raised. And I agree with you 100% that we should mind our own business & respect one another's boundaries. But one point I don't quite understand fr yr post:
how is it that we are "pushing our enemies to the wall" & 'pursuing this so-called victory'?
We never flaunt it in their faces, nor do we register on their websites with fake profiles & leave inflammatory comments. Besides, in light of the recent transpired events & what you've witnessed right here, we can't afford to slacken or let our guard down, lest hostile elements sneak in by the back door & took over the house before we even realize what's happening.

77. 2009-05-06 17:13  
Hi again Bains! I think its great that we have sustained our dialogue of ideas and ideals from pre-AWARE saga to the post mortem (if it IS the end). =)

I definitely agree with you that we "can't afford to slacken or let our guard down". My context when i spoke against "pushing our enemies to the wall" & "pursuing this victory" was : refer to #51, acting against the anti-secular proclamations made by the Christian fundamentalist camp. Some of their statements have absolutely nothing to do with the AWARE saga but nevertheless, are a threat to Singapore's diversity and secularism. In my references to steveuk's posts, I was encouraging something "to be done" about their stand. But now on hindsight, I think we should stay put and secure our victory , instead of tossing it on the table to gamble for a huger one e.g. the government stepping in to persecute The Christian Post (sg). I apologize for my sudden shift in my take on these issues. I probably shouldn't air my views till they are matured and sedimented, but sometimes i just like to throw it out for discussion to hopefully get some advice from all you guys/girls out here. =)

Don't worry, I have no guilt or reservations when it comes to celebrating our victory during the EGM. Even when i saw Maureen Ong close to tears in the CNA interview. But all i'm saying is that we need to think twice before taking a step further. (And my reason behind this is definitely not "live and let live", but more of a strategic one - the masses are tired and they will be repulsed by our overexposure).

To jupiter101 : its good to know we share the same ideals. But one other thought i had was: Compared to bigots or religious extremists who exert their one-track mind, is defending diversity much harder? Our strength is in rallying the minorites, but i think our weakness is in our obligation to include all sorts of people and ideas to avoid bigotry and close-mindedness. For e.g. connor (read below) has a valid point when he says that we should give his perspective breathing space. And who is to decide whose idea is worthy of activism? I guess i'm still wavering, thats why. And on the point of dignity. Its a two sided blade. We stand proud but we can't fight dirty.
78. 2009-05-06 19:08  
Not so fast, boys and girls - the Ministry of Education just bowed to public pressure and suspended the sex ed program that was being protested in the first place

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82. 2009-05-06 20:43  
"Post #51 amoebavirgin says (Posted : 06 May 2009 11:11) :
hey steveuk: sorry for my late reply. i can't believe you're a foreigner! "

Hi Amoebavirgin,

That's why I have UK in my name.

Why do I take such a passionate interest? I've been part of a Singaporean family for over 20 years. In some ways I feel part Singaporean; sometimes I even have a slight accent. It's a remarkable and fascinating place; no one can deny that something quite amazing has been created there out of nothing in a short period of time.

But on my first trip to Singapore in the early nineties to stay with my partner's family I was quite fearful about what to expect. I'd never been to Asia before. I had heard horror stories about Singapore, gay people were persecuted. I knew for sure I was not in the ordinary world anymore when I was told off in Velvet Underground nightclub for my partner simply having his arm around me. Then the weekly gay disco was also raided for no reason during my visit.

Things have improved, but can you imagine the culture shock even now, to travel from a place where someone being gay is for most straight people no big deal, where we mostly have equality and are treated with respect by officials; a place where homophobia is not tolerated, and hate crimes against gays are prosecuted as vigorously as those against any other minority group, in other words a place where we get to live our lives just the same as everyone else

Then to step out of Changi airport into a land which despite appearances is totally out of step with the rest of the developed world, which still treats gay people incredibly offensively; which wants to use our talents to make money, but without accepting us as a part of society. A place which recently opted to nominally criminalise the males in our minority, oblivious to the offence that that caused around the world; which forbids gay people from forming associations to defend ourselves, which bans us from being visible in films and television programmes; a land where many otherwise intelligent people still think that being gay is a choice and that people can be converted to it, and which deems any attempt to educate people to the contrary to be "promoting" homosexuality, as if such a thing is possible.

And, to return to topic, it is a place where well-meaning attempts that neutral, secular and compassionate NGO's such as AWARE might make to help prevent young gay people from becoming suicidal by helping them feel good about themselves, are deliberately twisted by people like COOS so that they can take advantage, tell lies about "curing" them, and recruit them to their brand of religion. On top of that they do their reversal trick and say that that is what "the gays" are doing, recruiting them. Neat trick.

The petition regarding the AWARE education programme is one such twisting of the truth, a continuing attack on the work of AWARE. We've already had the wake up call, people should stay vigilant to these encroachments.

I just read S2's post on the suspension. I guess the ball is now in the court of AWARE's supporters.

83. 2009-05-06 20:51  
Since when do the gays recruit people? We hv better things to do like shopping, going to the gym, what else? hehehee...

Jokes aside, only the religious group, eg the christians, recruits people to be "cured" to their own extreme right wing beliefs.

The world would be a better place withou them.

Cheers cheers cheers to the ppl who voted against the exco!
84. 2009-05-06 22:23  
Church of Our Saviour is always against Gay ... Their Pastor thinks he is God sent. Those in his Church just follow him blindly without preaching Love. GOD IS LOVE ... is he showing Love or hatred in GOD's eyes ... those new exco members from the church just follow his teaching without knowing what is Love ..... if they are of GOD, where is the Love .... Thio Su Mien? the so called born again christain.
85. 2009-05-06 22:23  
I read the report "Aware Sex guide suspended " on ST online. Its vague, to say the least. But still it calls for reflection.

I quote this passage which got me thinking:
'They(the programme and GP materials) should also adhere to social norms and values of our mainstream society,' said MOE.

"'MOE and its schools do not promote alternative lifestyles to our students. MOE's framework for sexuality education reflects the mainstream views and values of Singapore society, where the social norm consists of the married heterosexual family unit,' it (the Ministry) said."

I was disappointed at first, but on afterthought, is there anything wrong with reflecting the social norms and the values of the majority? Yes, our community has been excluded from this "reflection" but like how a 2 parent family has always been taken for granted in our education (despite the prevalence of single parent families - if this is a fair analogy) , is it right to ask for more? What is our reason for demanding time allocated for information on homosexuality? Is it so we can address the concerns of a homosexual teenager without singling him/her out? Or is it aimed to reduce the possibility of homophobia in a heterosexual person? If its the former, we must understand that it reflects ( as the Christian fundies say)a "liberal bias", considering the mainstream perception of gays, and isn't exactly resource-efficient for MOE. If its the latter, that is where all the parents should be concerned.

I wrote a long letter to the ST regarding to this problem but because of its length or its inadequacy, it wasn't published. In the letter, i underlined the ultimate argument of all these debate. The "Nature or Nurture" debate. Because most people still believe in "Nurture" , the programme stands accused of promoting homosexuality. And i can understand why so. Because to a person who believes in Nurture, normalizing gay behavior IS ultimately aimed at progressing the perspectives of the public. And with this progression, alot of "borderline cases" (as the Nurture camp believes) will be encouraged to "turn gay".

But for the Nature camp, it doesn't matter what we do, a gay person will eventually be a gay person. But the benefits of having this programme, is to prevent people from succumbing to external pressure and "turn str8", and prevent depression , rebelliousness and other problems that arise from prejudice.

Since we can't find an easy answer to the N and N problem, what should MOE do? My answer was a consent form for parents and more parent participation/awareness in the sexuality programme. It seems the most plausible solution ,coming for a policy makers' pov. I also pointed out the contradiction between 377A and MOE's standing. How can they claim the neutrality of homosexuality when it is in fact, criminal? Evidently, 377A is not a hard and fast rule while sexuality programmes are more concerned about the values inculcated by accepting homosexuals as "normal" than the act of acceptance itself. This is the only explanation for the co-existence of the two policies/laws.
86. 2009-05-06 22:36  
I don't think MOE is bowing to anything. They need to strike a delicate balance and not shown as taking sides on whichever team. Singapore, being largely a conservative lot has come a long way in terms of gay evolution.
To even allow this AWARE saga go all the way to the EGM and come to a conclusion, in a way signifies Singapore's readiness to embrace a more inclusive and pluralistic views on all gays, lesbians and straights.
Now that the saga is over, the more we need to give support to not just AWARE but any organisations in some way that have taken the same view on helping all human beings regardless of race, religion and sexual orientations alike.
87. 2009-05-06 23:01  
Also read the news on Aware Sex guide being suspended by MOE. Should have read MOE's webby:

"MOE and the schools do not promote alternative lifestyles to our students. MOE's framework for sexuality education reflects the mainstream views and values of Singapore society, where the social norm consists of the married heterosexual family unit."

Mainstream. Norms and values. Seriously if one were to think about it, racial inequality was the social norms and values in the earlier days. Perhaps it still exist to a certain degree in modern days. But why should our government, or even US attempt to promote racial equality? Why do we have Deepavali, Hari Raya, Chinese New Year, or Christmas? Why promote what was diversified from the mainstream... in Singapore's case, would be the Chinese.

There's obviously a bias in the governmental sectors. Where goes democracy? And are the West right that we need to be more aggressive in our stance in order to win this "war"... the only hope that we are at least accepted and acknowledged. In regards to racial equality, it becomes more significant only after the earlier 60s racial riots. Are we to start a meaningless riot again, following along the West's public demostration?

Mr Lee was right about one thing though. If the government was force to have a definitive stance on this issue and "showhands", homosexuals might find that they have lesser spaces in SG, IF the majority are still unaccepting of homosexuals. But now the war has been brought upon us instead by Thio and those who share her beliefs.

I believe that the coup and "de-coup" only serves to build solidarity amongst our community, which might be time that we should be more proactive... Not necessarily riot, but to push for a national consensus to evaluate the acceptance level of people towards homosexuality.
88. 2009-05-06 23:03  
Hey amoebavirgin, bains, percole, steveuk and percole , I'm glad for you guys' contributions to this discussion. It's true we must move on from this AWARE saga, there are lessons to be learnt and most certainly we should continue to be vigilant - this is only the tip of an iceberg, these fanatical religious zealots won't give up so easily. They have already infiltrated into the universities and many government and quasi govt organizations. We have to stay aware , very aware.
89. 2009-05-06 23:50  
Post #61 amoebavirgin says (Posted : 06 May 2009 22:23) :
"In the letter, i underlined the ultimate argument of all these debate. The "Nature or Nurture" debate. Because most people still believe in "Nurture" , the programme stands accused of promoting homosexuality"

You make some interesting points that help understand the other point of view. But fundamentalists often claim we actually chose to be gay, not simply arguing the nurture/nature debate.

If they argue Nature/Nurture issue, they claim we were all abused, come from broken families etc., as TSM did during the AWARE saga. Total hogwash; my partner and I both come from stable, loving families, no divorce, no abuse, and our siblings are all straight. If it was nurture there would be many more gay people in the world than there are: heterosexual orientation would be a total lottery dependent on upbringing instead of the norm for 93% of the population as it is.

I know of no real evidence for the nurture camp, and pushing that view causes innocent parents to feel they are somehow "to blame"; the case is overwhelming for nature, even 35 years ago all the expert medical evidence submitted to the UK parliament was that sexuality was fixed by the age of 3; it has since been established that a person's sexuality is fixed by the time of birth, the most convincing to me being that it's to do with hormone levels in the womb during pregnancy.

Homosexual orientation also occurs throughout the animal kingdom, the most famous recent example being the gay male penguin couple in New York Zoo immortalised in the book "And Tango makes Three"; the couple even adopted an unwanted egg from a straight pair and took turns sitting on it and going for food until it hatched. Is TSM going to suggest that these penguins were abused as chicks or their parents got divorced? And remember that fundamentalist farmer in the US who had to admit it was nature as he was trying some chemical means to "cure" the 8% (I think) of his goats that were gay and reducing his profits?

Young gay people desperately need reassurance and non-judgmental support from neutral, secular people like those at AWARE who do not have a hidden religious agenda, and to deprive them of it for political expediency is reprehensible.

90. 2009-05-07 00:53  
Good riddance to those fundamentalists and their "nonsense".
91. 2009-05-07 02:28  
Check this out. Another leaked email, this time to Lee Hsien Loong.


Dear PM Lee,

I am writing as a concerned parent with regards to the gay community and activists having again staged another push of their homosexual agenda into the schools and education; through hijacking "sex education" in our public school curriculum and in doing so, trying to purport and redefine the meaning of marriage and the meaning of family.

Our definition on Family and Marriage is unequivocal; "The family is the basic building block of our society and we want to keep it so. And by "family" in Singapore, we mean one man one woman, marrying, having children and bringing up children within that framework of a stable family unit." This stand is in absolute agreement and uniform to your Government policy's stand on Family and Marriage.

Prime Minister, in your policy statement on the debate on Homosexuality in Parliament on 23 Oct 2007, you explained succinctly the Government's stand and why 377A was not repeal. In your speech you also rightly preempted this present move by the gay activist to PUSH FOR MORE, "to change what taught in schools, to advocate same-sex marriages and parenting".

Again quoting from your same speech, Mr. Prime Minister, on the Government's stand and on Singaporean society's stand and definition on Marriage and Family; you stated, "Many Members have said this, but it is true and it is worth saying again. Singapore is basically a conservative society. The family is the basic building block of our society. It has been so and, by policy, we have reinforced this and we want to keep it so. And by "family" in Singapore, we mean one man one woman, marrying, having children and bringing up children within that framework of a stable family unit."

Further in your statement, you reiterated; "But a heterosexual stable family is a social norm. It is what we teach in schools. It is also what parents want their children to see as their children grow
up, to set their expectations and encourage them to develop in this direction. I think the vast majority of Singaporeans want to keep it this way. They want to keep our society like this, and so does the Government." "This is the way Singapore society is today. This is the way the majority of Singaporeans want it to be. So, we should strive to maintain a balance, to uphold a stable society with traditional, heterosexual family values, but with space for homosexuals to live their lives and contribute to the society."

So as the silent majority of Singaporean of many whom are not anti-gay; but who are strenuously opposed to these follow-up moves by the gay campaigners to push their agenda "to change what is taught in the schools, to advocate same-sex marriages and parenting"; firstly, we strongly stated our unequivocal support to you, our Prime Minister, Mr. Lee Hsien Loong, and the abovementioned Government's policy on Marriage and Family; and secondly to urge the Minister of Education and the Ministry of Education to come into alignment, promote and educate our children in strict adherent to this policy in all their schools' syllabus and sex education programs.

We want to further remind you Mr. Prime Minister of your own pragmatic balance to this issue that can polarize our society; and strongly urge you not to allow or encourage activists to champion gay rights as they do in the West so that there is space in Singapore and room for us to live harmoniously and practically, all as Singapore citizens together.

"I think we have also been right to adapt, to accommodate homosexuals in our society, but not to allow or encourage activists to champion gay rights as they do in the West. So I suggest, Mr Speaker, and I suggest to the Members of the House, we keep this balance, leave section 377A alone. I think there is space in Singapore and room for us to live harmoniously and practically, all as Singapore citizens together." Lee Hsien Loong in Parliament on 23 Oct 2007 as recorded by
Official Parliamentary Reports (Hansard).

I must stress most emphatically: The love all Singaporeans should extend to those who are afflicted with homosexualism or lesbianism should only be that of loving these homosexuals and
lesbians, enough - to most seriously and lovingly help them to be freed from homosexualism or lesbianism. No different from those who are afflicted with drug addiction, alcohol addiction, sex addiction and etc.

Should Singaporeans also tolerate any introduction of "Comprehensive Health Programme" that regards drug addiction, alcohol addiction, sex addiction and etc to be "neutral"? I must also stress: Those religious leaders who openly teach homosexualism and lesbianism to be sins, and who demonstrate genuine love for homosexuals and lesbians by reaching out to free them from such addictions - are the precious honest, truthful religious leaders Singapore and humanity need.

Majulah Singapura!

Thank you.

Yours sincerely,

Nga Thio Ping
XX PXXX Grove #0X-0X

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93. 2009-05-07 03:16  
SARS is God's punishment for legalizing abortion, says Prophet Thio Su Mien:


Thio Su Mien, an international "expert" in prophetic intercession and healing:

"Last February, a USSPN Washington Regional Coordinator was present during a report given by an international lawyer from Singapore, Thio Su Mien (Su), who is gifted in prophetic intercession and healing. She shared about some of the things going on in the area of Indonesia before the tsunami.

She explained how the SARS virus hit Singapore a year prior to the earthquake/tsunami. The Lord alerted the intercessors and told them that if they did not get on their faces and repent on behalf of their nation's involvement in abortion as the contraceptive of choice, that the land would suffer from His hand of judgment.

Because they saw how devastating the SARS virus had been, the intercessors immediately took action to seek His mercy and forgiveness. Singapore was not touched by the earthquake disaster. The Malaysian intercessors joined them in diligent prayer and also opened healing rooms in Kuala Lampur. The area on the Northern Coast of Malaysia was hit hard. There are amazing stories of God's grace and mercy in saving souls and lives there."

[Source: The Elijah List - Prophetic words and prophecies]
94. 2009-05-07 04:03  
Hi amoebavirgin:

"COOS is starting a petition against us? Any updates? And the point about blatantly anti-secular remarks existing on certain Christian websites - can we do anything about it?"

I don't know anything about this petition by COOS, or who the "us" refers to. Care to enlighten?

As for your second question in the quote, I'll hazard my own explanation which may or may not be how things actually work .

All websites are private property and are therefore free to publish what they want, provided no laws are broken.

Secularism is a principle, and not law. However, it is based on the simultaneous interpretation of two articles of Constitutional law, namely those of "freedom of religion" and the "equality of all religions".

(Note: The "freedom of religion" implies the freedom not to have a religion; atheism and agnosticism are as equally protected by law as any religion.)

So, to the question of whether we can do anything when there is a blatant anti-secularism message on a Christian website particularly if it contains a call to action, my guess is that we CAN - in theory - since it breaches the Religious Harmony Act.

Experience is showing more and more that the PAP will only take action againt equivalent action by Muslims, but never the Christian Taliban who are very safely esconced within the protective arms of the party.

"...the Internet Brigade (PAP or otherwise) - does it exist and how can we defend our freedom of speech?"

Believe it!

In my opinion, the only way to keep defending our freedom of speech in the PRIVATE domain that is the internet - we DON"T have freedom of speech in the public domain, which should be more of a concern - is to keep an open mind, question everything that is thrown at you, examine critically EVERYTHING that is said , and speak your mind once you've made up your mind.

Screw the PAP or Christian Taliban IB!
95. 2009-05-07 05:02  
The bone of contention in the CSE appears to be the FACTUAL statement - I'm paraphrasing - "Anal sex can be healthy if done with consent and with condoms to protect from STDs".

People with spines should be asking those without the following questions:

1. Is anal sex a reality, even among heterosexual couples? (In absolute numbers, more heterosexuals practise or have practised anal sex than the total number of male homosexuals in any country.)

2. If anal sex is a reality, and some people may have an aversion to it, is it or is not healthy to get the consent of your sexual partner should a person want anal sex?

3. If anal sex is a reality, and in the light of HIV and other STDs, is the use of condoms healthy?

4. A grossly overlooked point: To those who practise anal sex, is it FUN?

5. If anal sex is such a sore point with the Christian Taliban, why didn't they oppose the PAP in 2007 when they decriminalized ANAL SEX but ONLY FOR HETEROSEXUALS?

I really have no idea why the savage hordes in the Christian Taliban camp are devoting as much time and energy into making other people miserable and unhappy; they are clearly proving that theirs is a single-issue religion.

It is time to stand up and overcome this sexophobia that is preventing us from speaking up about the TRUTH about specific sex acts.

Sex is a natural part of being a human being; it's sexophobia that is unnatural.
96. 2009-05-07 06:28  
Hi again amoebavirgin:

"...is there anything wrong with reflecting the social norms and the values of the majority? ...is it right to ask for more?"

Yes to both questions.

"What is our reason for demanding time allocated for information on homosexuality?"

Constitutional law guarantees the equality of all persons in Singapore jurisdiction. That means that queers are equal to non-queers - the relative sizes of the groups are immaterial in law. (Please scroll down to Article 12 of the Constitution below.)


Additionally, queers pay equitable level of taxes to get equal access to public goods and services like sex education in schools.

Putting the two together, it is well within our rights to ask that sex education reflects the legitimate sexual expression of both majority and minority.

It is well within our rights to ask that queers too get equal access to sex education that benefits us.

It is also well within our rights to ask that sex education that causes us mental and emotional distress, like the sex education provided by Focus on the Family, be removed from the curriculum; the existence of such programs would not be "equal protection" under the law.

Finally, thank you for the opportunity to raise this point even if you may already know it; it is also for others who read this.

97. 2009-05-07 06:30  
Hi loverman2611:

You're welcome. Do stick around.
Comment #98 was deleted by its author
99. 2009-05-08 18:09  
Thio Su Mein, that poor bitter homo-obsessor, strikes again...and again...and again...err, if there is a will there is a way???
lol..maybe we COULD learn a thing or two fr her ;-)
As for the MOE, if it isn't brain-dead, it could have looked no further than the USA's very own "world-class" George W Bush's.. endorsement of Conservative Evengelism & its disastrous
consequences...what happened during his term?
Teenage pregnancies in the US actually INCREASED...with Bristol Palin the unofficial 'poster-girl'. :-p
Enough said.
100. 2009-05-08 18:46  
Hi percole,

Thank you for your string of very poignant comments. I'll have to address them one by one, considering the depths you have gone to while replying each of my doubts/questions. (please bear with me)

#94 - I readily assumed that "something could be done" regarding anti-secularist statements but you gave me a, if not wholly accurate, possible legal justification for any action to be taken. I thank you for that and i will get my homework done once i get back "home". However, I still have my doubts as to whether anything "should" be done. And I reiterate, i'm not coming from a moralistic or pacifist point of view, but from one of political expediency.

#95 - You got me checking the term "healthy". I never thought i would do so ever since Pri 2. But first lets put things into perspective for the random passerbys:

I quote ST online on what was actually stated in the Aware instructor guide for the CSE : "'Anal sex can be healthy or neutral if practised with consent and with a condom".

Since MOE has gotten nitpicky with the choice of words in the guide, I think its only fair that we get even fussier. "Healthy" has 2 meanings to it. I used dictionary.com and here are the 2 meanings:
1) Possesses health
2) Conducive to health
And "health" also has two meanings to it, pertaining to the general condition of body/mind:
3) Soundness
4) Vigor

Why am i going down to root words? I'm trying to show 2 things: Firstly, the Aware sex guide probably didn't think it will be undergoing such word-for-word scrutiny (think "neutral"). But still, their statement has ambiguity. As above: (1) and (3) is very neutral while (2) and (4) is sort of suggesting that anal sex is like brushing teeth or eating vegetables - should be encouraged. However considering the "better safe than sorry" , defensive and conservative attitudes most sg parents have when it comes to sex, they would rather interpret it as (2) and (4). I think the choice of words wasn't the best.

Secondly, by exaggerating the obsession with definitions (like how "neutral" can only mean "neutral"), I hope to put things into perspective. The kind of rational debate we have been simulating hasn't and prob wouldn't make it to court (unless for e.g. Aware sues MOE for prematurely terminating the contract or sth). So we're actually trying to resolve this civilly. So we're not going to win over the crowds by telling them how Aware ACTUALLY meant that anal sex was "healthy" when compared to "unprotected and unconsensual anal sex". We're fighting the deduced/implied meanings which are subjected to a conservative outlook on sex as a whole. So although we might make all sense to us rational people and Socrates, we won't last a minute facing the ignorant but massive numbers.

Also, If Aware were to say "Sex is healthy with the use of condoms and practised with consent", i'm sure the same outrage would occur. I personally think the "bone of contention" is Aware's stand on homosexuality as most of the "petitioners" have clearly objected to. The rest of the issues (anal sex n premarital sex) were added only to firm up the package and also to mask the homophobic agenda in times of contention. So how do we argue the validity and appropriateness of "Homosexuality is neutral"? I find it extremely difficult to do so without causing a whole national debate on values, majority and constitutional laws. The recent events do not yet have enough gunpowder to warrant such a debate, which, if prematurely evoked, might turn against us . What then? When i wrote 2 ill-fated letters into ST, all i could do (being a pragmatist) was suggest that MOE was compromising its integrity by giving into the demands of a "vocal majority" and also, (again) suggest that the wrath of the parents of students who have already undergone the CSE can be a big threat as well. I find it easier and more efficient to question MOE than try to argue the 7000 bigots over. And by probing, I'm hoping for them to clarify what exactly is wrong with the neutrality statement and maybe even state the NEW official stand. And if outright prejudice occurs, we might be able to take it from there.

As to #96, I must really thank you percole for alleviating my doubts. For a moment there I faltered. I just couldn’t rationalize to myself why time should be allocated for the discussion of homosexual issues. All I had in favor of such a “right” was my common sense and empathy. Now, with your deductive argument and the points made in this ST blog (h ttp://blogs.straitstimes.com/2009/5/8/get-your-values-out-of-my-elite-uncaring-face), I think we might be empowered to pursue legal redress. Also, your argument is in line with my belief that the mental/sexual wellbeing of all youths, should come before the enforced homophobia implied in the retention of 377A. Do we have any lawyers and parents of homosexuals who are concerned enough to speak up?

Comment edited on 2009-05-08 18:51:06
Comment #101 was deleted by its author
102. 2009-05-08 19:43  
Percole, Amoebavirgin, you both make interesting points; I believe it’s best left to secular, neutral educationalists to advocate what can or should be taught and how, and how best to meet the demands of both liberal and conservative parents, and the needs of their children.

The takeover itself is now part of an even bigger concern; there are articles and research available online showing that our suspicions about the fundamentalists were actually way short of the mark; the AWARE takeover has now exposed the extent of subversion of secular and religious space that has been going on in Singapore and elsewhere for some time. It is suggested that SG has been particularly targeted, and my guess is that the taboo on discussing religion has helped certain groups to operate covertly, keeping under the radar till now. These groups are really very political organisations.

It includes the use of “cell-churches”, (COOS is an example of a cell church) to mobilise. Cells are small groups within certain churches that operate in a pyramid, a bit like multi-level marketing. The small groups grow and divide, like amoebas, as they recruit, and are easily controlled from above. In some cases, in America, they have been shown to be coercive and abusive. They have apparently been used to take over moderate churches of various denominations, and secular NGOs. It is suggested this may be what happened at COOS itself at some stage in the past and why it, in practise, no longer resembles an Anglican church, but a Pentecostal one. AWARE was obviously a secular NGO target.

These groups are apparently not averse to what is known as “heavenly deception”, of which we’ve had some examples in these comment columns.

I wonder how many parents would let their children become involved with such groups if they knew the background, agenda, and the potential for brainwashing. Personality changes have been noted in those that get involved. I just realised this is what must have happened to a friend of mine (not in SG) who was seduced by a young woman into joining an Assemblies of God church (apparently part of the same movement) since when he has exhibited extremely strange behaviour.

If you want to know what’s going on, read the articles; they can be difficult to follow sometimes, the path of long tentacles reaching back even to sometimes violent, extremist groups in the US can be complex, but it’s well worth reading.

The recent “Transformations” conference (the one that the AWARE EGM was going to be held next to by the new exco) involving 40 churches is also mentioned in the articles, and should also perhaps be considered a wake up call.

Here are a couple of links:

A Steeplejacking of a Women's NGO In Singapore: A rare glimpse at how Joel's Army groups work in practice
H ttp://dogemperor.newsvine.com/_news/2009/04/24/2729992-a-steeplejacking-of-a-womens-ngo-in-singapore-a-rare-glimpse-at-how-joels-army-groups-work-in-practice


“The AWARE steeplejackers and their deep connections to Joel’s Army and American dominionists”

h ttp://wayangparty.com/?p=9047

103. 2009-05-08 19:48  
By the way, I'm not keen on this new layout of comments with newest at the bottom. We now have to scroll through a hundred comments we've already seen, which is no fun on a little ipod.
Comment edited on 2009-05-08 19:52:32
Comment #104 was deleted by its author on 2009-05-08 19:49
Comment #105 was deleted by its author
Comment #106 was deleted by its author
107. 2009-05-09 02:17  
AWARE....Please please come to Hong Kong. We have a very similar situation where a few 'religious right' people have grabbed media attention in a very well planned strategy,one of the leaders being a bigited psychiatrist who has gained the trust of govererment. We have these narrow minded Christians in government positions who have appointed a Truth of Life group to run Human Rights classes in schools. ! Of course anything which offends these rightists is excluded from the curriculum e.g a wide sex education etc..Similar to the group ousted from the AWARE committee. The similarity is striking . Help Hong Kong to do the same.
108. 2009-05-09 04:38  
Way to go Christians. Make some friends, win some hearts for the Lord... Where does this lot draw its inspiration from anyway? The US fundamentalist Right? These so-called "Christian" action groups need to do some Bible Study and read up on the parable of the sheep and the goats (Matthew 25:31-46).
109. 2009-05-10 00:34  
110. 2009-05-11 08:39  
Phew! I'm back after that long wait.

First thing I noticed is that many posts have been deleted. On closer look, it seems as if those posts that had links in it have been the casualty.

If this is a new fridae policy, could web admin please state so because it looks like heavy handedness otherwise. And please state the policy with each discussion topic.
111. 2009-05-11 08:40  
Why couldn't I post?
112. 2009-05-11 12:47  
connor: 109. 2009-05-10 00:34 posted; "sorry"


Hmm, is this a technical error too or did we really see an apology from HellBoy? LOL. Watever u (Fridae) did to arm wrest an apology out (it's way overdue anyways) for watever reasons ( flame baiting mostly I reckoned), Bravo, keep it up. Hugs! ;)

percole: I believe most deleted posts are the offensive ones, so I welcome them. Post with links still show up except not as a clickable link but just the link address. ;)
113. 2009-05-13 17:02  
Wow, to think so much has happened in these 2wks while i'm on holiday...that's great Singapore! Or rather, those who courageously stood up & fought off the bullies- I saw the video & salute their sheer TRANSPARENT INTEGRITY-BRAVO!!!!
Luck favours the brave indeed -and the ethical ;))
Comment #114 was deleted by its author
115. 2009-05-15 12:52  
Not so fast, girlongirl.
Homo-obsessors Thio are still not finished with us.
They are a lot like acne, stubbornly appearing & reappearing despite our double-dose of "benzoyl peroxide" :p
Apply too much, however, & you risk ruining the skin (society), so to make sure they disappear or at least be kept @ bay, we should seriously consider a few 'anti-acne' medication':

1) Fight the acne fr WITHIN yr systems first by cleaning up yr "digestive" tract: reducing or eliminating junk food (pop culture, faux-gays/ lesbians, u get the picture ).

2) Eat 'healthier vegetables & fruits" to 'strengthen immunity' (knowledge & general awareness). Get at least 4-5 servings daily :p

3) Exercise (travel, adventure) for fresh air, recharging & harnessing of strength, in order to develop immunity

4) Change pillowcases/ bedsheets & clean up yr envirornment (commmunity events, websites) frequently to get plenty of fresh air, maintain conduciveness & strong 'hygiene' standards

5) And oh, don't forget to have fun! Indulge in gourmet (true friends), fine wine (quality bfs/gfs) , sex (hmm...hehehe) or anything you like ...just not ALL the time :D

Acne may not disappear overnight, but it we maintain all of the above consistently, we should be able to see results after a few months :D

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