Saturday, April 25, 2009

Thank you, Mrs Jean Tan

Sometimes, you don't physically be in a queer-straight alliance to do what you do, or say what you say.

I felt a bit disappointed I did not get published (yet), but one woman's letter captures some of the points I had wanted to make and she deserves to be heard.

Straits Times forum writer, Mrs Jean Tan, shows her support for diversity, and uses herself as an example, in that she has "homosexual friends" who come from "neither abusive nor dysfunctional families". She represents not tolerance, but acceptance. Thank you, Jean. (there are other letters too that have called for respect and acceptance: here and here)

Here is the online letter:

Will new leaders impose beliefs on Aware?

The Aware situation has left me with many disturbing thoughts as a woman, wife and mother. I have never been involved with Aware in any way, but I always felt there was a need for such an association.

It is horrible that the new executive committee (exco) members have received threats and we should not allow such behaviour in our civilised society. I hope the police can help Aware president Josie Lau and her family.

However, we should not be blindsided and link these despicable threats with the old guard.

As a parent, I am concerned about the more insidious kinds of influence and messages my child is exposed to and the environment he will grow up in. What about qualities such as honesty, respect, openness, acceptance of diversity and inclusivity?

The high-handed behaviour of the new exco members demonstrates that they lack these qualities - from the way they treat past exco members, to their keeping silent on their agenda, to the way they changed the locks and held a press conference without informing the old guard. Are these the actions of a caring society that should include and help women from all walks of life?

The new exco claimed it wanted to honour the work of the past exco, but Ms Lau now says she was 'being very polite' when she said earlier that Aware had lost its focus.

While the new exco claimed it does not have an agenda, it is clear now it does. The new leaders joined Aware under instigation or persuasion from a single source to push their agenda.

It is highly worrying that the Aware exco now comprises mainly women from a certain religious sub-group with highly conservative points of view.

It seems to me that, contrary to the new exco's claims that the old guard was focused on issues of homosexuality, it is the new committee that has an agenda to eradicate any opinions on homosexuality contrary to its own.

I find it unbelievable that Dr Thio Su Mien says she has nothing personal against homosexuals, when her understanding of them demonstrates her ignorance. The homosexual friends I know came from neither abusive nor dysfunctional families.

As a multiracial, multicultural society, we have always thrived on and celebrated diversity and inclusivity. Singapore has taken steps forward because we have shown that people of different backgrounds - be they religious, racial or sexual - can work together.

Aware, as an organisation that supports women and equality, should all the more embody these values of openness, acceptance and candidness.

Thus the situation with Aware has broader implications beyond the group itself. If it is shown - and I am just giving a hypothetical example here - that a group of people with a specific ideology can simply take over an institution that embodies acceptance of diversity and celebrates non-discrimination, what would that signal?

I am sure the new guard are all good women individually and they have the right to their own beliefs. But will they impose those beliefs and challenge the very pillars that made Aware the credible and welcoming organisation it was, and I hope still is, regardless of race, religion and sexuality?
Jean Tan (Mrs)

Unfortunately, the comments posted by some people in reaction to her letter reek of intolerance.

Today, 08:00 AM

Close the damned bloody organisation down

They are a disgrace to women to singapore by their bickering and hen-fight

The duly elected new exco was met with rebellion from day one and not given any chance to work, thanks to support by Straits Times and the open sniping by the duly voted out exco - sore losers, their mission of gay and lesbian promotion lost.

The more this saga goes on daily, the more infuriating to more people in singapore

Don't blame the new exco for subverting the organisation. It is the old exco who had subverted it to promote LGBT in the name of equality and inclusiveness! My foot ! It is blatant promotion of gay rights, period. Now we know they infiltrate the organisation like a jihadist!

I call upon the authority to close the damned thing NOW !

Today, 08:03 AM

Gays are a deviant group . There are many gays in NUS , NTU and SMU . i am worried . Why aren't they doing something about it ? it is horrifying to find all these gays students in NUS , NTU and SMU

Gays are a deviant group . How can a mother feel safe to send her sons to NUS , NTU and SMU ?

Today, 08:46 AM

Promote Lesbianism? What does that do to our already low procreation rate?

Where are we going to get our babies from..Where are our future soldiers going to come from ?

Where are going to get the next generation of workers and tax payers to look after the mid age and the elderly of today?

What does this do to our Health budget?

This undermines our Total Defence Strategy.

Promoting Lesbianism is anti Nation building activity. Period - Shut down the lesbian movement before they shut down our beloved country with their deviant agenda !!!

Go to the EGM and stand up for decent family values and the Nation.

Today, 09:43 AM

regardless of race, religion and sexuality?

this jean tan don't even know the national Pledge... she must have been brainwashed by LGBT activists and perhaps trying to change the Pledge itself!

It's regardless of race, language or religion. Jean Tan isn't a Singaporean; singaporeans should know the pledge lah LOL!

Today, 09:44 AM

Since the old guard disagrees, and insists on their hidden pro-LGBT agenda, they should form their own "guniang" gang for Alex Au and other LGBTs to brainwash little children into accepting lesbianism and homosexuality. Form YOUR own gang and move on, girls!

Today, 10:05 AM

The old AWARE Pro-Gay agenda has been uncovered by Dr Thio and team.

If they have not kicked out the old committee, Singaporeans would not have known that this 'respectable' women organization is just a pro-Gay group!

Why has it been hijacked by gay issues? Because i believe homosexuals are officially not allowed to set up a GAY society in Singapore.

Today, 10:56 AM

It's unfortunate that gayism and lesbianism have infiltrated Singapore . We have a group of vocal pro-homosexual activists flooding the st forum with propaganda to fight a losing battle. The more they write and bicker about their loss, the more we know about their agenda to shift AWARE towards a gay right society. If this saga hasn't happened, they would have succeeded in turning the AWARE into Gayaware or lesbianaware. And the whole society would be a huge madi gras for these abnormal humans.

The list will go on in time.


Weiye said...

The comment by Charlllotte is so funny that I can't stop laughing.

Well, Charlllotte will be sad to know that this IS a meritocratic society (to some extent) and the people who will get into NUS, NTU and SMU will still be those who can excel in their education. Maybe we should reconsider this policy, and make religion the deciding factor for university enrollment if that's what she's after.

Oh. And we have lots of deviant lecturers and staff too. Hahaha. That doesn't bode well for her sons since lecturers have arbitrarily greater power over students.

Lim Leng Hiong said...

Wow, there's a lot of animosity towards homosexuals...

Sometimes I'm glad that I'm not homosexual, but then I realize that people can still hate me for other reasons, such as my strong stance against superstition and woo-woo pseudoscience.

Which brings me to my point.

Sam, I know that many people, including yourself, consider anti-homosexuality as the key issue in the AWARE saga, especially after Dr. Thio Su Mien's press conference.

I respectfully disagree. I feel that this issue is only the most visible aspect of a much deeper problem.

The AWARE saga lends strong support to my view that social unity (among an otherwise diverse collection of individuals) is best achieved via the creation of a common enemy.

Look at this comment by angelinvestor:

"The old AWARE Pro-Gay agenda has been uncovered by Dr Thio and team.

If they have not kicked out the old committee, Singaporeans would not have known that this 'respectable' women organization is just a pro-Gay group!"

Amazing how Dr. Thio's admission that she was a mentor to the new Exco, and that the takeover was planned months ahead in advance has been transformed into "The old AWARE Pro-Gay agenda has been uncovered by Dr Thio and team"!

Also, if "Dr. Thio and team" just wanted other Singaporeans to know that AWARE is becoming a "pro-Gay" group, is there really a NEED to kick out the old committee?

Is there really a NEED for all this subterfuge?

Why not write an open letter to the press? They've written so many other letters to the press regarding this topic.

In the minds of the new Exco supporters, all that covert planning, stonewalling, dismissal of all subcommittee heads, misdirection/lying to the media and to their own staff, changing locks at the AWARE office, dismissal of centre manager... all these actions somehow seems OK, so long as their common enemy are the homosexuals.

Do these people believe that the ends justify the means?

To me, that is a far greater worry than their homophobic passions.

The ability of any group to orchestrate a hostile takeover of an unsuspecting organisation using a vast number of members acting in unitary force is always a matter of significant concern.

Sam Ho said...

yup, i actually don't think anti-homosexuality is the key issue any way, but rather an implication, among many others.

maybe the group wants to "spread the gospel" and "save" all of us. they see no wrong in doing that and they have the right to be puzzled at the idea that some people actually oppose to this.

their actions indicate a lack of tolerance/respect for diversity and dialogue.

there are many losers here - civil society, the non-religious, women, sexual minorities, Aware as an organisation, etc.