5/01/2009

Understand the important issues at stake

My fear of the mindless and unthinking hoards descending onto the Aware EGM is beginning to crystallise. I have scanned through several of the blogs and read the comments of the pro and anti factions to the Aware episode and what came through is that the moral issues were ignored or escaped the interests of the commentators. The issue is now of a Christian group taking over aware in a high handed manner, and this is found offensive. I can only hope that these comments were actually posted by the activitists who have their own private agenda to push and not simply by innocent people taking sides without understanding what the real issues were. There is nothing wrong with a group of activists taking over an organisation within the rules of engagement as long as their intent is honourable. The new exco won the election fairly, or unfairly to some, but this is due to the complacency of the incumbents. No fault of the new exco. They played within the rules and this should not be an issue of contention. The ousted exco can always fight back in the next AGM in the same way, legitimately. By crying foul and bitching around on other issues only reflect badly on themselves. There is no justification whatsoever for the new Exco to resign from their posts. The second issue is that it was a Christian takeover. For those who are less favourable of the religious connotation or have misgivings of Christian groups, this may be offensive and unacceptable. If we are prepared to set this aside, taking the Christian background of the new exco as incidental, and look at what they are standing for, there is another picture to consider. The new exco is awared of their Christian background but has failed to distinguish this from the issues at stake. They should make it categorically clear that it is the issues, secular issues and not Christianity in question, and that they are not there to push a Chrisitian agenda or Christian values but simple human values that transcend all culures, race and religion. What are the issues? Sexual promiscuity and the promotion of certain sexual behaviours and preferences as being normal and healthy. interested parties must look at the content of the Aware CSE curriculum that was taught and adovocated to school children and ask themselves if these are values and behaviours that they are comfortable with, that this is where we should be heading. Some of the things that are taught as normal behaviours are homosexuality, pre marital sex, anal sex, virginity etc. We are a liberal society and many old practices and values relating to sexual conduct and relationship have changed with time. Many things that were forbidden in the past are no longer so. The question is how far are we willing to go as we walk down this path of moral misconduct? Do we want to encourage our children to change the values and all their thinkings and accept the new way of life? Or do we want them to still observe or retain some of these things, or be more discreet about them? To be a little conservative or to be totally liberal about such things is not an issue of absolute right and wrong. And there are preferences by different interest groups and individuals on how far they want to go. What is at stake is, as a society, how far do we want to promote sexual freedom, freedom to choose sexual partners of the same sex, as something normal and acceptable? These are the issues at stake, not how one group took over another group in an association or the colour and creed of the the group. What is important is the agenda and whether the new Exco is promoting their religious righteousness or just some common and universal values. I declare that I am not a Christian or practitioner of any faith. And I am just a normal healthy person.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

The new exco has already stated their intentions clearly i.e. to steer AWARE back to its original noble mission but the masses have been blinded by the media slant as well as biased blogs.

You are right about the main issue of this saga and I wish more could see what you have seen.

In any case, I think there is more to it than meets the eye, especially when the truth about the CSE has been revealed.

My guess is that there is another can of worms in the CEDAW report which the old exco is adamant about not handing over to the new exco (so much so that Constance Singam would rather 'fire' herself from leading the committee, but claim that she was fired, when the new exco could have been happy to let them continue after vetting the report).

The new exco have explained themselves very clearly in the 4-part series, "News conference by AWARE Exco, 23 April at Raffles Town Club."

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/aware/videoarchives.htm

IMO that is probably why they are fighting to the end to regain control.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, as someone coming from a "non-Christian camp", I am unable to put aside my suspicion of the intentions of the new exco and it covert Church supporters. That, to me, is the elephant in the room.

redbean said...

the new exco cannot last or remain in Aware once it starts to push for christian values. there is no room or little tolerance for that. it will have to take a secular path if it wants to stay in Aware and remain credible and acceptable to the secular membership.

let them do what they claimed they wanted to do and judge them according to their actions. it is unfair to find them guilty on suspicion and association.

and that is what many have done. guilty!

Jetreroy said...

"There is nothing wrong with a group of activists taking over an organisation within the rules of engagement as long as their intent is honourable."

I don't really agree with this part. Although their actiosn were within the rules of engagement, their actions were rather underhanded.

For an organisation like AWARE, in order to justify your intentions are honourable, your actions have to be too. What kind of impact will it have, for people who needs counselling or help from AWARE when such a committee exists?

ZA said...

The media coverage on the AWARE saga notably biased in its reporting, leaning towards the Old Guard. I believe that it should have been done in spirit of true journalism, having report the issue with a neutral point of view.

The media (as well as MOE) should have investigated further into the CSE and the allegation made. From the finding, new guideline and protocol should be put in place to prevent future occurrence, failing which, may have adverse effect on future generation and society..

Promoting messages and providing misleading information on homosexuality acts and unnatural sex (which are illegal by law in Singapore - 337A), to students (majority are minors), should be looked into. If allegation are true, perpetrators should be brought in for questioning by the police for possible prosecution, and brought to justice.

The groups, in questioned, are disregarding Singapore law to suit their own personal/ group agenda. These (in my personal view, thru' biased media coverage) had showcased their insensitivity nature towards Singapore and its population; a diverse society from different races, and religious beliefs.

With an insignificant victory in the EGM (and having new EXCO elected), few might realize (this victory) that this will ultimately lead to the failure of the AWARE, mainly thru' public distrust for the latter. The well needed "victory" by newly elected EXCO members today, have set millions in Singapore to question the true nature of AWARE and its agenda. The saga have created public awareness on previous activities, and engagement by AWARE, and set public to exercise cautious, in future activities/ campaign by said organization.

I, a father of two daughters that near to their teens, used to believe that AWARE was a partial and unbiased organization, that championed women cause in Singapore. My positive impression then, had now changed to an utter disappointment and distrust... AWARE, in my opinion, should have been more upfront in its dealing, and be sensitive to mainstream women, that amount to half of the Singapore's population.

Sadly, I'm now in an opinion the group had lost its credibility, not because the organization are in association of homosexual groups, however, due to AWARE's stance to advocate these liberal groups and its cause. With SCE scandal being investigated, the organization could seen as a proxy to the homosexual groups, to spread their agenda/ cause into mainstream society. These said, with the understanding that these groups will not be able to engage and reach our youth in schools, if they acted alone.

Lastly, i was puzzled by some of the materials from CSE, with content describing homosexual is normal and unnatural sex is fine. Not only that these activities are illegal in Singapore and the message send had misrepresented the law. While having sex under 16 is also illegal in Singapore, i don't understand why should the students be told of all these, when it's outright illegal for them to have (straight) consensual sex in the first place?

redbean said...

hi francis, i agree that the new turks came in too brashly and this was not taken too kindly by many. they acted like stormed troopers. but there is nothing illegal about it. it is how democratic systems and organisations work. in fact the EGM works in the same principle. send in your forces to vote.

of course one outwits the other by stealth while the EGM was open agenda.

redbean said...

hi ZA, welcome to the blog. your comments and concerns are very fair and valid.

i too find that Aware is blurring its objectives as an organisation for women. once it opens its membership to men and gays, it is no longer a women's organisation. would Aware be transparent enough to state how many of its associate members are homosexuals now that homosexuality is a badge that one can wear without feeling abnormal?

all organisations are run by activists and the activists will set the agenda for the silent majority. when its membership was less than 200, Aware declared that it represented the interests of all women, the millions of women here. with the victory of 1414 to 761, it is still going to declare that it is representing the interests of all women. the 761 is irrelevant and the silent majority who remain silent is irrelevant.

this is the reality of life. can be frightening.

redbean said...

oops, i should be addressing jetreroy instead of francis in my above reply.

Jaunty Jabber said...

If the old has really done something "unwelcome" by the main stream society, then the initial vote-out situation shall be considered a leniency already. For any wrong-doing in a private organization, one could get sacked and not voted out.