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I Want An AWARE Reconciliation Too.

Just like Josie Lau.

This statement from Josie Lau’s interview troubled me:

But Ms Lau said change was needed because Aware had lost its focus and diversified too much, going into too many different areas. The result was that it did not have enough depth.

‘Like any good corporation, if you have diversified too much, consolidate,’ she said. ‘And as with any new committee, we know that resources are always limited, (so) let’s take a look and review what is done in the past that is good, let’s keep that, and what new ideas we have, bring on.’

Especially the ‘like any good corporation’ bit.

I believe that she has the ability to bring in & coordinate a team that could effect this, yes.

And I believe she could do a great job–much like what TT Durai did for the NKF, turning it into an efficient business ‘corporation’ that generated megafunds & got praised all round till hubris crashed him it.

But that is not the AWARE we all know & take for granted & depend on & are now rising to defend.

Yes, you could say

Aware had lost its focus and diversified too much, going into too many different areas

but the diversifying into all the many different areas is what Aware is all about–all women in all situations in all Singapore and beyond. That is the focus.

Yes, it will mean less depth but that is what the sub-committees are for.

Josie Lau would be the ideal woman to spearhead a Professional Women’s subcommittee, dedicated to grooming women to be corporate leaders, politicians, diplomats…

That would be great for the women and for Singapore but it is Not what Aware is about.

Yes, resources will always be scarce and we will always be scraping by but that is what keeps us close to the original vision.

Josie sounds like she wants to turn Aware into a successful company with

(so) let’s take a look and review what is done in the past that is good, let’s keep that, and what new ideas we have, bring on.’

but while accepting new ideas, I believe it is wrong to discard everything not considered ‘good’.

And ‘good’ by what/whose criterion?

What kind of reconciliation deal (Yes, ‘deal’. Did you think we would just kiss & make up? No way. I’m very very particular about who I kiss!) would make me comfortable with Josie Lau as President of Aware?

1) If I thought she was willing to learn about what and who make up Aware instead of ignoring or removing the old guard and longterm volunteer chairs to replace them with people as new to Aware as she is.
What that would mean in practical terms? If she accepted into the committee a Vice-President and at least two ex-co members who have previous ex-co experience.
That would ensure continuity.

2) If I could have her go on record as saying that regardless of her personal views and beliefs, she will not force on Aware attitudes publicly expressed by her church, her husband and some of her supporters.

Her church has gone on record saying:

It’s unfortunate that so many mothers are not at home with their children. Many women
have run off with another man at work (was it worth that extra income?). It’s often a great stress on the marriage when the wife is independent of her husband.

It troubles me that someone who might hold these convictions is heading Aware.
Asked about her views she responded with ‘No Comment’.
I would like to hear her say she will not change Aware’s all-inclusive policy to suit her church.

I would also like her to go on record as saying she will not be bringing Aware in line with her husband, Dr Alan Chin’s frequently aired anti-abortion & homophobic views.

Whatever she lives by and believes is fine–but given her position of power in Aware, given the diatribes Dr Alan Chin has posted in the press, I would like her to do more than evade the question and hope we go away.

Dr Alan Chin, a man and a stranger to many there, was very evident & active in the AGM counting votes. When asked who that man was, it would have been simple to say ‘Josie Lau’s husband’ but even when asked directly who he was, Josie Lau would not answer.

Is Dr Alan Chin going to be as present and as active and as officially invisible in the running of Aware as he was at the AGM?

Even if she can’t say ‘no’ to that I would at least like her to hear my question this time.

And I would also like to know how far Josie Lau not personally but in her new position of President agrees the views of people like George Lim Heng Chye (also from COOS) as expressed on the ST forum page

Or those repeatedly trumpeted by ex-co member Jenica Chua Chor Ping (who btw considers Dr Alan Chin a ‘medical expert’ though he seems to be more of a GP/businessman)

At least two people mentioned receiving emails warning them that to protect their daughters from the lesbian influences they should join Aware & and help vote out the old committee.

No, I’m not after a defamation case (that’s more what Thio Li-Ann–Dr Alan Chin’s cousin–would do)

but will Josie Lau officially dissociate herself from them and say she had nothing to do with sending out those emails, knew nothing about them and her presence in Aware is not to bring about any changes suggested in them?

Of course this is only what would make me happy–there are a lot of people a lot more upset than me out there.

And we’re all wondering what to expect at the EGM and what she means by wanting ‘reconciliation’.

32 Responses

  1. I giggled when i read that. I am not familiar with gay terms. However, i read “Rainbow” represents LGBT (a term i just learned) colours.
    This AWARE thing may not be LGBT related but i sure learn a lot about LGBT in SG. Do you know there is a church for LGBT? I feel that is good bec Jesus came to save sinners, all of us.

  2. The minister has spoken. We should build a “rainbow coalition”.
    Building the rainbow coalition is for the interest of our nation.
    I hope members of the new exco of AWARE understand, resign and leave. This is a sensible thing to do.

    The AWARE saga shows the danger of religious brainwashing making highly educated people to lose their sensibility. It is good to be moderately religious but dangerous to be extremely religious. Extremists tend to lose their heads in heaven forgetting that their feet are still on the ground.

    We need laws when we discard the values. According to the law, members of the new exco have won but according the ethics and values, they have lost. It is a sad thing that their lives are guided by laws and not by values. As Christians, it is a disgrace that their lives are not guided by values. God guides them through the values. Throw away the values and they will be guided by Satan in the name of God.

  3. So far those Christian friends of mine whom i surveyed over the issue, I’ve yet to find someone who’s feeling really excited over the fact that they subscribe to the same religion as some members of the new ex-co … and practically none told me they thought what the new ex-co did was gracious or righteous … majority were in fact saying something to the effect of “please don’t get the wrong idea that all Christians are like that” …

  4. What little i hear from Josie, it has no substance – our Sarah Palin. The more she talks, the more she turns people off, including a christian like me. God is wise, He leaves out homosexuality in the 10 Commendants for a reason. I don’t know but i like to think that God loves everybody, the straight and the gay.

  5. […] Conspiracy Theory Awareness – blankanvas: aware: to find one’s voice again – Writing-Yoga-Living: I Want An AWARE Reconciliation Too. – The Wayang Party: Supporters of AWARE old guards step up internet campaign against new exco – […]

  6. Thanks Bernard, I am a christian too but I feel the way this has been conducted has been underhanded will only turn more people off from religion.

  7. How can the Lord, my own powerful vision of Him, and I am a born again Christian NEED these people to be their agents?
    It is terribly presumptive.
    What a small vision they have of their Lord.
    He does not work in mysterious ways…He works, but does not need their help, our mine.

  8. Hi Karjee, I don’t think it’s a problem–just bring proof of membership. I asked & was told registering is more for logistics than a requirement for voting. Yes, please come & in the meantime, thank you for the support, both of you! (& please sign the petition too!)

  9. my sis and i have just signed up as AWARE members and we will b at the EGM MAY 2 but r concerned as we have not rsvp by april 22. will we b allowed to vote?

  10. Thanks Anders & Ark for writing in & for writing about this issue!

  11. Thanks for posting the email written by/in Blessings Su Mien’s name, Sincity–it’s great how far it’s spread actually–grounds for not just defamation suit & evidence of smear campaign!

  12. I’m sure this would be of interest to the ladies following the AWARE saga…it is all over various forums…

    AWARE – The Hidden Hand
    From: smthio@xxxxxxx.sg
    To: stjh21@xxxxxx.sg, Undisclosed-Recipient:
    Subject: Re Aware
    Attachments AWARE_membership_mail-in_application_form.pdf concerned parents.1.do


    Dear All

    Please see Attachments on some recent developments in Aware. Aware is a woman’s organization which conducts comprehensive sexual programmes for girls and it runs this programme in some of the schools. They encourage girls to express their full sexuality and this includes experimenting with other girls. It would be a good idea to join it and change its focus to other problems of women and families.

    ..Please ask your like-minded friends to join Aware so that you can give the vote to those who wish to be an agent of change for the Lord. They could also contribute to the activities of the oprganization as there is much to be done for women and families in this dowturn of the economy. Unfortunately, I cannot surface but shall be assisting in the background . I attach the Aware membership application form for your use. The Aware application form has a section as to who ( if any) told you about Aware. You can just leave it blank . Please let me know whether you can join and attend the AGM which will be towards the end of March 2009. The fee is $40/ and should be mailed to the Aware Office ( see application form).

    Look forward to hearing from you. Please call me. May I have your phone no?

    Su Mien


  13. The outcome of the “showdown” really boils down to whether the “conservatives” are really outnumbering the “moderates”, so much for the democratic process….it’s all about the statistical majority isn’t it?

  14. Thank you for documenting all the little transgressions that hint what is wrong with these people. All of this is public record now, so let’s see them wriggle and backtrack.

  15. Hi Gmale, I agree–but when asked about such things (previously anyway) she says not relevant. She refused to even say he was her husband when he was at the AGM counting votes & people asked who he was.

  16. Given:

    1. What I have read in various blogs and forums; and
    2. the views of the church that Josie Lau belongs in (i.e. that women are subordinate creatures);

    I think it would be prudent to have Josie Lau publicly commit that her husband, Alan Chin and her church, cannot/will not be given influence. The final say should be with her, in her capacity as a woman for AWARE.

  17. […] Conspiracy Theory Awareness – blankanvas: aware: to find one’s voice again – Writing-Yoga-Living: I Want An AWARE Reconciliation Too. – The Wayang Party: Supporters of AWARE old guards step up internet campaign against new exco – […]

  18. And no, men don’t get voting rights.

    But thank you for your attention & good energy–that helps and is really making a difference!

  19. Thank you very much, all you great guys–

    Anders Brink (if you’re the same guy) thanks for the great comment on your blog:

    “I’ll tell you why we are such sore losers. Democratic elections can be manipulated. This is an open secret, don’t look so shocked. When people want to elect Obama into office, they would do so by legitimately asking people to vote. When incumbents seek office, they get their gerrymandered districts to vote without fear. Democratic elections can be fixed, just like you have fixed the recent AWARE elections. Don’t act like an innocent child, because you aren’t and I’m not.”
    sorry I can’t figure how to link in under Comments but you can find him at: http://andersbrink.blogspot.com

    And yes, David, what you say is true. The television station originally asked Josie Lau (appointed president) to meet with Dana Lam (past president) to discuss things on air. Perhaps they had some idea of an on air reconciliation & discussion of how to move things forward for the good of Aware (which would have been a fantastic step if it had worked, but… ) Dana had already agreed and was dressed & preparing for the interview when Josie Lau sent word (as you said) that if anyone from the old guard was in the studio (not just the same room, ok!) she would not turn up.

    Dana, like the rest of us in Singapore, wanted to hear what Josie Lau had to say for herself so she stepped back graciously–but as the rest of Singapore has since seen, Josie Lau didn’t say much of anything once she got her way.
    (there’s a pattern there…)

    Does anyone else see it as strange that right after throwing out the old guard rep in a PR couched tantrum she could go on air & coo about wanting a reconciliation??

  20. according to yawning bread:

    Now, here’s something the public does not yet know: The television station’s original plan was for a member each of the old guard and the new guard to be in the interview. Josie Lau objected vehemently and insisted they would not share the interview room and program with anyone from the old guard. So much for reconciliation.

    My personal take is the old guard cannot be mild. Without aggression they won’t leave

  21. Do men get voting rights in AWARE? If it does, I am joining in. The indepedence of all civic groups is at stake.

  22. as a guy, I can’t vote, so I didn’t join aware, but I did give a shout out about the eogm..

  23. […] for all Singaporean women would suffer under such a leadership. The noted playwright Ovidia Yu mentions in her blog that “At least two people mentioned receiving emails warning them that to protect their […]

  24. Dear Ovidia,

    Have joined as a member to attend the EGM to support you ladies. Will see you on the 2 May.
    There are enough men out there who are just as upset and willing to slog it out to make sure that principles of equality that the old guard fought for are not subverted by parochial minds and hearts

    Lots of ladies I know will be turning up to make the real difference as they will be voting.

    Keep up the good work.

  25. Awesome post.
    Hope to see you at the OEGM, I think we all have questions we want answered.


  26. Well… i’m a guy so i don’t exactly have a vested interest in this but… the enemy of my enemy is my friend.


    The MCP’s are behind you on this one.

  28. Good luck – and please do keep the posts coming! Am definitely writing to friends about it.

  29. Hi Dawn, thank you for writing & for your support. NO, unfortunately Proxy voting is not allowed (I know some women who are sacrificing a pre-paid holiday to stay in Singapore for the EGM because of that!)

    It’s really great you’ve been with Aware for so long. Don’t give up on us yet ok? Even if you can’t vote it would really help if you would share your views by writing to your friends or even the press?

    • Hey,

      I have been a volunteer for Samaritans and Aids for a long time – And have been well aware of the discrimination of women. I was not sure what AWARE is all about – but get the impression that it stands for safe guarding women and their rights.

      I listened to the interview with Josie and got the impression that she was trying to make it into and ogranization that is non flexible and cooperate. Something almost impossible when dealing with humane issues!!!

      and JUDGMENTAL – which one in such position should never be.

      Also can you explain exactly what happened at AWARE – why does the new management want to down line the scope and the diverse out look of AWARE since an organization which talks about equality will need to diverse more and more as complexities and problems arise.

  30. Thanks for the information Ovidia. I am a long time member of AWARE (I am 90% I paid up as I don’t have the receipt with me – but I have been paying religiously every year when I get the reminders). Though I volunteered there several years ago, I don’t know any of the AWARE ex-co, so your information is very welcome.

    I am unfortunately out of the country and would like to know if the constitution allows Proxy voting. I really want to vote.

    I am leery of any women who claim to be furthering the cause of women when their first act is to back stab other women.

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