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Why Thio Su Mien’s Stand Is Good News

First, please visit this site & sign the petition, whether you are in Singapore or elsewhere, whether you are a man or a woman, if you agree that the new ex-co makes all of us in Singapore look bad with their lies & schemes.

from ST today:

Dr Thio explained that her concern about the direction that Aware was taking was partly prompted by a letter from a parent who was concerned that the society was promoting a homosexual agenda.

Note: this was not ‘a parent’ but George Lim Heng Chye from the same church as the new ex-co.

He wrote to the Today newspaper in 2007 to ask why Aware’s choice of a movie for a charity show was Spider Lilies, about two lesbians who fall in love.

Dr Thio said she went on to discover that in Aware’s comprehensive sexuality education programme, which is taken to schools, homosexuality is regarded as a neutral word, not a negative word.

“I started thinking, ‘Hey, parents, you better know what’s happening,'” she said.

“I talked to parents. I said: You better do something about this, otherwise your daughter will come back and say, ‘Mum I want to marry my girlfriend,’

“Or your son will say: Dad, I want to marry my boyfriend.”

These parents were flabbergasted, she said, adding that such sexuality education was taking place in the United States and Europe and was not new.

“What is happening in society is that we are redefining marriage, we are redefining families,” she said.

“So I’m a concerned citizen and if people are so ignorant, I think I want to teach them,”

Pointing out that Aware’s programme was already in 30 schools, she said: “The suggestion is that in this programme, young girls from 12 to 18 are taught that it’s okay to experiment with each other.

“And this is something which concern parents in Singapore. Are we going to have an entire generation of lesbians?”

First, this is AWARE’S Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) outline:

Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) is a holistic sexual education program designed for young women. CSE consists of a Basic and Advanced workshop module which are conducted by certified trainers for small groups of young women. Each workshop consists of games, role-play, discussions, and a presentation. The Basic workshop deals with the pragmatics of sexuality education. The Advanced follows and is more theoretical and is therefore designed for older teens. The workshops cover topics such as:

* Information on STIs (Sexually Transmitted Infections), HIV, and contraceptives
* Negotiation skills to resist peer pressure
* Clear communication skills
* Building healthy relationships
* Evaluating one’s needs and wants

The Advanced is also based on a well-regarded workshop on self-knowledge, and facilitates the young women in a voyage of self-discovery on who they are, and why they might want to have sex.

CSE has been conducted in various secondary schools and welfare homes in Singapore and is well respected as a responsible and appropriate approach to sexuality education.

It aims to replace the silence and shame commonly associated with sexuality with practical information and skills. By bringing sexuality into the open for candid discussion, young people are more likely to make wise, pragmatic and informed decisions based on principles of mutual respect and gender equality. Given the potential risks inherent in sexual activity, we owe it to young people to help them safeguard their own futures. Research shows that comprehensive sexuality education is effective in providing young women and men with the tools, knowledge, skills, attitude, and values to make responsible choices about their sexual health

International reports have shown that comprehensive sex education is much more effective than abstinence-only education in encouraging abstinence and lowering pregnancy and STI transmission rates. In a 2005 American Psychological Association report, Dr. Maureen Lyon, Ph.D. stated of the results of a 15-year study, “Only comprehensive sex education is effective in protecting adolescents from pregnancy and sexually transmitted illnesses at first intercourse and during later sexual activity.”

The knowledge and skills acquired by these young women will be useful to them in adulthood. It is unlikely that the average person will have opportunities for sex education after they leave school. From news reports, it is evident that some men and women sometimes know so little about their own bodies and sex that they have not been able to conceive after marriage.

Why it is important to continue AWARE’s Comprehensive Sex Education (CSE) programme:
The CSE Programme draws on established international programs. It was developed over the course of a year in consultation with parents, youth social workers, teachers, and academics from a range of institutions. As with all other AWARE programmes, it has been through a rigorous process of internal and external auditing and pilot testing.

The programme is run by trained volunteers who are selected through an interview process followed by a three-day training workshop including testing, two shadow training sessions, and a number of assisted workshops before being fully able to conduct workshops.

In 2008 itself, the CSE programme reached out to 500 students in schools and welfare homes with the aim of equipping them with information about sexually-transmitted diseases, common myths and misconceptions so that they can make informed choices.

The efficacy of our programmes can be based on surveys conducted after and before the CSE sessions.

AWARE surveyed hundreds of students on their views on sex and sexuality. The top reasons that teenagers would want to have sex are curiosity, wanting to share a close connection and pressure from boyfriend/girlfriend. Many teenagers do not think it is important or feel embarrassed to ask their boyfriend/girlfriend to use contraception. Of those that knew sexually active teen friends, over 1/3 said protection was not used at all, while many others reported that protection was only used sometimes. The majority of students who attended the CSE programme did not know where to get for confidential consultation with a doctor about sex or confidential, low cost STI/pregnancy testing. They were also not comfortable talking to their partner or an adult about sex.

After the workshop, students were surveyed on what they have learnt. Almost all gained relevant information and confidence in making choices about sex, including being ready and the importance of talking to boyfriend/girlfriend. Some realizations from the participants include: “What a healthy relationship is”, “How to say no to my boyfriend if he wants to have sex” and “The steps to protect myself during sexual activity”.

Way Forward
AWARE plans to continue giving these talks to schools, and provide information to teenagers which they need. In 2008, male trainers were already being trained to run the CSE programmes for boys as both sexes should be well-informed.

Yes, the parents Dr Thio spoke to were probably flabbergasted though by her rather than by the programme–

AWARE has only received 1 parental complaint, in all the years of running this programme in 30 schools.
That complaint had to do with the facts of heterosexual sex being explained too explicitly.

Of course those people Dr Thio describes as ‘ignorant’ were flabbergasted by 1) the lies 2) the wild projections Dr Thio made up to frighten them.

And yes, any normal parent would be frightened.

But the fact is, parents of children who actually attended these talks were fine with them.

If it was true that these talks were so provocative, why didn’t Dr Thio bring it up with Aware, with the schools or MOE?

The truth is, these talks were tame, practical, aimed at cutting down on teen pregnancies & stds.

Dr Thio was either naive enough to be misled or deliberately exaggerating to the point of deceit & slander to frighten people she labels as ‘so ignorant’.

She created a bogey man (Aware as it was) told people ‘this is a threat to you. My way is the only way that can save you’.

Her saying

“The suggestion is that in this programme, young girls from 12 to 18 are taught that it’s okay to experiment with each other.

“And this is something which concern parents in Singapore. Are we going to have an entire generation of lesbians?”

is either gross ignorance or malicious slander.

Let us assume it is gross ignorance, that from some nugget of information she decided to build Aware up in her own mind as a demon to fight rather than finding out what was actually disseminated during such talks.

Now that it is clear Aware’s talks were not upsetting either girls or parents and without any of the consequences described in Dr Thio’s wild projections, the decent thing for her to do is apologise to those she slandered and admit her mistake.

Will she?

Thanks to her, some of her poor targets got the impression students were being showed lesbian movies!

No–they weren’t. Spider Lillies, harped on by both Dr Thio & her George was shown in a private fundraising screening.

What I don’t understand is, if she felt she had truth & decency on her side, why didn’t she present all these points openly?

Why all the sneaking around with a whisper campaign that doesn’t stand up to scrutiny?

Why the lies and the cover ups and the grab for power and control?

Are there any lawyers out there who can tell me whether she’s said enough about Aware for a defamation suit?

Even if we ignore her emails & what she said to frighten parents, is what she said to the press enough?

In law, defamation (also called calumny, libel (for written publications), slander (for spoken word), and vilification) is the communication of a statement that makes a claim, expressly stated or implied to be factual, that may give an individual, business, product, group, government or nation a negative image. It is usually, but not always,[1] a requirement that this claim be false and that the publication is communicated to someone other than the person defamed (the claimant).

Her claims are definitely geared to creating a ‘negative image’ for Aware… as well as being false.

Any lawyers out there–please advise!


23 Responses

  1. haha mflee, you’re the one who brought up the comparison!

    • ok Ovidia, I agree with you. But actually I was only asking if you knew that was true and not comparing. Since you do not know lets leave it at that.

      Let me emphasise that I value a person for himself/herself and not based on exam results.
      Subject closed.

  2. To Ovidia,
    about Tommy koh revelation. I think we have to give credit where it is due.
    Everyone chooses different paths. Prof Koh is a fine man I was acquinted with from around the sixties when he was courting one of my colleagues and being Singapore’s representative involves being in the public eye. There is no comparison between him and Dr Thio.

    I am NOT commenting about the “defamation” charge against Dr Thio except to comment that a good lawyer may not utter public words-if correctly reported-unless (as I suspect) he/she had enough evidence.

    Thankyou for allowing my comments.

  3. […] April 24 – Why Thio Su Mien’s Stand Is Good News […]

  4. […] April 24 – Why Thio Su Mien’s Stand Is Good News […]

  5. […] Why Thio Su Mien’s Stand Is Good News […]

  6. A better idea. Don’t sue.

    1) Take part in the EOGM and win it.

    2) Extend CHRISTIAN forgiveness to them for their acts.

    3) If anyone of them loses their jobs or are discriminated because of this issue, HELP them. (I.e. Josie looks like she’s in a bit of trouble, what with all these new hiccups obviously distracting her from her work)

    Extend to them the CHRISTIAN forgiveness and understanding they failed to show. Make a public showing of it, and let Mrs Thio pop a vein when she has to congratulate them.

    Make the old guard look good. The masses can then draw their own conclusions.

    This will be like salt permanently strapped on their wounds.

  7. In answer to your questions on defamation:

    (1) The words are defamatory of AWARE – to allege that AWARE’s programme taught young girls that it is okay to experiment with each other.

    (2) Thio Su Mien will have a defence to that only if she can prove that (a) the facts alleged are TRUE ie AWARE’s programme did teach yong girls that it is okay to experiment with each other – this is called the defence of Justification; OR (b) the defamatory words were spoken on an occasion of qualified privilege (this is fairly technical – suffice it to say that I do not think she can rely on this second defence).

    (3) Conclusion: purely on a legal basis, AWARE can sue for defamation and will likely succeed unless Thio can prove that it is true that AWARE’s programme taught young girls that it is okay to experiment with each other.

  8. Some of you describe Thio Su Mien as having “distinguished qualifications”. I’m afarid I don’t quite get it. Sure, she’s got some PhD, and she’s “Executive Director” of her own law firm (anybody can pay $50, register a business and claim that title), and she was some Dean of NUS Law Fac in the early years. From what I’ve read in the news, and the transcripts, she can’t speak proper English, and she was either deliberately being evasive or she didn’t understand the questions put to her. “Distinguished qualifications”? She was only Dean for 2 years anyway, if I got that correctly. Come one , 2 years is no big deal. If anything, it showed she couldn’t make it beyond that. And her role in some international tribunal thing? Aiya, when you were some “Dean of Law Faculty” of course you’d get such breaks. To me, it doesn’t sound like a distinguished career.

    • Even if we recognize that she may be academically distinguished, it doesn’t mean she’s right! Or has the right to shove her holier than thou views on the rest of us. Many militant terrorist groups have very highly educated members too….

    • Hey, I remember that Dr Thio Su Mien and our Tommy Koh took the same PhD Law examination but she passed and Tommy Koh failed. Please correct me if I am wrong.

      • I have no idea–

        But it would be hilarious if it is, given how much more he’s accomplished & how much more greatly respected (in Singapore & internationally) Prof Tommy Koh is today!!

  9. No difference from how they use scare tactics like “hell” to keep the flocks in line…hahah

    So one dimensional that it’s scary…brrrr

    But seriously, I think the authorities should investigate her emails for spreading falsehoods to stir up unrest among the public…

    What’s so different about her email versus one that falsely states that there is a bomb at xxx location etc?

  10. bwah! nicely pseudo-Jo! jinxian is like the name, feeling really xian about life

    there’s a verbatim version of that press conference, fyi (cred: mathia lee)

  11. Deleted jinxian’s message because
    a) it sounds like it comes from COOS, (throws around misspelled gay acronyms)
    b) it made personal attacks on other commentators here–and in poor English (thinks ‘rightwing’ is a derogatory term that means ‘self-righteous’)
    c) I can–I’m just trying out something I learned from Josie Lau & co; claim to be fair & conciliatory then kick out anyone who doesn’t agree with you or whose face you don’t like.


    • Dear Ovidia, I would dearly like to have a look at jinxian comment since you said it was deleted for the 3 reasons. Mainly so as to be fair to him/her.
      Otherwise people may say we did not see both sides of the story.

      • Which jinxian comment?
        Not sure what you’re referring to, please clarify.
        Anyway, if it was an anonymous poster (like you) I wouldn’t worry too much about his/her side of the story!

      • The most recent one of course connected with the 3 reasons for deletion.

      • sorry–only just saw the name of the poster–but no.

        I don’t remember precisely what that message was, but from the reasons I gave I’m guessing it was irrational ranting and personal attacks on my other readers (in poor English).

        The COOS website & emails are only showing their pov so why not go read those if you want the other side of the story?

        And I’m not bothering to be what you describe as ‘fair’ to people who come in to be rude to me and my friends in my space.

  12. The members of AWARE should sue the bitch Thio for her slanderous slant.. There is still Chew – I Ee from the old guard. Maybe we should check with LKY.. he is the king in the suing for defamation and slander.

    After being set up for more than 25 years and building up a reputation internationally for being an organisation for the awarenessness of women in all aspects, this Thio bitch brings in down in one blow with her “mentories” from the CookOOS. Who need enemies with “mentors” like her, who is basically a COWARD, only to surface when her “proteges” can no longer handle the “hot” situation, with continued lies and slander.

    They have a “mind of their own” – I beg to differ. Why the need to bring out the old hag to prop the liars up? Her “distinguished” qualifications? or her propensity to be the instigator, liar and “pirate chief”?

    So “noble” is her vision for us sinners who are tolerant towards to the LBGT and other sexual minorities, that this “distinguished” professional? has to hide behind a facade, and continue to progate falsehoods, only to be caught with her panties down this time?

    AWARE is too small for her… her proteges claimed. Really.. I think she just can’t wait to get her claws into this organisation so that she can again push up her “distinguished” career? just to be around the ministers and government organisations locally and internationally.

    At 71, the old hag should think about own sins, as she is nearing judgment day. What a self righteousness old hag.

  13. pedestrian knowledge of defamation is that once you’ve tarnished someone’s reputation through unfounded accusations, it qualifies.

    problem is, under what institution would the old guard file a claim, now that they’ve been unceremoniously booted out? unless dr thio specifically insulted a member, they can’t hold her to anything because the new ex-co now ‘owns’ AWARE. that’s sly timing right there.

  14. This entire episode, as it unfolds and as many more disgusting facts are made known, only makes me feel sicker and sicker by the day. Sometimes, so sick i told myself i better stop following up on the AWARE events anymore in case i get a stroke or heart attack from feeling too outraged.

    Yup, i’m not a lawyer by training and know nuts about what constitutes “defamation”, so like many of those who feel equally disgusted with thio’s scare-mongering and underhanded tactics, would be most interested to know if what thio and gang said about AWARE constitute defamation? Any lawyer can advise?

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