Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Steer Clear

A few days ago, I commented on the AWARE saga. One thing I will say about the saga is that the Singapore government did the right thing by not intervening in it; it is a policy I think they should continue.

Despite some internet chatter that the New Guard is a political conspiracy, anyone with half a brain knows that it is nonsense. Why would the Singapore government bother with AWARE when they can just ignore them? So I’m quite perturbed when I read that Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports Vivian Balakrishnan had commented on the AWARE saga as he warned the two warring groups "keep religion above the fray of petty politics".

Although he interjected that the Singapore government has no intention of intervening in the AWARE saga, as a government minister his words will still represent the government. As I said earlier, I do not believe the Singapore government should get involved in a strictly internal matter within AWARE. To me, this is an issue between 2 groups of women with vastly different views. Despite what people may say about the New Guard stealth takeover of AWARE, I think everyone will agree that their stand against homosexuality is more in line with Singapore society than teaching homosexuality as ‘neutral’ (whatever the hell that means).

The AWARE saga is something that only members of AWARE can clear up and I strongly believe that the Singapore government should steer clear of the whole mess.


Anonymous said...

> their stand against homosexuality is more in line with Singapore society

Nonsense! Taoism, Confucianism, Buddhism, Hinduism all have nothing against homosexuality (nor are they pro-homos). They are neutral on this topic. The majority of Singaporeans are Taoist/confucianist, Buddhist, Hindus. Even Malay culture are Javanese in origin, and the Javanese culture is also not against homosexuality.

> teaching homosexuality as ‘neutral’ (whatever the hell that means)

It means: you treat them on the same standing as you treat heterosexuals. You neither favours them - that would be pro - nor discriminate against them - that would be anti

Ghost said...

Uh...you don't think Singapore society and most Singaporeans are against homosexuality? Who are you? Have you ever lived in Singapore?

Anonymous said...

Whether you think Singaporeans are against homosexuality probably depends on your social circle and your family, religious and educational background. A Singaporean who hails from a fundamentalist Christian background may think that the majority is against homosexuality while another Singaporean from, say, a liberal arts background may think otherwise.

Besides, does it matter what most Singaporeans think? Do you want the views of the majority to have influence over your personal life? This is especially pertinent to issues like s377A of the Penal Code.

Ghost said...

I don't think its a matter of whether you are from a Christian or liberal arts. It's a matter of Singapore being in Asia.

Anonymous said...

Ghost, you might be interested in reading up a bit more about this saga. It is not as simple as it looks.


is a good summary. Feel free to do more research if you are interested.

Religious fundamentalism is a very dangerous force in the world today. Incidents like 9-11 are just one facet of it.

Ghost said...

I'm afraid I disagree with you that the AWARE incident is a matter of religious fundamentalism. It is not. It's 2 group of women who have different views on whether homosexality should be taught as 'neutral' in Singapore schools. If you consider the complains MOE has received from concerned parents (over 100 I believe), the New Guard are hardly alone in their views.

Anonymous said...


6 The schools that engaged AWARE found that the content and messages of the sessions conducted were appropriate for their students and adhered to guidelines to respect the values of different religious groups. The schools did not receive any negative feedback from students who attended the workshops and talks or their parents.

7 In particular, MOE has also not received any complaint from parents or Dr Thio Su Mien, who was reported to have made specific claims about sexuality education in our schools. MOE has contacted Dr Thio Su Mien to seek clarifications and facts to substantiate her claims.

Anonymous said...


In a separate development, Thio Su Mein, the mother of NMP Thio Li Ann admitted in a press conference at Raffles Town Club last night that she had “emailed people she knew to point them to “what was happening” at Aware.” (read report here)

Read her email below and judge for yourself whether she is simply “pointing” out the happenings of AWARE or instigating them to take over the organization.

Anonymous said...

Views of a Christian who did not support the new guard:


Anonymous said...

This is not about pro- or anti-gay. The old Aware was not pro-gay, just relatively neutral compared to the anti-gay position.

The issue is secularism vs religious fundamentalism.

Consider the views of some of these fundies:


(note: you won't be able to find the original article anymore, but you can find the cached version with google)

"Much as anyone would like to believe that secularism is the ideal state of affairs in a multi-religious context, it is not. Christianity among all world religions demands that God and only God be worshipped and obeyed. A secular state that has displaced the God of Christianity cannot help but be essentially hostile to the Christian faith.

This is why it is impossible for the believers of Christ to live out their witness without being persecuted. A state that runs on the basis of preventing offense from being caused to individuals and groups cannot help but persecute Christ and His followers, since not everyone will take too kindly to His message."

Ghost said...

To Anon 2.45pm:

MOE has received complains about the program and I must say again this is not a religious issue. You don't have to be religious to be against homosexuality and if the Old Guard insist to teach homosexuality as neutral, they are going to get into trouble again sooner or later.

Anonymous said...

Look carefully at the sequence of events.

First, Thio alleges that there have been complaints. Then MOE denies this publicly on 29 April. Subsequently, on 1 May it is said that complaints have been received, specifically in relation to certain content found in the “AWARE Comprehensive Sexual Education: Basic Instructor Guide” that was posted online ... by the new guard. It is worth asking who raised these new complaints at this time, given that no complaints were previously raised.

You are wilfully blind if you do not consider the possibility that these complaints are now raised by supporters of the new guard only after the public MOE denial. After all, you can see that the religious fundamentalists were actively organising to support the new guard in taking over AWARE. Plenty of links posted for you already. If you still want to pretend that this is only about gay/anti-gay and nothing to do with religion, that is up to you.

Anonymous said...


There goes that arguement that no one complain to the MOE

Ghost said...

To Anon May 6 12.43pm:

Sry but I had to laugh when I read your post. If you think ALL the complains MOE received are ALL by supporters of the new guard, and that NO other Singaporeans execpt Christians are upset at AWARE's program; there's no much I can say to that because you have clearly taken leave of your senses.