Written by Ng E-Jay
26 April 2009
It seems that AWARE’s new Exco cannot even tell a proper lie, nor are they able to spin even a half-credible propaganda story.
AWARE’s Vice-President Charlotte Lim told TODAY newspaper that Ms Josie Lau was “touched by the outpouring of support and the well-wishes from colleagues and members of the public“, and that “people were giving her the thumbs-up all the time“. (TODAY, “Job safe, but future of AWARE chief will be known on May 2″, 18 April 2009)
However, in the press conference on 23 April 2009, Ms Josie Lau said: “So far I’ve kept a very stoic and dignified silence … … And this is actually something that could have been resolved internally between the Old Guard and the New Guard in a very polite and civil way. But that has not happened. I’ll tell you so far I’ve only been appointed President for about a week and I’ve only been an Exco member for about 3 weeks. But to date I’ve only been met with hostility, intimidation. I felt so bullied I tell you.“. (See here.)
So in a mere span of five days (18 April to 23 April), Ms Josie Lau has gone from being touched by an outpouring of public support for her takeover, to being treated ONLY with hostility and intimidation.
In an interview with Channel News Asia on 20 April 2009, Ms Josie Lau said: “AWARE has become too diversified … … They are just moving into too many areas and not going into depth.”
And yet at the press conference on 23 April 2009, the new Exco lambasted the old guard for losing its focus and “steering AWARE into becoming a single purpose organisation“. (Channel News Asia, “New exco wants to bring AWARE back to its original cause“, 24 April 2009, 1:50am)
Can this motley crew of wannabes at least get their propaganda story straight? Has AWARE become too diversified in its activities, or has it become too narrow?
During the press conference on 23 April 2009, AWARE’s new Exco desperately tried to paint the picture that the old guard promoted lesbianism, by citing the screening of the Taiwanese lesbian movie, Spider Lilies, at its charity gala two years ago, and organizing a lesbian-friendly Mother’s Day event in 2006.
Former Aware president Constance Singam clarified the next day that movies screened at charity events over the years included Singapore Dreaming, Mrs Henderson Presents, The Soong Sisters, Summer Snow and Paradise Road, none of which have anything to do with lesbianism. In fact, Singapore Dreaming is a 2006 film set in Singapore that most decidedly embraces family values.
According to Constance Singam, Spider Lilies was about the relationship between a tattoo artist and a Web camera woman. She said: “One of my exco members — a mother of three boys — told me the two protagonists’ sexuality was secondary. It was a film about love, companionship and longing.”
The new Exco’s tendency to cherry-pick facts and circumstances to suit their own propaganda whilst ignoring the mountain of evidence suggesting otherwise is strongly indicative that their real intention is not to help AWARE, but to destroy it.
The new leadership has also made the outrageous allegation that the old guard of AWARE used Comprehensive Sexuality Education (see here) as a front for promoting lesbianism and sexual freedom.
Constance Singam clarified during the old guard’s press conference that the CSE programme was a comprehensive one, designed to provide teens with information in a non-judgmental way. She said: “We do not teach kids to impart judgment, we just give them information … … Their values come from their family, and their religion. Words like ‘homosexuality’, ’sexy’ and ‘virginity’ are neutral words because AWARE is non-judgmental.”
This is an introduction to the CSE programme posted on AWARE’s website:
In 2007 AWARE developed and began conducting Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) workshops in secondary schools and welfare homes around Singapore. CSE is a holistic sexual education program designed for young women. It aims to replace the silence and shame associated with sexuality with practical information and skills. By bringing sexuality into the open, young people are more likely to make wise, realistic, and informed decisions based on principles of human rights 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, attitudes, and values to make responsible choices about their sexual health.
Netizens like myself have absolutely no clue how this programme could remotely be associated with encouraging lesbianism.
Far from it being a front to promote lesbianism and sexual freedom, CSE teaches youths to make informed decisions about sex, including the ability to say “no”. International reports have shown that comprehensive sex education is much more effective than abstinence-only education in encouraging abstinence, lowering the rates of unwanted pregnancies, and reducing STI transmission rates (see here).
Josie Lau and her motley crew must have been insane if they had ever thought they could dish out such poorly conceived propaganda and falsehoods and hope to get away with it.
Had this coup been orchestrated in the days without the internet, possibly few people could have credibly challenged them, given limited access to real-time information.
But today, anyone with determination and an internet connection can take apart their lies and expose them for what they are.
Josie Lau and her gang are trying to destroy an organization that has helped many women in distress, including victims of spousal abuse and sexual harassment, and pregnant teens, simply because they do not accept diversity in the modern world, and desire to impose their own values and beliefs upon others.
The innocent victims of this whole saga are all those women in genuine distress who are unable to receive help because of the inconsiderate and bigoted attitudes of a group of women who are prepared to disregard the suffering of others in their pursuit of ideological purity.