Saturday, April 11, 2009

"Aggressive takeover" at AWARE?

Most of you all should by now be aware of what has happened at AWARE (pun not intended). For those of you all who are not aware yet, suffice it to say that, due perhaps to a combination of complacency by the veteran members of AWARE and astute tactical maneuvering by the new members, at AWARE's latest Annual General Meeting, a group of new members (who apparently only joined AWARE from the beginning of this year or slightly earlier) was able to take over 9 out of 12 positions on AWARE's executive committee (exco).

But what really raised eyebrows was the angle used by The Straits Times (ST) in its article on this "aggressive takeover" of AWARE's exco. According to the ST report, it would seem that some of those new members on AWARE's exco have previously expressed anti-homosexuality opinions.

In light of the above, various online commentators have generally expressed a similar opinion on how this takeover of AWARE's exco appears to be an "aggressive takeover" by those in the conservative Christian camp which harbours anti-homosexuality sentiments. Questions about what implications this "aggressive takeover" would bring about have also been asked.

Personally, while I would not speculate too much about what will now happen after this "aggressive takeover" of AWARE's exco (especially since the new exco has promised a press release within the next few days; I hope it's a promise they will keep), I must confess that, just as what other online commentators have been saying, this "aggressive takeover" does appear to me to be an attempt to hijack AWARE as perhaps a front organisation/vehicle to promote an alternative agenda that may not be congruent with what AWARE has been campaigning for all this while. As a Chinese saying puts it: “挂羊头,卖狗肉” (literal translation: "Selling dog meat while hanging up a goat's head").

However, although I have my suspicions about this "aggressive takeover", I suppose it would be more prudent to not jump to hasty conclusions (as Treebeard would say: "Do not be hasty"). Instead, it would perhaps be wiser for us all to first see if the new exco keeps their promise to release a press statement within the next few days and if they do keep this promise, we should carefully examine the press statement to determine what are the future plans and new agenda (if any) that this new exco has planned for AWARE. Also, we should be vigilant and continue to keep an eye on the activities of AWARE (under the leadership of this new exco).

If their words and deeds prove to be worthy of support, then good. But if their words and deeds appear to be suspicious and/or not worthy of support, then perhaps we should withdraw our support (until perhaps a new exco more worthy of support takes over). Hopefully, it will not be the latter situation but if it does turn out to be this way, let's hope the war will not be lost despite a loss in one battle.

Update (2125h, 14/4/2009)

Interestingly enough, it seems that, according to this CNA report,"160 members of the Association of Women for Action and Research (AWARE) have submitted a request to call an extraordinary general meeting for the society, where a motion of no confidence in the newly-elected Executive Committee (ExCo) will be considered".


Chee Wai Lee said...

They will certainly come under greater scrutiny from me from now on.

In the worst case, if that was indeed a hostile takeover so the new leadership can impose their own agenda on the group, I'd give my support to any new grouping seeking to address women's rights in Singapore.

James said...

The new AWARE members are clearly Christian fundamentalists.

Chris said...

Notice that some Christian extremists tend to use abbreviated names like "George Lim", even though the ST Forum page requires forum letter writers to "include your full name (as in IC)".

These guys are scared of bloggers like you! Good job!

LCC said...

To: Chris,

Well, in all fairness, Mr. Lim's full name may indeed just be what he provided and was shown by ST.

I say this in light of the fact that I have an acquaintance who do not have a full Chinese name but only a Christian name followed by his Chinese surname.

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