Saturday, May 02, 2009

AWARE is saved; It is all over?

Starting from this afternoon, although I really should have been revising for my exams, I cannot help but be engrossed in keeping track of the going-ons at AWARE's EGM through The Online Citizen's (TOC) "live" report.

And I must confess that although I was not expecting things at the EGM to proceed with no dispute whatsoever (in fact, I was expecting that things would be rather heated), I was nonetheless somewhat disturbed by the level of uncivility displayed by members of both camps. It would appear to me, according to the portrayal of events by TOC, that both sides were initially not really abiding by the spirit of this statement attributed to Voltaire: “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”.

However, fortunately, things eventually did not get too ugly or out of hand. Also, it was good to see that the motion of no confidence was, despite the new AWARE executive committee (exco) not really tabling it on the meeting agenda, voted on by those present at the EGM.

And, of course, it is most fortunate, to me anyway, that the motion of no confidence was passed in favour of the old guard, with an overwhelming majority supporting the motion of no confidence (1,414 votes were casted in support of the motion while 761 votes were against).

Yet, does this necessarily mean that AWARE is saved? Does this mean that the AWARE saga is finally over?

While I am hoping that the answer to the two above questions can be "Yes", I am more inclined to think that the answer will be "No".

I say this in light of the fact that while a motion of no confidence may have been passed against AWARE's new exco, they may perhaps challenge the legality of the motion and thus refuse to step down. [Update: As of 2115h (2/5/2009), the exco headed by Ms Josie Lau, despite initial hesitation and a "disappearing act", has decided to step down and a new (interim?) exco has been voted in]

Also, even if the new exco agrees to abide by the motion of no confidence passed against them and step down, it should be recognised that there is perhaps now a considerable number of new members within AWARE who have joined in support of the new exco. It will not, in my opinion, be too far-fetched to think that these supporters of the new exco will take some form of action. For example, they may attempt to call for another EGM to vote out whoever is taking over as the exco (which I think would most likely be the old guard and/or their supporters).

In addition, it can be observed that the AWARE saga has perhaps stirred up various issues and provoked certain segments of local society. It is most unlikely that these issues will just dissipate and those people who are provoked will just move on. Instead, it is more likely that issues will linger on and those provoked by the AWARE saga will remain provoked. For one thing, if I am not wrong, the investigation by the Ministry of Education into AWARE's Comprehensive Sexuality Education programme is still ongoing.

Hence, in conclusion, I would think that things are not yet fully resolved. I am no prophet but I am predicting that we will see much more drama with regards to and/or provoked by the AWARE saga. Act One of the saga may be over but there are perhaps much more acts that will be unfolding in the days ahead. And I, for one, will be keeping an eye on how things will continue to play out.

Not The End...?

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