Monday, May 18, 2009

LHZB interview special with Dr. Thio Su Mien – Part III

“Why is it that everytime someone offers an opposing view to homosexuality, that person will receive death threats or have his/her livelihood threatened? Does this involve the use of politics of fear? Shouldn’t the media be concerned about this? Shouldn’t we be having a regulatory mechanism to ensure objective and fair reporting by the media?” – On the former exco of AWARE and herself receiving death threats during the AWARE saga

“I am very glad that now there are more people discussing about the issue of sex education and desiring a better vetting process to be put in place for sex education in schools. However, I am not sure how the Education Ministry will oversee the matter, as in how will they check on the teachers, who are crucial figures in sex education, who are teaching sex education? This point will need to be clarified.

Originally, the Education Ministry wanted me to produce evidence for my claims about there being parents complaining about sex education. However, the report in the April 24th edition of The Straits Times and my response letter to the Education Ministry have made it clear that I never said I received complaints from parents. Also, after investigations, the Education Ministry has publicly announced that some sex education programmes have contravened its guiding principles. This shows that my accusations were not inaccurate.

What is comforting is that the Education Ministry has decided to examine how it can enhance its vetting process for sex education. We should improve on the transparency and credibility of this process. A supervisory body should also be specially set up to communicate with and consult parents. Also, perhaps the vetting process should include placing relevant information online as a display of transparency?” – On the Education Ministry announcing on June 7th the suspension of sex education programmes provided by external organisations e.g. AWARE after its initial statement that it did not receive any complaints from parents

“The responsibility of a mentor is to nurture and groom them before allowing them to go out to contribute to society; to allow for the continued increase in the numbers of talented individuals. If you do not let young people to serve in leadership roles but do everything by yourself, this will be most inefficient.” – On why she did not personally run for a position on the AWARE exco

“50% of Singapore’s population consists of women; we actually have an abundance of talent. If we are able to have 10 Mrs. Lim Hwee Hua (Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office), 50 Professor Chan Heng Chee (Singapore’s Ambassador to the United States) or 100 Olivia Lum (CEO of Hyflux), that will be a great blessing. There are two levels to this: firstly, on the societal level, we will need to help those women at the bottom of the social ladder to improve themselves and for those women who are better off, we will have to let them possess more skills and to inspire them to contribute more to society.

We will have to nurture more women leaders in different fields because CEDAW’s target is to have women have 30-35% representation in different fields. I, with my life experiences, should be able to contribute towards this endeavour.” – On why she encouraged more eligible women to join AWARE

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