Wednesday, 6 May 2009

What I took away from 2 May

A lot has been said and written about the AWARE EGM last Saturday. And by now, I'm sure everyone has seen videos of the key moments on YouTube. So I'm not going to get into the familiar details of what happened that day.

Instead, I'm just going to post a few thoughts from the EGM, and also talk about some aspects that I have not seen mentioned.

Affirmation of values

First and foremost, I walked away from the EGM proud to be Singaporean. I saw the result as an affirmation of the values that we hold dear (openness, transparency, inclusiveness, diversity and secularism) and a rejection of those that, well, we should not (dishonesty, non-transparency, exclusiveness, intolerance, divisiveness and oppression/bullying).

While I do not see the EGM as a watershed or a pivotal moment signalling any sort of significant change in Singapore politics (as at least one journalist has tried to posit to me), it does stand as a milestone marking some sort of progress towards a more active and passionate civil society. The willingness of all these people to stand up and be counted, to invest all that time and effort for a cause that they believed in, gave me hope that Singaporeans are not as passive or apathetic as we are often said to be, and that it really takes the right cause to spark us into action.

Importance of passion

My second point relates to the fiery passion demonstrated by so many folks in the audience. Some have sought to portray this as a shameful lack of civility, as a disgusting show of rude bullying tactics, as a terrible indictment of the supporters of the so-called old guard (I prefer "original members"). I beg to differ.

To begin with, I question whether these critics (well, those who are not supporters of the ousted Exco) were even there at all, to see for themselves what had happened. Did they see the way that the ousted Exco had started the meeting? Did they understand the context that contributed to this atmosphere of anger?

It was clear from the outset that the ousted Exco was trying to create a tilted playing field. When I arrived just past 11am, and tried to take the escalator from the 3rd floor to the 4th floor, three of the ousted Exco's supporters blocked the escalator, claiming that I was not allowed to go up. I was a little taken aback, and proceeded only when a volunteer for the original members told them to let me pass because it was a public area and they had no right to block me. This came on the heels of another of their supporters, who had greeted me on the 3rd floor with a big plastic smile, and then furiously whispered "SKH! SKH!" into her radio as I passed her.

Was all this necessary? Was there a need to play these sort of games?

It did not get better when the meeting began. I was the lightning rod that first drew their ire. Jenica Chua had already been informed earlier that I was a legal advisor for the original members -- and yet, when a member of the audience (a VIP as designated by the Josie Lau exco, whom none of us recognised) specifically asked for me to move to the associate members' section, Josie Lau simply ordered me to move. She even directed security to escort me out of the ordinary members' section (either to the associate members' section or out of the hall, I can't remember which). My wife later told me that she was worried about the security guards forcibly manhandling me.

It only got worse, when the meeting got underway. The mics on the floor were not switched on. Whenever an original member got to a mic and tried to speak, the sound person would deliberately shut down that mic. It was no accident and not faulty sound -- it was a deliberate attempt to prevent us from speaking.

Those who are familiar with the law and practice of meetings will know that points of order have precedence, and whoever is speaking has to yield the floor to someone making a point of order. But with the mics switched off, it was impossible to raise a point of order properly. Even after the lawyer from Rajah & Tann said that the mics should be switched on, this was not done properly or consistently. When folks on the floor protested, the ousted Exco's first response was to threaten ejection from the hall, even though it is established law that the chairperson's right to eject members may be exercised only upon repeated, severe disorder, not as a first resort.

That was how the entire meeting started. What sort of note did these heavy-handed tactics adopted by the ousted Exco strike? One of the leading legal textbooks on meetings states that the effect of a fair chairperson is often under-estimated. I would certainly say that the ousted Exco was not interested in conducting a fair meeting in accordance with the rules governing meetings, but only a meeting on their terms.

Faced with this, with a hostile chairperson seeking to exercise her powers in an unfair manner, what was the floor to do? The floor's only weapon, only response, is its voice. And in this case, we used that weapon to full effect. To do otherwise, to be as meek as these critics seem to want us to be, would have played into the ousted Exco's hands.

Those who criticise the behaviour of our supporters miss the point. They overlook the nature of such EGMs, which are invariably contentious affairs with emotions running high. They buy into the myth of an orderly debate, which simply does not exist when the ground rules are unfair and stacked against one side. They ignore the important role of passion in advocacy, blindly emphasising rote obedience of rules while missing the positive aspects of passionate advocacy.

So no, I will not apologise for the behaviour of our supporters. Instead, I am proud of this rare display of passion in public discourse. Indeed, I only wish that we see more of such passion in future.

Planning, planning, planning

This article in The New Paper says it all: these unsung heroes provided the platform for all the speakers to shine. The amazing work of folks like Alex, Serena, Ching-Wi, Jolovan and Schutz made the result possible. I salute them.

Their planning was immaculate. Thanks to their immense efforts, we did not have to worry about logistics at all in the lead-up to and during the EGM. I also believe that the early arrival of our supporters paved the way for our success. We were able to occupy the seats nearest to the stage, which also turned out to be nearest to the only mic that was switched on throughout the entire EGM. This proximity to the stage and to the mic probably allowed us to neutralise Josie Lau's advantage as the chairperson.

Passion vs passiveness

I've already mentioned the passion exhibited by our supporters. In stark contrast, the supporters of the ousted Exco were surprisingly passive, preferring to clap furiously whenever the ousted Exco spoke (regardless of the substance of their comments) instead of taking to the mic. Few of their supporters spoke up, and of these, too many failed to make the most of their time on the mic. Some of the more bizarre speeches of the day came from their supporters.

More surprisingly, so many of their supporters seem to have left early. I cannot confirm this, but it felt like they had started leaving even before the results were announced. And when the members voted to remove the ousted Exco from office because it looked like they were not coming back, there were only two objections -- presumably because their other 700 supporters had left by then.

I cannot explain why, although Alex Au has speculated on this. But I did haer that their supporters arrived in buses, and did not seem to really know what was going on. So perhaps they had been bus-ed in, having been simply told to vote, without much more. If that was true, then no wonder they did not speak up.

Thank you

Finally, I want to thank the ladies who came to me for advice just after the AGM on 28 March. I got involved in all this because of them, and I am glad that I did. It gave me a ringside seat to everything that happened, and I would not have missed it for the world. I'm only happy to have had the chance to contribute to their success in some small way.

And of course, I have to thank every woman and man who turned up to be counted, for affirming those values that Singaporeans hold so dear. Without you, nothing would have happened. With you, everything becomes possible.

173 comments:

Chee Wai Lee said...

Mr Siew,

Thanks for providing a better picture of the context surrounding the tense atmosphere.

Like I've indicated on TOC, I still feel mixed about the rowdy affair as I am still uncomfortable in scenarios where someone gets publicly embarrassed, even if they deserved it. Having said that, I'd agree that it had to be done.

As for the ousted exco's supporters, that is actually what I expected, behavior-wise. I seriously doubt they felt any personal stake in the whole affair, even if every one of them was a fundamentalist believer. Thanks again, for shedding light on how they behaved ... I had hoped to see some coverage about this on TOC or other blogs and yours is the first I've noted to mention about it.

Wyn Lim said...

Thank you, Mr Siew for providing the actual representation of the situation. I was at the EGM as well, and was pleasantly surprised to know of a NMP in support of the original members.

I hope more people get to read about this instead of judging without context. :)

Domch said...

Proud of you as always, Xiao. :) Lovely rebuttal to Sumiko's silly piece.

Donaldson Tan said...

Hi Chee Wai,

Since you are abroad, why not take the opportunity to participate in civil society organisations, protests or campaigns to see for yourself? An orderly debate is only a myth propagated by school debate championships shown on Singapore TV. Perhaps a simple participation in a town hall meeting will open your eyes.

Soh Chin said...

thank you, kum hong, for finally giving an accurate picture of what happened that day. and for acknowledging that there is nothing wrong with being loud and boisterous. but that there is everything wrong about being bigoted and unfair and judgmental.

Tan Ah Beng said...

Thanks for clarifying on behalf of the Old Guards supporters. Their booing and jeering makes much more sense now, under such treatment from the ousted exco. I would have done the same.

amen-wannabe said...

Thank you Mr Siew for explaining the context of the EOGM - I was away and couldn't join in the hustings. I can only deduce that the way the EOGM was conducted and chaired was disgraceful and one-sided and Josie and her gang deserved the response they got. As her largely silent 700-odd supporters, I'm not surprised - how do you expect these people to think for themselves, they've been mindlessly indoctrinated.
As for Sumiko, does anybody read her article these days? She's irrelevant!
Yes, it's a proud day for all Singaporeans who believe that civil society groups should remain secular and inclusive for all - irregardless of religion, race, language, gender AND sexuality. But beware, the zealots are not giving up so easily - their presence is pervasive and this is only the tip of an iceberg!
Richard

The Void Deck said...

Woah! Tsk tsk uncool underhand tactics by the then exco. Turning off mikes and bullying LOL. Lamex100 It put things in perspective to what ends they will resort to. Thanks for bringing it to light.

G. said...

At first, I felt quite bad for Ms. Josie Lau who turned out looking like quite the victim at the show. Her comrade who had shouted, "Shut up and SIT DOWN!", together with Dr. Thio's hubris seemed to be, at that time, the main source of discontent for the crowd along with their early underhanded behaviour portrayed in the way they responded to the media and the way they "invaded" AWARE... Not to mention their treatement of AWARE's headquarters and funds! But now, this has opened my eyes to the way they conducted themselves at the EOGM itself.

Thanks for dispelling the myths of their so-called dignity, Mr. Siew.

Dustin Lau said...

It can be seen from this video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wvd4YWbg3Do

that the original members turned around to shush their own supporters to allow the deposed exco to speak.

On the other hand, Josie Lau used the microphone to shush the entire hall to allow one of her supporters to speak, and this leads us nicely to your point about the more bizarre speeches of the day.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=32Tcjx1ELhQ

The level of coherence from their supporters doesn't fall very far from the tree. Thank you for your contribution in defeating the Thio-liban.

akikonomu said...

Thanks for providing more details on the conditions of the tilted field on Saturday.

For some reason, none of the letters to the Forum page of ST acknowledge this.

As I am writing a post concerning the tilted field, I would like your input as to whether all this would normally be the decision of the events management company or the Aware exco.

Adeline Kueh said...

Thank you, Mr Siew.

I was seated 7th row from the front & centre, & I second your post/points mentioned here. Underhanded tactics were the rule of the day of the ousted Exco from the very start.

I, too, arrived before 11am (to see if I could help the original members) & was told I couldn't do so but to queue up.

Solidarity (& hope) won & I can't be any prouder of the women & men who stood up for what they believed in, in what AWARE has done for the past 25 years. More good to come, I'm sure.

Peace.

Salary said...

"More surprisingly, so many of their supporters seem to have left early."

The answer is simple. Some of them already said when they were queuing up. They said they came to make a moral stand. They were doing it by casting their vote to support Josie and team. That was their objective. When the objective was done, they left.

Also, given the one-sided situation after the vote, there was really no point for them to stay back. It was clear Josie and team would not be able to speak. So they just left.

In contrast, the AWARE supporters were there to fight all the way and to see that they win back AWARE, so they stay til the end as intended.

Deconstructiontimes said...

Dear Mr Siew,

Thanks so much for all that you did. I think what you've written here needs to be sent in to the ST forum page, so that this 'mob' myth can be dispelled.

Dustin Lau said...

The events company were told to take orders from a man in a white polo t shirt. His picture is here.

https://sites.google.com/site/luminoirproductions/repository/whoisthisman.jpg?attredirects=0

He is not a member of the exco. It is not known if he is an associate member.

Rajesh Sreenivasan said...

Thanks Kum Hong for another balanced and enlightening read. Wish I was in town to attend the EGM. I too am proud to see Singaporeans standing up so passionately for what they believed in.

Salary said...

I arrived just before 11am. I encountered one lady on the 3rd floor directing me to Hall 402 in a friendly and polite manner. Incidentally, I was wearing a red t-shirt. I later know that red was the color for Josie team.

Some questions wonder if Mr Siew can answer:

1. What was the plan if the no-confidence motion was defeated in a fair ballot?

2. It was reported that AWARE has 3000 members, but the total vote count was 2175. I don't think the number of associate member can account for the difference.

How many members actually attended the EGM? How many of them were ordinary members?

Just wondering how many people decided not to attend or vote.

solo bear said...

Kum Hong,

I was there at the EGM before it started. I have a different viewpoint on what happened just before the EGM started.

On the point you were not allowed to be seated with ordinary members. It must be remembered that Josie, as chairperson, had the right to impose house rules. It must be remembered that Josie BENT those rules for you, when you ADAMANTLY insisted to be seated with ordinary members.

From what I saw, it was YOUR ADAMANT stance that got old guard supporters fired up, chanting at Josie. And it was Josie's decision to bend the rules to allow you to be seated where you wished, that calmed the boisterous old guard supporters.

As for the mike, again, it was house rules. And again, it was Josie's decision to bend the rules that calmed the crowd. And again, it was YOUR ADAMANT INSISTENCE to have the mike on, that got the crowd fired up. All you need to do is to tell the old guard supporters the mike would be turned on in good time. They would have listened to you.

As a politician, Kum Hong, you know what makes the crowd tick. You know when to light the fire, when to cool it, when to douse it. Josie is a non-politician. She didn't know a thing about what makes the crowd fire up, or cool down. She only knows how to tie up FOTF with DBS - and that too, she fluffed it. Goes to show how politically naive she is.

If at all, YOU CONTROLLED THE CROWD, with every of your shrewd political move. YOU, being their advisor, set the tone and the temperament of the old guard supporters.

If you had just said that it was OK to have mike off, and you be seated with Associate members - the crowd WOULD HAVE NOTHING to jeer Josie about. But you, being a politician, lit the fire, fanned the flames and got the crowd chanting. You wanted the crowd to be fired up, didn't you?

I was there, Kum Hong. I am no politician and I have no vested interest in your attempt to be one. I tell what I see.

Josie is not a politician but a corporate woman. You are a politician, and you trounced her. I would LOVE to see you being the same adamant guy, disobeying house rules, when you start your next Parliament session.

Is the above description I gave not accurate?

I await your reply.

Remember, I was there. I will dispute every wrong impression you try to attempt to give the public.

You are a politician. Politicians use power, crowd psychology, and they play to the gallery of their (in your case, gay and lesbian) supporters. Your intention is garner support to strengthen your base.

I am a family man. Family men shower love on their wives and children. My intention is to preserve the sanctity of marriage, family unit and protect children.

Let's see who prevails. Power or Love.

Sheo said...

Dear Mr Siew

Thank you so much for being there and saving our country from bigotry.

It really doesn't matter what happened there. What matters is the outcome and that is the victory for pluralism, secularism and our country. You and many countless others had a hand in that victory.

People like Ms Josie Lau, her clique and her mentor do not want to allow others to live and let live.

Please continue with your good work.


Cheers
Sheo S. Rai

Ps. One comment for Solo Bear (who doesn't dare put his real name down) -- Love prevailed, power by stealth lost.

vic said...

Mr Siew,

solo bear is a master of the non sequitur, as evidenced from his blog.

solo,

what on earth does being a loving family man have to do with your argument re. house rules, mics on or off, sitting with associate members or not?

vic

Eugene said...

Hi Kum Hong,

We need more people like you to speak up for the silent majority in Parliament.

Well done!

Zhengyu said...

i was not there, but i've always wondered if the buses were intended to fetch them there and back from another function. perhaps this was to facilitate those supporters so they can comfortably still attend both, and maybe that is also why they had to leave when the buses called for them.

just a guess. i would like to believe that singaporeans are not so blind as to march in merely to submit a vote without even taking interest in the real picture.

Terence said...

Mr Siew,
You wrote what happened at Suntec and you did not explained why it happened.
Solo Bear was there to see ALL that happened, and he even can see behind (well perhaps your butt was exposed)why all that has happened happened.
Many average readers do not 'see' what's behind because expert writers reveal only contents but not intent.
Terence

Salary said...

"solo bear said.... It must be remembered that Josie, as chairperson, had the right to impose house rules."

Solo bear missed two points:

One should not just impose house rules without justifying them, that is poor leadership and misuse of power.

Siew was the legal adviser for the old guard, need to observe that fact.

Joan said...

Mr Siew, thanks for writing this. I think it was good that you wrote about what happened in the beginning that riled the crowd and set the tone for the rest of the day. Many people miss the point and hence, call us rowdy and acting in an improper and uncivilised manner.

One can argue with solo bear too, that the lawyers from Rajah & Tann have no right to sit there too, since one of them is a man. It doesn't mean that he has a right to be there since he was paid.

JC said...

Solo Bear

U totally hv no idea what u r saying. In an advocancy mtg, no one will sit down quietly and listen. This is not a COOS church mtg. We come here to speak and stand up for what we believe in. Not Shut down and sit down.

I can assure u tht Mr Siew has not controlled the crowd in anyway. This goes to show how inexperience and unqualified Josie L is. That is why she cannot be AWARE president. In an adv grp, u hv ur own point of view. U do not take ur ideas from other sources like bible or a feminist mentor.

solo bear said...

Please, please, I am only a straight, not a gay or bisexual, don't harass me..... (LOL)

Salary,
Josie was the chairperson. She is the host. Kum Hong is the guest. Guests don't make demands from host. Josie gave in to adamant guest. So who is gracious and who is unreasonable?


Joan,
Rajah and Tann was to advise AWARE, NOT Josie. Check that out with your Lord Kum Hong.


JC,
>> U totally hv no idea what u r saying. In an advocancy mtg, no one will sit down quietly and listen.
>>

Were you there? Yes? I then take you participated in the booing and jeering then? Cool! Thanks confirming the boisterous atmosphere sparked off by Kum Hong even before the EGM started.


>> I can assure u tht Mr Siew has not controlled the crowd in anyway. This goes to show how inexperience and unqualified Josie L is. That is why she cannot be AWARE president. In an adv grp, u hv ur own point of view. U do not take ur ideas from other sources like bible or a feminist mentor.
>>

Ah, but those words above speak volumes! So if Josie is inexperienced, then her incompetence to control the crowd showed last Saturday. That being the case, who was controlling the crowd when they booed in unison, and fell silent in unison? -


To supporters of Siew Kum Hong,

Thanks for your contributions above. By making posts and observations, you are actually incriminating your Lord Kum Hong unwittingly. You are reinforcing that Kum Hong stood by his guns, against house rules and hence, set the tone of the EGM for a hostile showdown even before it began.

Why don't you be patient and wait for your Lord to return? Why are there so many doubting Thomases here disbelieving your Lord will return and hold his own?

Jeanne said...

Solo Bear,

You're implying that more than one thousand logical, intelligent, thinking women were manipulated and controlled by one single MAN called Siew Kum Hong.

"If at all, YOU CONTROLLED THE CROWD, with every of your shrewd political move. YOU, being their advisor, set the tone and the temperament of the old guard supporters."

Er, what do you mean by controlling the crowd with "every of your shrewd political move"? Please substantiate/define/illustrate what a political move is in that EGM setting. Please explain. CAN'T WAIT.

So where's your proof that he incited the crowd? Did he wave his hands ala some magic conjurer at any time for the crowd to shout or to keep quiet? So tell me, what exactly was it he did or say? I was there and I didn't hear or see him do anything anything to that effect.

Maybe what you mean is we all somehow had some microchip in our head tuning in to some psychic brain waves Mr Siew was silently projecting.

Please, you're insulting our intelligence and our ability to think for ourselves. We didn't and will never need anyone to tell us what to do.

ahblabla said...

*laughs*

There will always be people like solo bear who sticks with Josie Lau and determines that everyone else who is not with him, is against him.

The fact is that AWARE was never about homosexuality, but anti-old-guard people painted it out to be, such that it was the only fighting point against AWARE, notwithstanding all the other achievements they have made over the years.

Yet, solo bear, and others, choose to only see what they want to see, that teaching people not to discriminate, suddenly becomes encouraging people to take on a similar lifestyle.

You can only convince people to be Christians, but not to be gay.

lynt said...

Am I the only one who thinks solo bear sounds a little bizarre with the LORD Kum Hong statement?

Solo bear - you give Mr Siew too much credit thinking that he was the one who controlled the crowd and set the tone and temperament.

The women would have acted no different even if Mr Siew wasn't present.

The women who were there, we acted the way we did because we believe fiercely in OUR freedom of choice. Not any LORD.

You mention the Power of Love? It seems to me you don't bear enough power to truly LOVE people who are different from you, people who have different views. I think you should change your own mantra to "Power of Hate".

We should all open up our hearts and mind. Om.

vic said...

you guys should go read solo bear's blog (sorry mr siew, not to take attention away from you on your blog). it's even more bizarre!

bit scary thinking that there are actually such people in singapore, thinking such thoughts and making such illogical, circular, blinkered arguments.

Alex said...

The (then) new guard could have set the stage for an orderly eogm, where differing points of view could be calmly debated in turn.
But the fact of the matter was that the mikes were off. Hence, those who wanted to speak had to shout first.
Of course, the switched-off mikes also indicated that the then-new guard had no intention of letting their own supporters defend their views - a point which was verified when their supporters started leaving after casting their votes.
My question is why were Josie Lau & Co. so adamantly against debating the issues at hand? By issues, I do not just mean one's stand on homosexuality or sex education. I also mean debating the question of whether Singaporean women have equal opportunity and choices regardless of their culture, ethnicity, faith and biology. These are important issues. The old guard wanted to debate them so as to challenge the then-new guard on their values. This is good, because we must always be reflexive. But the latter consistently evaded discussion - both before the eogm and during. Perhaps they saw no need to?

Starbucks said...

Hello solo bear,

I am a family man and a Bible Prebysterian christian. My church fellowship started from ISCF in primary school, through VCF in univ, to present day. I shower love not only to my wife and three children, but to my fellow men too, christian or non-christian. It is because of my conviction to live the bible, not just read it as a book. It was a sad day when the name of Christ was dragged through the mud by a bigotted self styled mentor and her brood. But mercifully, God prevailed.

bearbear said...

Thank you for sharing the insights of that day. I wasn't there, but was following closely the saga via newspapers, TV, internet. But to my surprise i read a rather sweeping commentary by Sumiko Tan on ST yesterday who, in what i read as an attempt to sit on the fence, self-righteously proclaimed that "the biggest losers are women". Wow. that was a big statement. And she finds the "unbecoming behaviour being displayed by both camps" - "disquieting and disgusting". i thought the use of words was rather inappropriate and verging on offensive.

And her commentary was preambled by an interview she did with Josie Lau, again published in ST, before the EGM - in an attempt to portray her as not the devil she was painted out to be.

What's up with Sumiko Tan? Has she ever stood up to fight for what she believes in? Or she can sit on the fence for the rest of her life if that is what makes her happy and mighty.

eve+line said...

What is this "control the crowd" nonsense? Siew Kum Hong was seated most of the time and if he were standing, it was either to approach the microphone to speak or to ask the crowd to quieten down.

Alan Wong said...

Solo Bear,

You sounded as if you are defending your wife or maybe you are actually Alan Chin masquerading as solo bear because you dare not reveal your true self?

Come on, Josie is not the naive lady that you make her out to be. If she is that naive, then she would't have lied about not knowing the othe exco members from COOS. That was real deceitful of her considering her VP post at DBS Bank.

Also, no need for you to resort to calling Kum Hong Lord. It only goes to show that you carry a hidden agenda behind your comments, just like Dr. Thio, Josie Lau & her pussycats.

If you have no substance, don't argue just for the sake of arguing. Otherwise you are just another one of those hypocrite who will not hesitate to make use of your religiion to dictate what others should do.

eve+line said...

Josie Lau committed a tactical mistake - she thought she could control several thousands of enraged women like a shepherd control his flock of meek lambs by not giving us our voices. She knew she had thousands of dissenters to deal with at the EGM. Why on earth didn't she COOPERATE with the "old guards" to agree on the agenda, instead trying to impose her own agenda and wasting people's time etc.

Major mistake.

Varian said...

I can only say one thing. Do not feed the troll. Solo bear is obviously a troll here trying to get people all agitated with his flaming and illogical comments. I suggest that all rational posters should just leave him alone. :)

BTW Solo Bear likes to post in other forums as well and divert people to his blog. So the best way to stop this attention-seeker is to just ignore him.

We don't want to reinforce his behaviour be giving him any form of attention.

eve+line said...

Don't worry. The one thing about trolls is: the more you provoke them, the sillier their comments. So I am waiting to see how silly he gets :)

Joel Low said...

Thank you for sharing what actually was the whole situation like on that day. From the videos posted and the comments from others it really did not give a complete picture of what happened on that day.

I am not surprised that the ousted Exco supporters did not really make much speeches to support their own cause. As I have posted in TOC, when a pastor or a leader of any church encourage their members to support the ousted Exco, it pressurize an individual to obey such a call. The pressure first came from the pulpit, then from their sub leaders and finally the common peer members. Very seldom will the pastor of the church encourage it's member to think, instead it is always a "I KNOW IT ALL, I TOLD YOU SO, JUST OBEY AND DO IT" type of message being thrown at the common believers. I know it, I used to work in a church.

Whether the common believers truly believes that they are doing the right thing or even agree with the cause they are supporting do not really matter now. The pressures from all these sources is enough for one to decide to blindly do what is being asked.

When you are not sure of what you are doing or what you are standing up for, you lack passion for it. Without passion, without a firm conviction in their hearts that what they were doing was right, how then to behave but to wait patiently and quietly to do what they went to do?

It is sad because this group of people although have the quality of loyalty but lack the strength to think for themselves. We really cannot blame them as this is really what has been taught in most churches all around the world, that a believer should "RELY ON GOD AND NOT ON YOU INTELLECT." Believers are not encourage to think too much as it will shake their faith. This is a man-made theory and has to be examined carefully as it could be used as a tool for control.

We cannot blame people like solo bear here as he is a victim of such a man-made control devices. He will not be able to see the truth for his mind is already set that everything has to be done in an orderly form, booing and jeering are offensive and that one should adhere 100% to a leader's decision.... etc. His mind is already set on supporting the ousted Exco not because he believes in their cause, but because they belongs to the same flock. Birds of the same feather ....

xNSman said...

A great writeup Mr Siew. That day, I felt proud of the passion of these Singaporeans. The PAPies have lost the moral integrity and issues in life is not driven by money only but by passion. There is a great difference when you pursue something with passion instead of money. I wish for Singaporeans to be as passionate for our country as the members of AWARE.

humph said...

Yes, please don't get tricked into contributing traffic volume to solo bear's blog - I made that mistake once and it's a major waste of time - he's been trolling several forums I think for this exact purpose.

It actually sounds to me this solo bear's nursing a secret crush on Mr Siew. Why else would he imagine Mr Siew to be such an omnipotent figure? No disrespect to Mr Siew but I would think as an NMP his only experience (as far as I can see) with political "lighting, cooling and dousing of the crowd fire" was with the sleepy members of our beloved house of parliament.

Rules, solo bear, have to be reasonable. If Josie Lau had decided we were to conduct the EGM with our tops naked and dancing with hoola hoops upon the chairs would you have complied? Please don't say yes because that mental image of you makes me want to poke a fork in my eye. Mr Siew was the old guards' legal counsel. Did you expect him to shout his counsel across the room every time the old guards had a question for him? Or perhaps a pigeon to carry his messages across? Please grow a brain.

If the new guards had been more responsible, and had bothered to communicate about the actual technicalities of the EGM procedure a lot of the tussling could have been prevented. No one had any idea what the house rules were until the EGM started. Are you to imply that the 2000+ of us were completely at their mercy the moment we stepped into the hall? That they'd bark out orders and we'd perform unquestioningly like robots? Only in your universe, solo bear. Your loving (what an irony!) universe.

The lense of perception is really a funny thing. In an exchange I had with another poster on another blog she actually alleged that a "male supporter of New Guard at the floor mike" was "physically harassed by shirt pulling and snatching of mike by 3 or 4 pairs of hands of the Old Guard female supporters before he can finish speaking". I directed her to this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=32Tcjx1ELhQ&feature=related

so that she can see for herself again whether the man was harrassed as she so colourfully described. Some people's imagination really ran away with them. Remember, I was there. I will dispute every wrong impression any lunatic try to attempt to give the public.

seanchan said...

solo bear said...
Please, please, I am only a straight, not a gay or bisexual, don't harass me..... (LOL)

ah.. solo bear must be the man who made bizarre and irrelevant statements about Constance Singam's smile that reminded him of his mother and then he went on to blabber about him being a man and harassed by women...

well, he is entitled to his warp ways and comments. since we are tolerant and embrace diversities, let him be! let's not discriminate him just because he is different... that would make us no better than TSM and her muppets!

solo bear said...

Alex:
>>The (then) new guard could have set the stage for an orderly eogm, where differing points of view could be calmly debated in turn. But the fact of the matter was that the mikes were off. Hence, those who wanted to speak had to shout first. Of course, the switched-off mikes also indicated that the then-new guard had no intention of letting their own supporters defend their views - a point which was verified when their supporters started leaving after casting their votes.
>>

Lying through your teeth? I repeat - I WAS THERE.

Josie wanted to start EGM, by going through the order of the meeting. The FIRST item was the President's speech. The floor would be opened in good time. I WAS THERE.

What the boisterous old guard wanted was to have THEIR SAY EVEN BEFORE THE PRESIDENT could make her opening speech.

So it is NOT that the president did not allow opposing voices. It is the boisterous crowd WANTED to speak even BEFORE the president spoke. So what Kum Hong has done is to DEMAND the mikes to be on even BEFORE the meeting was opened to the floor.

Seeing that Kum Hong was adamant and the crowd boisterous, Josie then bend the rules. That quieten the rowdy supporters for a while. She was interrupted many times during her speech - proving that the boisterous crowd was bent on disrupting the meeting.

In fact, the crowd wanted to go STRAIGHT TO THE VOTING ITEM, without even going through the order of the meeting.

Please, be honest now. I was there.


Humph,

The rules that Josie set were the norm of any EGM of any society. What?

Sean,

No, I wasn't that guy. I sat with the men. He sat with the women and got harassed, remember?

Alex said...

Solo bear:

no, I'm not lying. We merely have different perspectives on the same event. I don't understand why you have to turn a different opinion (i.e. mine) into a personal attack (i.e. call me a liar). If you had just repeated your view - that the old guard supporters didn't respect the order of proceedings - I would've accepted it, though not necessarily have agreed with you. We can disagree civily without accusing each other. Moreover, my post was not even addressed to you personally.

In any case, my question is still not answered. Why were the values behind the issues not discussed by the new guard and their supporters both in the eogm and in the 2 weeks before it? The old guard came out with their liberal viewpoints early on. Whether or not people accept it is up to them, just as i feel parents shld be free to unenroll their children in the CSE if they disagree with the contents.

solo bear said...

Alex:
>>In any case, my question is still not answered. Why were the values behind the issues not discussed by the new guard and their supporters both in the eogm and in the 2 weeks before it?
>>

You were at the EGM, weren't you?
Why did you not ask Josie then?-Booing too much? ;)

G. said...

Hey, remember ladies and gentleman! Don't feed the Troll!

mediawhip said...

Dustin

You asked who is this man in a white T-shirt, my guess he's Caine from Ape Communications. Caine was the main guy helping the shut-up-and-sit-down exco with event management.

https://sites.google.com/site/luminoirproductions/repository/whoisthisman.jpg?attredirects=0

Jeremy said...

Some bears have staplers for brains, ignore. I tried my best with him on his turf, but when a tyrant has made up its mind, we deal with walls.

HE said...

Mr Siew,

What is your view on family structure? A family should be {a man + a woman + children} or otherwise?
I heard that you are a great supporter of homosexuality, is that true?
Pls forgive me for my naive questions.

akikonomu said...

Mediawhip: That's not Caine Teo.

Not unless Caine Teo managed to gain 1/4 of his weight and become myopic in the period of 3 months...

According to acidflask's research, this is Caine Teo.

Siew Kum Hong said...

To everyone: Thanks for your encouraging words (well, those of you who did offer such words anyway). And also, thanks to those of you who had responded to solo bear.

To akikonomu: You do ask some good questions in that post. I don't have any answers to them. I cannot say whether it was the decision of the events management company or the AWARE exco. But I would say that in the general course of affairs, vendors and service providers would normally take directions from their clients.

To Salary: It's not my place to answer your question #1. As for your question #2, I don't have the information.

To HE: I neither support nor condemn homosexuality as a lifestyle or an act. What I do support, is the right of individuals to choose for themselves how they want to live, provided their choice does not result in harm to me. I suffer and feel no harm from homosexuals living their lives. It is their business. It is not my business. I do not make it my business.

Finally, to solo bear: I will only make the following points in response.

- Margie Thomas had written to Josie asking for a meeting on logistics, to resolve this sort of issues. That request was not agreed to. To my mind, all of this was avoidable.

- House rules should not be arbitrary, but should be fair and reasonable. AWARE is a society, where the rules at a meeting can be decided by the meeting itself. That is the indisputable law and practice of meetings. I think it would be at least a stretch to call Parliament a society.

- The stated reason for the segregated seating (which seems to go against the ideas of inclusiveness and equality) was to allow the ordinary members to vote. But voting slips are given only to ordinary members anyway! So why the strict insistence on segregated seating? In any case, I did offer to step away from the area when voting took place, and that's exactly what I did.

- The mics should be left on, to allow points of order to be made. You do not seem to understand the purpose or nature of points of order, in which case please see Wikipedia. The lawyer from Rajah & Tann agreed as much. And yet the games with the mics continued.

- I don't consider myself a politician. I am in politics, but I am not a politician. I wish I had all these mystical powers and abilities of crowd control that you seem to attribute to me, if only so that I can quit my day-job and start a private security company for events and make a fortune. Unfortunately, I don't.

- I am more than a little amused at the thought of a man "controlling" 2000 feminists. Again, I only wish I had that power. I am quite sure my wife does not think I can control any woman, and I imagine she would know best.

- Ultimately, I think we come from different places. I think I will simply have to disagree with your perceptions of what happened that day.

- I do have one small request. I don't have house rules here, so I will not threaten you with ejection from this forum if you ignore it. But I would strongly prefer it if you refrain from referring to me as "Lord". I am not a nobleman. And in case you had taken this blog posting at face value, I don't think it was meant to be serious (I for one laughed pretty hard when I read it).

And I think these will be all the words that I will have for you.

solo bear said...

Kum Hong,

Thank you for your time. In spite of being busy, I appreciate you took time to reply me. First of all, I am glad to say that we do not dispute on the facts that happened at the EGM. What we differ is the reason is WHY it happened.

You posted:
>> Margie Thomas had written to Josie asking for a meeting on logistics, to resolve this sort of issues. That request was not agreed to. To my mind, all of this was avoidable.
>>

No comments, as I was not involved and know nothing about that.

>> House rules should not be arbitrary, but should be fair and reasonable. AWARE is a society, where the rules at a meeting can be decided by the meeting itself. That is the indisputable law and practice of meetings. I think it would be at least a stretch to call Parliament a society.
>>

Ah, here is the difference of opinion now. So Josie sees that she has to stick to house rules to maintain order, while you say it is not arbitrary and should be fair and reasonable.

However, I am glad you did not deny my statement that the crowd began to be boorish when you insisted to exercise your rights and the crowd queitened down AFTER Josie began to bend the rules.

>>The stated reason for the segregated seating (which seems to go against the ideas of inclusiveness and equality) was to allow the ordinary members to vote. But voting slips are given only to ordinary members anyway! So why the strict insistence on segregated seating? In any case, I did offer to step away from the area when voting took place, and that's exactly what I did.
>>

Again, I am glad you did not deny that the crowd became boorish when you insisted sitting with the ordinary members and again you did not deny that the crowd quietened down when Josie allowed you to be seated with the ordinary members.

>>The mics should be left on, to allow points of order to be made. You do not seem to understand the purpose or nature of points of order, in which case please see Wikipedia. The lawyer from Rajah & Tann agreed as much. And yet the games with the mics continued.
>>

Please leave the wiki stuff out. This is an AWARE meeting. I am a member too. I know the constitution. In ANY EGM, there has to be ORDER.

Once again, I am glad you did not dispute the fact that the mic on the floor would have been turned on anyway for the floor to speak in good time. I also glad that you did not deny that it was your insistence to have the mic on, that caused the heckles and booing, and again it was Josie’s decision to bend the rules to have it turned on before the questions were opened to the floor, that quietened the crowd.

Another point you did not deny is the fact that while Josie was giving her president’s speech, members of the old guard took turns to interrupt her speech. So even with the mic on, it didn’t stop them from disrupting the meeting, did it?

>> - I don't consider myself a politician. I am in politics, but I am not a politician. I wish I had all these mystical powers and abilities of crowd control that you seem to attribute to me, if only so that I can quit my day-job and start a private security company for events and make a fortune. Unfortunately, I don't.
>>

OK, I leave it at that. However, I still consider you politician even if you don’t.

>>I am more than a little amused at the thought of a man "controlling" 2000 feminists. Again, I only wish I had that power. I am quite sure my wife does not think I can control any woman, and I imagine she would know best.
>>

OK again. But then, I am sure you won’t deny that Breama gave cues for the crowd to either cheer, jeer or quieten down. So although you claim you don’t control, you won’t deny that there was someone controlling the boisterous crowd, would you?

Please make a statement on that. Again, as you know, silence implies that I described the above accurately.

>> Ultimately, I think we come from different places. I think I will simply have to disagree with your perceptions of what happened that day.
>>

Yes, perceptions are subjective. But the facts I have stated, which you have NOT denied, are objective.

>> I do have one small request. I don't have house rules here, so I will not threaten you with ejection from this forum if you ignore it. But I would strongly prefer it if you refrain from referring to me as "Lord". I am not a nobleman. And in case you had taken this blog posting at face value, I don't think it was meant to be serious (I for one laughed pretty hard when I read it).
>>

I respect your request. From this post onwards, I will refer you just as Siew Kum Hong or Kum Hong.

As for your words that your blog is not meant to be serious, I think it HAS to be serious.

The public is reading your blog and depending ON YOU, to ascertain the truth as to what happened at the EGM.

If you now say it is to be "laughed off", then all your attempts to defend the boisterous and uncouth behaviour of old guard supporters fall flat.

You are a lawyer! If this news goes to Registrar of ROS, he has the power to nullify the goings-on at the EGM, if he feels that the EGM was not conducted in good faith and hence, may be detrimental to the public. Surely you know that.

>>And I think these will be all the words that I will have for you.
>>

I hope that is not a signal to me you will ignore me in future posts. Because I have a biggie coming up.

Of course, you can ignore that biggie question I would be putting up, since ignoring is part of free speech too. However, you being a lawyer will know that silence itself has implications.

Just to give you an idea, the topic is about that monster $90k bill AWARE still has on its hands. I do have a right to question that as a member, don’t I?

And again of course, I can ask AWARE direct. But then again, you were (still are?) the advisor to the old guard. I want to hear it from you.

Thanks for your precious time. I know you are a very busy man and I appreciate your effort replying me. I’ll be back.

Davester said...

Solo bear,
Read the original post. Jinhong has already stated on Josie and posse's incompetence.

And if you want to go to the ROS to dismiss the EGM, go ahead.

solo bear said...

Davester,

I have NO intention to go to ROS. I am just reminding Kum Hong that his blog is being read by the public - and that could include the Registrar himself.

Why don't you let Kum Hong handle the situation. Are you not making it difficult for him to defend old guards?

So if Josie is incompetent to lead as we all now know, who then was controlling the crowd when they booed in unison and sat down in unison?

Are you not implicating and incriminating the very party you are trying to defend so hard?

spanksah said...

Dear solo bear,

I was one of them in the crowd who booed and jeered at everything related to josie lau and her team. Since you were there, you should be aware of their high-handedness and their blatant disregard of what AWARE stands for and handles things (because of their inexperience).

Therefore, please stop saying that the crowd booed and jeered because Mr Siew did this and that. WE JEERED AND BOOED BECAUSE WE WERE ANGRY AT WHAT HAS BEEN HAPPENING TO AWARE FOR A MONTH PLUS BEFORE THE EGM. Yes, you were at the EGM, but were you in Singapore prior to that to realise that the "new guard" had acted so deplorably and moved so many women to even come to the EGM?? Please, stop your blinkered and monotonous repetition of how Mr Siew incited the crowd. Don't take away our voice and don't you dare take away how passionately we feel about keeping AWARE secular.

Nadia Abdullah.

Lastly, get a pet. If you already have one, go walk your dog.

solo bear said...

Spanksah
>>I was one of them in the crowd who booed and jeered at everything related to josie lau and her team.
>>

Hello Nadia. Thank you for confirming in very explicit terms that all the noise is indeed BOOING AND JEERINIG and not just individual shouts to protest.

Thank you VERY, VERY MUCH for stating that as a FACT.

>>Since you were there, you should be aware of their high-handedness and their blatant disregard of what AWARE stands for and handles things (because of their inexperience).
>>

That is an opinion. I beg to differ.

>>Therefore, please stop saying that the crowd booed and jeered because Mr Siew did this and that.
>>

What caused the booing and jeering is opinion. My opinion differs from yours.

>> WE JEERED AND BOOED BECAUSE WE WERE ANGRY AT WHAT HAS BEEN HAPPENING TO AWARE FOR A MONTH PLUS BEFORE THE EGM.
>>

Yes, thank you again for stating explicitly that you were BOOING AND JEERING, and not simply shouting as individuals as what is claimed by defenders of the old guard.

Thank you very, very much once again, for stating that as a FACT.


Nadia (and other supporters of old guard),

I have told you to allow Kum Hong to handle the situation. haven't I? Why are you all so stubborn? The more you talk, the more damage you do to yourselves. So now, the following facts has been established so far -

1. The boisterous noise was BOOING AND JEERING. and NOT individuals shouting.

2. All the boisterous noise started WHENEVER Kum Hong insisted on exercising his rights.

3. The noise stopped each time AFTER Josie decided to bend house rules.

Those are the FACTS no old guard or Kum Hong has denied. On the other hand, what caused booing and jeering itself, is a matter of opinion.

One more thing - Nadia, I notice that there is NO DENIAL on your part that Breama gave cues to the BOOING AND JEEERING crowd. Thank you once again for your silence on that.

Nadia and other supporters of old guard, if you want to help Kum Hong help old guard, please allow him to do his job. Are you not making it difficult for him by undermining the situation? Are you not making it worse when your own words implicate and incriminate the old guard?

Let's wait for Kum Hong, shall we?

Eugene Ng said...

I am glad MOE pulled the plug on the AWARE sex education programme.

I wonder what undesirable content they found that prompted such swift and responsible action.....

Siew Kum Hong said...

To Eugene Ng: I'm not going to speculate on why MOE took the actions that it has. My preference is to let their process run to completion, and then look at what MOE has to report. I do want to note that it is all external sex ed programmes that have been suspended, including those run by religious groups.

To solo bear: I am breaking my own rule set just 8 hours ago, but only once. Yes I am going to ignore you, because you are an obvious troll distorting my words. Please do read my posting and refrain from putting words in my mouth. I did not at all agree with your characterisation of what took place at the EGM -- in case you did not understand the words I used, I said that I would only make a few points. That meant I did not intend to do a line-by-line rebuttal of all your allegations. I am not drafting court pleadings here, so I would not say that all your allegations are denied. But yes, I disagree with all of your allegations and erroneous characterisations. (And either your browser is not working, or you do not know what underlined words represent in a browser.) And now, I really will not entertain you any further. You obviously have time to waste, but I don't.

AshtonK said...

solo bear

In case you didnt get what SKH was referring to (which is most likely)...he is telling you to click on the words "blog posting" which were highlighted in blue and underlined - because you didn't understand what he meant earlier when he said about not taking the blog posting seriously. Again, in case you still don't get it, he was not referring to his own but to Groundnotes' blog posting (click it and it will bring you to that page - try it. And go back to all those other posts you read in all other blogs, and do the same)

Gavin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gavin said...

To Solobear: I'm not a supporter of either the old or the new guards of Aware though I've been following the news with a neutral view to it.

I would say, by reading your comments to Mr Siew, that you are being very bias in your opinion in the whole event and you are to assuming when people rebuke your ideas. I seriously hope this is not a common behaviour of the new guards. If it is so, then I AM relieved that the old guards got back the control.

Everyone has a right to have their own beliefs, way of living and religion and in Singapore (a multi-social country), in order to live in harmony and peace, I do seriously believe a tolerence and compassion for all, regardless of race, religion, sex orientation, beliefs, is necessary.

Everyone has a freedom of speech and Mr Siew is just voicing his opinion and afterthoughts to the EGM, ignoring you doesn't necessary means he's agreeing with you. It just means it's a waste of time replying someone who has already block off ideas which differ from his own. This is what I'm seeing in your reply.

On the other hand, I have seen your postings in your blog and where you mentioned Gays winning Aware battle. Please note people supporting freedom in living regardless sex orientation DOES NOT equal to Gays! Please do not impose on others this distorted way of thinking! I do feel frighten for my children if people with your type of tilted and bias ideas do get control on any secular organisations.

And I'm repeating myself, I DO NOT stand on either side and I was not present at the EGM. I have friends who are Chirstians and also friends who are gay. We are able to live in harmony because we have the heart for tolerence and compassion. If all were like you. there will be chaos all around. Do not stir distrust and hatred.

All opinions are formed by reading the posts here and the news.

Eugene Ng said...

Hello Kum Hong,

Yes it is heartening to note that MOE has suspended all the external sex programmes for now pending further review.

And I should have read today's newspaper earlier.
In it,
Jennifer Chan, Press Secretary to MOE says of Aware's Comprehensive Sexuality Education "...some suggested responses in the instructor guide are explicit and inappropriate, and convey messages which could promote homosexuality or suggest approval of premarital sex...In view of this, Aware's programmes in schools will be suspended..."

As a parent, i feel we perhaps should not bring in religious values into a secular group, but at the same time, I am grateful that the MOE also seeks to protect the mainstream moral upbringing of children, which caring parents so pain-stakingly and delicately try to establish...especially when any persuasive remarks are not but casual careless comments..

You have a very active blog here...and i would very much gree with you...that Singaporean society is becoming more vocal and people realise what they do can make a difference...it is a welcoming sign...

Jeanne said...

Oh dear me, Solo Bear,

As Sumiko Tan already wrote in her piece, published in the national newspaper no less, about the "disgraceful and disgusting" behaviour of women at the EGM, I don't think that there's any denying that there was noise being made. Some booed, some jeered, some shouted, and your point being...?

Even if there was noise at the EGM, it wasn't orchestrated, we just felt like it... and still don't get what is it about this that's so hard for your bear brain to comprehend?

No one told us what to do. I was sitting so far away I couldn't see Braema or anyone else gesticulating or inciting the crowd. If I made any noise, it was in response to silly and irresponsible statements like "Shut up and sit down!" and "Respect your elders!". And if anyone else took issue with anything that was said by Josie and her team, it's our PREROGATIVE as members of Aware. Please respect the members' rights to make our dissenting voices heard as not all of us had mics. For the record, new guard supporters sitting next to me were shouting (some of them were busy praying) too. But you wouldn't have heard them because you're sitting with the associate members right?

And no, please don't give that stupid argument about house rules, we're not kids in a school. Josie kept insisting on making her song and dance presentation even when old guard wanted to go straight into points of order. Of course get booed lah, the EGM was convened to discuss the vote of no confidence, there was no necessity to put the members through that song and dance routine. If you really want to argue, since the vote of no confidence involved the legitimacy of the old and new excos, then Josie should also have factored a song and dance presentation by the old guards in her original agenda. But she didn't do so, and do you think that's fair? Ms Thomas had every right to insist on going straight into points of order.

I also noticed that till now, you still have not given me any proof that to your allegation that Mr Siew "CONTROLLED THE CROWD, with every of your shrewd political move. YOU, being their advisor, set the tone and the temperament of the old guard supporters."

Please also substantiate "All the boisterous noise started WHENEVER Kum Hong insisted on exercising his rights." I was there and never saw/heard him "insisting" on anything. When did he do this? Where's your proof?

Kum Hong already said that he offered "to step away from the area when voting took place, and that's exactly what I did."

Stop lying through your teeth and behind the facade of an IP address. You can make all the allegations and misrepresentations that you want on someone else's blog, but unless your comments come published with your REAL NAME and PHOTOGRAPH, I don't see why Mr Siew has to take you up on your silly, childish taunts.

mediawhip said...

Thanks akikonomu for the clarification. For the young man that he is, his demeanour had been rather high-handed.

googleman said...

To SKH,

You have an idealistic idealogy. But your affirmation of values was contradicted by your action:

"Openness": You were not open to the views of others.

"Transparency": Your account of what happened is one-sided. Your followers chose your version because it fits their agenda.

"Inclusiveness": You certainly did not include those who disagree with you. Actions speaks louder than words.

"Diversity": See above

"Secularism": Like atheism, secularism is a kind of religion isn't it?

"Dishonesty": See my comments under "Transparency".

"Non-transparency": Ditto

"Exclusiveness": You excluded those whom you don't agree with you

"Intolerance": You were intolerant of others

"Divisiveness:: You are good at this

"Oppression/bullying": You were glad that the crowd did this for you.

leetahsar said...

if only such "passion" could also be applied by voters in the predictable GE.

alba said...

Right at the start of the EGM, there was this lady who demanded to know why was SKH seated with the ladies in the most vicious and uncouth manner.

The old guards took up the mics only to discover that the only ones that work were those on the stage.

This event set the stage of a bias playing field of which many members wasted no time voicing out their dismay.

As the EGM progressed, the mics were switched on and off intermittently, depending on who was behind it.

If the new exco had the graciousness to prepare for fair play, they would not been been drowned by the very voices who were there to be heard and counted standing up, not sitting.

And dun forget, while the votes are being counted, the new exco even attempted to pass a motion of which the members are not informed of. Do they really assumed that members are easily lead by the nose?

Terence said...

Kum Hong,

I agree entirely with what googleman said.
Please comment. Unless you are going to bend your house rules, or as what you said, are you going to tell googleman that you are not serious just as you had told solo bear?

solo bear said...

Kum Hong,

I get your message. I will trouble you no further. However, you did say you will not bar me, so I take that I am allowed to engage discussion with others. I thank you for your hospitality here.

Gavin, alba and Jeanne,

I am offering all of you the chance to discuss issues more in detail at my site. I do not want to repeat things here what I said at my site. I am just a guest over here. I am restraining myself since I sense my views are less than welcomed.

eddie said...

内容很享受,也发现许多美丽的词汇。谢谢MR SIEW 的用心良苦,我站在您的角度支持旧委员。--

humph said...

Terence:

I'm replying to you because I resolved never to be baited by SoB again (although you do sound suspiciously like his alter ego).

Please pay attention.

*Huge blinking neon rainbow lights*
*BLINK BLINK BLINK*

Mr Siew referred SoB to THIS LINK:
http://groundnotes.wordpress.com/2009/04/17/the-aware-catfight/

and asked SoB not to take THAT BLOG too seriously, at least insofar as to that particular blog post referring to Mr Siew as "Lord".

Un...der...stand...?

(please don't contribute to SoB's traffic volume)

solo bear said...

Gavin, alba, Jeanne and all other old guard supporters,

One more thing. What are you all going to do with that $90k monster bill that is still in AWARE's hands?

We do need a general assembly to have it approved, don't we?

Gavin said...

Solobear: One last time I'm going to repeat myself to u and please do not make me repeat again like a teacher to a schoolkid....I'm neither the supporter of the old guard nor the new guard.

And the $90K was spent by the new guard, wasn't it? In that case you should be asking dear old Joise about this?

vic said...

solo bear, are you for real? responsibility for the $90k falls squarely on josie & gang's shoulders doesn't it? why do you speak as if it is for "us" to deal with?

the sad thing is i don't think you're merely trolling here, you honestly DO appear to be as stupid as you sound!

i wouldn't ordinarily reply, but comments as entertaining as yours deserve a response in kind!

solo bear said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
solo bear said...

This is a repost. Deleted last one because there is an error. Apologies
========

My apologies for linking you up with the old guard supporters then. Let me then re-address you specifically.

Gavin, fellow (Associate) member of Aware,

There still is a monster bill worth $90k in the hands of AWARE. As a member who has a stake in AWARE, what are you going to do about it? Are you going to sit on it, ignore it does not exist, prod Dana Lim to do something, get Kum Hong (Is he still the advisor?) to advise the EXCO? What?

It must be remembered that the constitution allows EXCO only $20k to be approved a month. So if what Josie and gang did is unconstitutional, don't you think what Dana Lim does now (if she disburses cheques to clear invoices) is also unconstitutional?

Stop telling me to ask Josie. She is no longer he president. Dana now is.

I want to know YOUR stand on the monster bill now, because as members, we do know that issue is still unresolved, don't we?

How do we get out of this constitutional mess?

eve+line said...

Funny how Solo Bear used the word "we" as if he's remotely concerned with the huge outlay the Josie exco incurred.

Solo Bear, I'm not going to give you lesson in legal definitions here. Look up what "ultra vires" mean and tell everybody here what the new exco should do to pursue this.

Gavin said...

To Solobear:

To make things clear as I have said, I'm just a by-stander (All information provided by news and reading of forums and blogs like this).

However, since you want me to answer you question, which hopefully will not be filtered according to your likes (remember the Gold 90.5FM advertisement), I willdo as request.

YES, I do and still do feel what Josie and gang do in spending the $90K is unconstitutional. They were not even given the right to spend that kind of money in the first place! Even you, a Josie supporter, do agree that this is a monster bill.

Yes, Josie is no longer the president, Dana is and Dana has to take up this liability that Josie has created on behalf of Josie i.e., to issue cheques to clear invoices. This is simple sense just like an example of a credit card main cardholder has to clear whatever liability that the sub-cardholder has created. This concerns the reputation of Aware (if there is still any, after the saga). However, that being said, Dana or rather Aware Exco will be able to reserves the right to file a law suit to claim back this $90K. This is common sense that I believe any clear-minded adult can comprehend.

I hope this answer the part you were asking me.

Salary said...

The real host of the EGM was AWARE members. Josie and team as elected officials were delegated to execute the meeting. They were servants to the master, the collective of the AWARE members. They were the ones who failed to observe and respect the master of the EGM, the majority collective of AWARE members.

They lacked the understanding of courtesy, custom, and common senses to serve the members from the start.

solo bear said...

Gavin,
>>To make things clear as I have said, I'm just a by-stander (All information provided by news and reading of forums and blogs like this).
>>

Thanks for clearing that up. But the issue I am now touching on - the $90k monster bill - does not need members who were present to comment.

>> YES, I do and still do feel what Josie and gang do in spending the $90K is unconstitutional. They were not even given the right to spend that kind of money in the first place! Even you, a Josie supporter, do agree that this is a monster bill.
>>

Just like you do not like to be affiliated to the gays and lesbians who supported old guard, please don't affiliate me with Josie. The issue I am touching on is not whether what Josie did was unconstitutional. We all know that it was not. Why are you repeating what we agree on? Shouldn't we discuss what we disagree?

>>Yes, Josie is no longer the president, Dana is and Dana has to take up this liability that Josie has created on behalf of Josie i.e., to issue cheques to clear invoices. This is simple sense just like an example of a credit card main cardholder has to clear whatever liability that the sub-cardholder has created.
>>

No, it isn't a matter of the credit card holder having to clear what the supplementary card holder does. It is about the constitution, where EXCO has a maximum authority of spending only $20k a month.

Technically, Dana has a monster in her hands. How do you suggest she gets rid of that monster?

>>This concerns the reputation of Aware (if there is still any, after the saga). However, that being said, Dana or rather Aware Exco will be able to reserves the right to file a law suit to claim back this $90K. This is common sense that I believe any clear-minded adult can comprehend.
>>

The current EXCO, or for that matter the general membership, has the right to sue Josie and gang. But that still does not clear the $90k monster bill, does it?

>>I hope this answer the part you were asking me.
>>

No, it doesn't answer at all.



Gavin and others,

You see, I was hoping Kum Hong could enlighten everyone on the above. Unfortunately, he has taken leave from my posts. I suspect that he, being a lawyer, knew what was coming and hence, decided to "disappear".

Now, it is not that the $90k monster bill was unforseeable. I believe that old guard already knew that the $20k limit was breached before Josie and Treasurer admitted it at the EGM. Hence, the old guard was waiting like hawks to pounce on that during the EGM.

Fine. So it got members oohed, and aaahed, and what not when old guard finally got it out from Josie and gang. However, I am just beginning to wonder the amateurish handling by the old guard in using the $20k limit breached issue.

Didn't they know that if they took over from Josie, that monster bill would be in their hands?

Didn't they know that if they started disbursing cheques to pay off the monster bill, technically, they would be in breach of the constitution, just like Josie and gang?

So why didn't they address the issue of the monster bill when they took over from new guard that night?

All they need to do is to get the general members to APPROVE that latest elected EXCO disburse of the payments for the monster bill. Whether they want to take legal action against Josie and gang, can be sorted out later. But the MOST IMPORTANT ISSUE is to get general members to approve, because if they did not, that monster bill will come back to hound latest elected EXCO!
-

That was what I was trying to drive at. So actually, from this scenario we can see that:

1. The Old Guard was shallow, in that after re-grabbing power, did not see that it needed to clear up mess previous EXCO left with them.

2. The so called advisor, did not foresee - when it is very, very foreseeable - the monster bill was coming their way.

Yes, Josie was incompetent. She never ran an NGO before. But for the original EXCO to make this mistake? And under the guidance of their advisor?

That is about what I wanted to alert you all about pertaining to that monster bill.

The only way I see that EXCO is able to clear that $90k monster bill is to return to the general members to get their endorsement - yes, another dreaded EGM!-

Part 2 of more booing and jeering then? This is getting to be a suspenseful drama show, isn't it?


Eve+line
>> Solo Bear, I'm not going to give you lesson in legal definitions here. Look up what "ultra vires" mean and tell everybody here what the new exco should do to pursue this.
>>

I know. If Josie breached constitution, wouldn't Dana breach it too if she cleared the bills?

Call another EGM to authorise the $90k? Any other constitutionally correct ideas?

I have none. Do you?

solo bear said...

PS - I left immediately after results of votes were casted.

Hence, I do not know if there was any resolution to address monster bill.

Since everyone here was silent on it, I assume it was not addressed.

Gavin said...

To Solobear:

I will not reply to you as this is clearly a repeitition on the Gold FM 90.5 advertisement....hear only the good...in this case...hear what you want. I will cease to reply. It is wasting my time to debate with the kind like you.

Truly you are the ultimate! I think many will agree with me.

Terence said...

To Hump,
Noted your reply. Yes I misunderstood, apologies.
But I am looking forward to Kum Hong's response to all what googleman wrote. Isnt Kum Hong like to clarify the points disputing him ? Well I dont expect something like 'court preoceedings'.

eve+line said...

Silly bear, if it is established that Josie Lau has indeed acted ultra vires, and it appears she has, there're more legal options open to the AWARE exco than convening the EGM to authorise payment of the bill.

You are really quite hopeless.

solo bear said...

>>Silly bear, if it is established that Josie Lau has indeed acted ultra vires, and it appears she has, there're more legal options open to the AWARE exco than convening the EGM to authorise payment of the bill.
>>

And what exactly are the options, which are constitutionally correct, if you don't convene an EGM for general members to approve that monster bill?

A personal donation from Dana and Co? ;)

eve+line said...

No, more like Josie Lau & co will have to pay up, because they were the ones that acted beyond the powers allowed to them under the AWARE constitution. So you better hope the Feminist Mentor is prepared to back them up.

solo bear said...

eve,

You still don't get it, do you?

So what if Josie or TSM pays up? That money will still go to AWARE's coffers. That means that money is still subjected to the constitution, which caps at $20k per month.

So how is Dana and Co going to release $90k to pay off the monster bill?

What other means do you have, other than convening an EGM to get general members' approval, so that the $90k monster bill be paid?

Any idea?

eve+line said...

You know, that's why AWARE has an army of lawyers willing to act pro bono for them. There's nothing lawyers can't solve :) Use your brain a bit.

Siew Kum Hong said...

To Eugene Ng: Truth be said, it's usually not so busy here! :) I am heartened that you, as a parent, take such a keen interest in what your child(ren) learn in school -- I do gather that that's not always the case, unfortunately.

To googleman: I'm not sure how you expect me to respond to your bald assertions which are not supported by any reasons. I can only say that I would have to disagree. Perhaps if you provided some detailed reasons for what you say, then I would be able to respond further.

To Terence: Please see my response to googleman. I'm not sure how to respond to bald assertions, other than with a bald disagreement.

HE said...

Mr Siew,

Thank you for taking time to reply.

You said that, "I neither support nor condemn homosexuality as a lifestyle or an act. What I do support, is the right of individuals to choose for themselves how they want to live, provided their choice does not result in harm to me. I suffer and feel no harm from homosexuals living their lives. It is their business. It is not my business. I do not make it my business."

So may i ask why do you push so hard to change Section 377A?

humph said...

HE:

I'm surprised you can't see it right away, it's so simple - 377A takes away the rights of certain individuals to choose for themselves.

Rather quite perplexing observation I've made: as long as any issue even borders on resembling a "gay issue", one's stand on it is forced to conform to a dichotomy, specifically reduced to being either "pro-gay" or "anti-gay", even as one repeatedly asserts that one is merely pushing the notion of equality.

Let's take the example of 377A, since we're on that. To me, the crux of the 377A repeal has NEVER been about homosexuality, but about the blatent discrimination shown. Even as NMP Thio went on a long rhetoric about the unhealthiness and distastefulness of anal sex, I kept asking myself, "so then why was anal and oral sex between a man and a woman decriminalised?" Somehow anal sex between a man and a woman is healthier? Less distasteful? If 377A was kept on the books as a denoucement of homosexuality (even as our government claims not to enforce moral values), where does that leave the lesbians? Are they "not counted"? I'm not at all educated on the mechanics of gay sex, but can't gay men have other forms of sex?

I'm still in puzzlement today and I could only conclude that we were dealing with a very cowardly government which was (and is, given the stance MOE has taken now against AWARE's CSE) preoccupied with not stirring up hornets' nests (or at least choosing the smaller nest) and prioritises that over logic, reason, or ideals of fairness or some such. Yet, if that were the case, why even review 377 in the first place?

Anyway, back to Mr Siew's push for the 377A repeal. Question - imagine this scenario: our country has this absurd law whereby all Malay women had to get married before they hit 30; Mr Siew tables a bill in parliament to address his concern of such an unjust law. Would that then make him pro or anti Malay women? Or would that mean he takes a special interest in the marital affairs of Malay women? I think not. The answer would have been simple - the law was unjust, and he would have needed to address that.

alba said...

eve+line,

the silly bear is trying to fish for more info on the next course of action available to the rightful exco.

Dun tell him and keep him in suspense!! :)

solo bear said...

Eve+line
>> You know, that's why AWARE has an army of lawyers willing to act pro bono for them. There's nothing lawyers can't solve :) Use your brain a bit.
>>

I suppose Kum Hong is one of them? Why then did he not advise old guard at EGM to get general members to approve that newly elected exco would be allowed to get rid of that $90k monster that very night?

That’s what people always say about free things – they don’t work. ;)

alba said...

AWARE sure could do with some extra funds now.

I would propose to buy mentos and have a custom printed wrapper over it.

It shd read "Feminist Mentos". It would sell like hot cakes.

Think TSM would be even more "charmed...."

:))

solo bear said...

Good one alba,

How about promoting chocolate wafers, "Have a Kit Katfight?"

alba said...

silly bear,

That's a lame one....

solo bear said...

alba,

Just a lame one? Or lame ones?

After Katfight, many injured kats.

How can it be only one?

alba said...

Ah.... *light bulb blinks*

A custom printed wrapper over kit kats called:

"Josie and her pussy KATS" !!

Terence said...

To Kum Hong:
Noted.

To Solo, Alba:
Haha, can I join in. How about Aware outsource making of gums to Wriggleys. Or could be mints instead, right.

solo bear said...

Terence,

Why would they want gum, when rubber is so much better for their cause? :)

Alba,

Let's call a truce. You help AWARE to disguise contraceptive pills as mentos sweets and rubber condoms as blown up bubble gum to children, while I just stick to promoting Kit Katfights to raise money for the next EGM so that the $90k monster bill can be approved - which may cost another $90k as well.

That way, no parent will suspect your CSE programme and we still get to raise the money for that much needed next EGM.

How's that?

alba said...

Custom printed Post-it pads:

I am on Page 73!!

alba said...

Custom printed tissue paper to be distributed to the congregation:

"SHUT UP and SIT DOWN!!"

Duh said...

Now that Dana and party has spoken, it is evident they are no public defendent of democracy nor a NGO that embraces openness, inclusiveness, diversity and secularism. They do not walk their talk.

Conclusion: liars, hypocrites.

Kum Hong, what you encouraged at the EGM is merely mob demonstration, and what you encouraged is mob justice not an exercise in civil society

alba said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
alba said...

To solobear again,

Thank you for giving me the idea of rubber condoms :)

Here's the plan:

Custom printed wrapper:
"STAND UP and BE COUNTED"

Custom printed condom with luminous ink:
"We_R_AWARE"

To award solobear for the great suggestion, he shall given a carton to chew on it.

Afterall, he is a concerned parent, isn't he??

alba said...

To solobear,

Inhumane ideas like masquarading contraceptives as mentos sweets is best saved for people like you.

The one who moots the idea is more sinful than those who carries out the operation.

The masks that I use are honey and chocolate.

p.s. does the contraceptive/sweets happen to be called "Feminist Mentos"??

solo bear said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
alba said...

hahaha... solobear.

thank you for your lame response.
I had expected a credible and clever answer but I did not get any. /duh

HE said...

Hi Hump,
Sorry but I was addressing questions to Mr Siew. He is the NMP, unless you are also an NMP, I would not like to interrupt your view or your "choice". Bec an NMP/MP is so called "a voice" of the people.

To me, Nature is fair and simple. Babies come from [man and woman] reunion. Never from [mam and man] or [woman and woman] reunion. Unless you have invented something new that the world does not know about, Mr Siew.

Promoting homosexuality is a danger to our nation. Bec it is against Nature. Our birth rate (that is already an alarm) will decrease drastically if we do that.

Another matter is, i wonder why nobody has mentioned it, we are surrounded by Muslim nations. What would our neighbors think when we become a Sodom or a Gomorrah. That also speaks for AWARE, btw, what if it was the Muslims that were trying to take over the Exco? hmmm...

咸咸 said...

Solo bear, i will suggest you bring your filth elsewhere and stop hijacking this blog. You can direct everybody to your own blog, isnt that what you want?

To He:
Homosexuality is not something that can be promoted. You are either born like that, or not. Homosexuals are not a danger to anyone or anywhere. Just like making a hetero watch tons of gay porn doesnt turn him/her gay. Seriously.

vic said...

HE:

you must be very unsure of your own sexuality if you think that 'promoting homosexuality' will cause more 'straight' people like yourself to be homosexual and thus the birth rate will drop.

you hiding some closet gay tendencies issit? just waiting for approval so you can show your true self?

solo bear said...

>> Solo bear, i will suggest you bring your filth elsewhere and stop hijacking this blog.
>>

Then maybe you can help out about the $90k monster bill that is still in AWARE’s hands?

>>Homosexuality is not something that can be promoted. You are either born like that, or not.
>>

That is just an opinion, not a proven fact.

>>Homosexuals are not a danger to anyone or anywhere. Just like making a hetero watch tons of gay porn doesnt turn him/her gay. Seriously.
>>

Nobody says homos are dangerous. We are saying if you want us to respect your space, then respect ours. Go ahead and do what you want with yourselves. Just leave our children out.

solo bear said...

OK then, since someone hinted that my joke was not in good taste, I will graciously step down, I mean graciously delete that particular post.

alba said...

solobear,

Dun you know payments can be by:
I N S T A L L M E N T S!

Any interests charged should be borne by TSM, Josie and Pussy Kats.

This way, the constitution will not be flouted again and there is no need for another EGM as you have dreadfully hoped.

This answer shd stop your moronic badgering and "hair-rass-ment".

Precious time of esteemed lawyers like Mr Siew is for more worthy causes then to speculate on how to pay bills.

If you are really gracious, dun just step down, GET OUT like Josie and Pussy Kats.

solo bear said...

Installments? Really? So it can be done? Then there was NOTHING that Josie and gang did that was unconstitutional, because they could have paid by installments, no?

So all the hooha, booing and jeering was just to harass, and not genuine concern, was it?

That means old guard was there TO INTIMIDATE Josie and gang, wasn't it?

Are you now not incriminating the old guard that there were out to harass and nothing else?

I keep telling you to let Kum Hong handle the situation - notwithstanding his unwillingness to address the issue.

solo bear said...

More food for thought.

Rule (18) of the constitution states:
"The Executive Committee has power to authorise the expenditure of a sum not exceeding $20,000 per month from the Society's funds for the Society's purpose."

The above includes overheads and others costs like rental, utilities, staff salaries. With that in mind, even with installments to pay off the $90k is still quite a headache. Not forgetting that the creditors have the right to reject the installment plan.

But all the above is avoidable, isn't it? So why didn't the latest EXCO remove this monster bill headache by asking general members to approve the payment of that bill? Why didn't so many lawyers from the old guard supporters, including Kum Hong, advise Dana and Co to get general members' approval that night?

Isn't this a case of incompetence exhibited by BOTH Dana's EXCO AND the lawyers affiliated to the old guard?-

I believe that Kum Hong saw what was coming when I mentioned that I would bring up the issue of the $90k monster bill here. Hence, his preemptive move to choose to ignore me. He saw it coming and gave a good excuse to siam.

alba said...

Anybody with the right frame of mind will want to "siam" a mad man.

Happy Vesak, dumb bear.

Terence said...

Alba,
You state that Solo is a mad man. Somehow to reiterate for clarity and unbiaseness sake, he is simply and clearly pointing to the monster bill. Why keep harping on the person instead of the pertinent subject.
I am also a guest, I wish to see reasonable, appropriate and more-to-the-point type of debates.
I dont speak for anyone. I dont represent anyone. My concern are issues first, and the people behind the issues secondary, tho not unimportant.

moi said...

I feel that solo bear has raised several valid points. So instead of putting him down and committing argumentum ad hominem, can someone answer his questions? His original questions aren't even answered.

Unless you don't know how...

If you say the "new" exco of aware was not tolerant, then by dismissing the voices of others on this blog as pointless discussion (when in fact valid points are raised), what are you showing about yourself?

Kim said...

Can we just let solobear win? I know his case is without merit and his sense of logical-reasoning is bad but the more intelligent ones amongst us understand how ridiculous the things he is writing to care to reply. So let us just let him get his peace and say that he has won this debate. I can't speak to illogical people, period.

googleman said...

SKH to googleman: I'm not sure how you expect me to respond to your bald assertions which are not supported by any reasons. I can only say that I would have to disagree. Perhaps if you provided some detailed reasons for what you say, then I would be able to respond further.Your actions speaks for itself, but you are too clouded by your ego to see it.

But it is a blessing in disguise that the the old-AWARE won. With religion out of the equation, the fury of conservative mainstream will even more effective.

moi said...

hi kim,

how is he illogical?
sorry but I am one of the less intelligent people that do not understand.
Will you enlighten me?

KW said...

Solobear:

You are woefully misinformed. Homosexuality is not a choice and there is ample evidence for this position. Let me quote a review paper abstract from the Personality and Individual Differences journal published in 2003.

"Sexual orientation is fundamental to evolution and shifts from the species-typical pattern of heterosexuality may represent biological variations. The growth of scientific knowledge concerning the biology of sexual orientation during the past decade has been considerable. Sexual orientation is characterised by a bipolar distribution and is related to fraternal birth order in males. In females, its distribution is more variable; females being less prone towards exclusive homosexuality. In both sexes homosexuality is strongly associated with childhood gender nonconformity. Genetic evidence suggests a heritable component and putative gene loci on the X chromosome. Homosexuality may have evolved to promote same sex affiliation through a conserved neurodevelopmental mechanism. Recent findings suggest this mechanism involves atypical neurohormonal differentiation of the brain. Key areas for future research include the neurobiological basis of preferred sexual targets and correlates of female homosexuality."

Which parts of the bolded sections are up to the person to choose?

Let's have more, this time from the Evolution and Human Behavior journal, published in 2008, just last year.

"There is considerable evidence that human sexual orientation is genetically influenced, so it is not known how homosexuality, which tends to lower reproductive success, is maintained in the population at a relatively high frequency. One hypothesis proposes that while genes predisposing to homosexuality reduce homosexuals' reproductive success, they may confer some advantage in heterosexuals who carry them. However, it is not clear what such an advantage may be. To investigate this, we examine a data set where a large community-based twin sample (N=4904) anonymously completed a detailed questionnaire examining sexual behaviors and attitudes. We show that psychologically masculine females and feminine men are (a) more likely to be nonheterosexual but (b), when heterosexual, have more opposite-sex sexual partners. With statistical modelling of the twin data, we show that both these relationships are partly due to pleiotropic genetic influences common to each trait. We also find a trend for heterosexuals with a nonheterosexual twin to have more opposite-sex partners than do heterosexual twin pairs. Taken together, these results suggest that genes predisposing to homosexuality may confer a mating advantage in heterosexuals, which could help explain the evolution and maintenance of homosexuality in the population."

More about this. And the reason why this "choice" issue is such a flashpoint for fundamentalists like you, Solobear, is because without choice, your already pitifully illogical position falls into the realm of the utterly ludicrous. The willfully blind like Dr. Thio and Co. rely on misdirections, manipulations, and outright falsehoods to lead their sheeple. They must create blame where none exists in order to perpetuate the US vs THEM mentality that pervades fundamentalism.

As for HE, your point about children is similarly illogical. Do we demand that all married couples produce children? If not, are you not holding some couples to an utterly arbitrary standard that we do not hold heterosexual couples to?

Kim said...

Faith is never logical, just like love, because you believe in and feel for something absolutely without the need for concrete proof. But if faith is like love then there will be no wars on this planet. So since there are so many wars all around us, do we still want faith around? More precisely, do we want fundamentalistic faith around?

solo bear said...

KW
>> Homosexuality is not a choice and there is ample evidence for this position.
>>

Of all arguments pertaining to homosexuality by gays, I find the above most self-defeating.

I have given details why I think so -
“Gayness is inborn” is an indefensible statement.

Isn't it just better for gays to say, "I CHOOSE to be gay and that is MY RIGHT. Who is anyone to question that right?"

At least if you are not respected for what you are, you will be respected for what you believe in.

KW said...

Solobear:

Again, that is incredibly bad logic. Whether it is ultimately better or not has no bearing on whether it is so. You commit the fallacy of mistaking wishes for truth.

It would be better for my bank account to have a bigger balance, but that doesn't make it bigger in reality.

Your link points to a post that oversimplifies the situation and claims to prove something that has piles of evidence indicating that your position is wrong. Male hormone/female hormone dichotomy is simply medically wrong, nevermind your claims of absolute medical truth.

"Now if it has been accepted in the medical world, that male hormones cause the pubescent male to find females attractive, and female hormones cause the pubescent female to find males attractive, what then causes the gay male to find males attractive? Are they saying their testicles are producing loads of female hormones?"

This is ignorance at its finest. Do some reading, please. This is a complete and utter mischaracterization. Strawman does not an argument make.

Your way of proving something is to blind yourself to evidence and knowledge painstakingly collected by countless researchers, stick your fingers in your ears and scream at the top of your lungs "LALALALALALALALA."

As for your later attack on the $90k bill, recognize that the act of spending the money was undertaken by Josie and Co. The payment of the bill by the newest Exco therefore would not violate the rules, because the act of paying is to settle a preexisting obligation that AWARE has already incurred under the Josie committee. Expenses are recognized when they are incurred, not when they are paid.

solo bear said...

KW.

The idea that homosexuality is inborn is NOT CONFIRMED. Don't talk as if it already is accepted in the medical world

>>As for your later attack on the $90k bill, recognize that the act of spending the money was undertaken by Josie and Co. The payment of the bill by the newest Exco therefore would not violate the rules, because the act of paying is to settle a preexisting obligation that AWARE has already incurred under the Josie committee. Expenses are recognized when they are incurred, not when they are paid.
>>

Are you a lawyer? A lawyer who knows how to interpret constitutions of societies? A lawyer who is able to convince the Registrar that the above is not against the constitution?

If yes, why don't you help Dana out? If no, who are you to think you know better than Kum Hong, who has remained totally silent on the issue?

Right, if what you say is technically correct, then there is a very serious loophole in the system. An outgoing EXCO can spend a hundreds of thousands of dollars just before AGM. Then when new incoming EXCO takes over, it just disburses cheques to clear bills. Rule 18 of the constitution is just a farce.

Of course, the outgoing EXCO can still be sued. But then again, what if outgoing EXCO absconds?

Is there no liability on incoming EXCO to see that constitution is adhered to?

Do you think the Registrar would be so stupid to buy your argument when AWARE submits its Annual Financial Statement to ROS?

KW said...

Solobear:

Point 1, inborn and choice are not the only two states. If you had read the bolded parts in my first post, you would have seen the words "heritable component". But even if it were not heritable, conscious choice is not the next logical step. Far from it. Quoting the American Psychological Association:

"Is Sexual Orientation a Choice?

No, human beings cannot choose to be either gay or straight. For most people, sexual orientation emerges in early adolescence without any prior sexual experience. Although we can choose whether to act on our feelings, psychologists do not consider sexual orientation to be a conscious choice that can be voluntarily changed."

http://www.apahelpcenter.org/articles/article.php?id=31

You were saying about the medical world? There are differing levels of certainty (and it would be more accurate to call it provisional certainty), but a simple Google search for other prominent medical/scientific resources show similar positions.

Point 2, I'll address this line by line:

Are you a lawyer? A lawyer who knows how to interpret constitutions of societies?No, I am not a lawyer. But I do know that in financial statements, the incurring and the paying of expenses are different things. In case you forget, this point was brought up by you. If a better qualified person posts a clarification (such as Mr Siew), I'll stand corrected. Until then, this rebuttal holds no water.

If yes, why don't you help Dana out? If no, who are you to think you know better than Kum Hong, who has remained totally silent on the issue?Help Dana out on what? You are the one making noise on the supposed conflict with the Aware constitution. Does this conflict even exist? Why are you making the assumption that silence means trouble? Maybe, maybe not. That's all that silence says.

Right, if what you say is technically correct, then there is a very serious loophole in the system. An outgoing EXCO can spend a hundreds of thousands of dollars just before AGM. Then when new incoming EXCO takes over, it just disburses cheques to clear bills. Rule 18 of the constitution is just a farce.Wrong. The outgoing EXCO would have breached the constitution in your scenario. This would not be a farce because those who made the decision to incur such expenses are the ones accountable for it.

Of course, the outgoing EXCO can still be sued. But then again, what if outgoing EXCO absconds? This is a red herring. Anyone can abscond, with differing levels of success. A banker can run away with money. A professional can run away with fees. A treasurer can run away after embezzlement. These are exceptions, not the rule. This contingency in no way casts doubt on the constitutional restriction on expenditure.

Is there no liability on incoming EXCO to see that constitution is adhered to? Of course there is. There is a obligation for the new EXCO to abide by the constitution in all their expenditures which does not cover what has already been spent by someone other than them.

Do you think the Registrar would be so stupid to buy your argument when AWARE submits its Annual Financial Statement to ROS?You make an assumption that the argument that I made was stupid. Way to dismiss an argument without actually talking about it, or you know, maybe showing how the Annual Financial Statement does not follow normal rules for financial statements? Even if AWARE uses a cash basis for its accounting, you argue that the Registrar is a unaware of the events that happened recently and cannot read the notes that typically accompany the financial statements?

solo bear said...

KW

I have said it earlier and I will repeat. There is NO CONSENSUS in the medical world that homosexuality is a "passable trait". The only "passable trait" as far as personality is concerned, which is agreed in the medical world, is schizophrenia. All other personality types are still being debated - INCLUDING homo.

>> No, I am not a lawyer. But I do know that in financial statements, the incurring and the paying of expenses are different things.
>>

It must be remembered that besides all other laws in Singapore, for societies, the two most important laws are the Societies Act and its own constitution. What you know under financial accounting may well be over-ridden by one or both of those two important laws.

>>In case you forget, this point was brought up by you. If a better qualified person posts a clarification (such as Mr Siew), I'll stand corrected. Until then, this rebuttal holds no water.
>>

I am glad you note that. Kum Hong's silence if very, very telling, isn't it? His silence speaks louder than anything else.

>>The outgoing EXCO would have breached the constitution in your scenario. This would not be a farce because those who made the decision to incur such expenses are the ones accountable for it.
>>

Did I ever once say that the outgoing EXCO is to be let off? All I am saying is that incoming EXCO cannot sweep the issue under the carpet. Otherwise, they too will be seen as party to the constitution breach.

>>Of course there is. There is a obligation for the new EXCO to abide by the constitution in all their expenditures which does not cover what has already been spent by someone other than them.
>>

Again, you are interpreting the constitution right after you admit you are not in the position to do it. Rule 18 states that the expenditure by EXCO must not be above $20k. It does not say that if someone else approved it and is no longer in office, another person who takes over can start making payments.

>>Way to dismiss an argument without actually talking about it, or you know, maybe showing how the Annual Financial Statement does not follow normal rules for financial statements? Even if AWARE uses a cash basis for its accounting, you argue that the Registrar is a unaware of the events that happened recently and cannot read the notes that typically accompany the financial statements?
>>

That is not how it works. You think the Registrar is so free to look at everything in detail? There are thousands of societies under his charge. Many a time, these breaches of constitution which has serious implications are buried until years later, when someone blows the whistle. Even Enron and Lehman escaped the regulators' eyes, remember that?

Very wisely and shrewdly, Kum Hong has remained extremely silent. He doesn't want to be around when everything blows up out of control. Because by that time, everyone would have forgotten that he was the advisor to the old guard on 2 May 2009.

Kim said...

Mr Siew,

The illogical one is trying to lure you out to speak on his fallacies by repeatedly mentioning your "silence". I know you won't fall for his tricks because you are smart and more importantly not blinded and dumbed down by some faith.

Siew Kum Hong said...

To HE: I don't know what is the basis for your question "why do you push so hard to change Section 377A?". I don't think I've argued for repeal since submitting the petition in October 2007. That's 1.5 years ago. Yet, you seem to conflate my involvement in AWARE with pushing for repeal. I think they are completely separate, and I think it speaks more about where you are coming than what I've been doing. Anyway, just to explain why I argued for that 1.5 years ago -- I am anti-discrimination, and I think it is the duty of all Singaporeans to stand up against laws they believe to be unjust. On this note, I thank Humph for having already explained that.

As for your question about "what if it was the Muslims that were trying to take over the Exco?", that is actually a point that some Muslims I know mentioned, and I believe many or most Muslims would have thought to themselves. I am not sure what it means to you, but it does seem to me that the Government would have reacted very differently, which does not seem to me to be right.

To alba, eve+line, Kim and KW: Thanks for responding to the troll (whom, just to remind everyone, I am steadfastly ignoring). I did not respond earlier because I try to keep my weekends free for my wife -- that's me being pro-family! :) But all of you have done the hard work for me. I don't represent the new exco, so of course I can't speak on their behalf or talk about what they're discussing. Also, my involvement in this entire incident has been in my personal capacity as an AWARE member dating back to last year, and was not in my capacity as an NMP, so I don't feel any need to explain myself to the troll or to rebut the troll's self-serving inferences from my ignoring him. (To be clear, that is also why I feel the duty to respond to HE's questions re 377A.)

To Duh: As I have said, I disagree with your characterisation of what took place at the EGM as "mob justice" (I think that is a bit strong, after all there was a fair, constitutional vote which everyone could vote according to how they felt), and again I am not sure why folks like you seem to think I am able to exert such influence over 1400 independent-minded women!!

To moi: Actually, I do feel that the troll's prior postings have shown him to be clearly unreasonable and deliberately provocative. That is why I decline to engage with him. In any case, as I have mentioned above, I am in no position to speak for the new exco.

To googleman: More bald assertions. Again, I will have to disagree.

HE said...

Let's do some reading to update:

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KW said...

Solobear:

I have said it earlier and I will repeat. There is NO CONSENSUS in the medical world that homosexuality is a "passable trait". The only "passable trait" as far as personality is concerned, which is agreed in the medical world, is schizophrenia. All other personality types are still being debated - INCLUDING homo.All the repeating in the world doesn't make it true, Solobear. I have linked one prominent source in my earlier post, the American Psychological Association. And I repeat, a five minute Google search will list a whole list of other prominent medical/scientific resources with the same position. That's not a fair consensus?

You fail to distinguish between heritability or the lack thereof (your "passable") and conscious choice. To make it more plain, a strong heritable component is a sufficient condition for nonchoice, but a weak or absent heritable component is not a sufficient condition for conscious choice. Your contention based on nonheritability is irrelevant at best (if homosexuality is nonheritable) and fatal to your argument at worst (if homosexuality has heritable components). At no point along this continuum does it help your argument for conscious choice.

At this point, I reiterate, you have not cited any source, not called up any data, nothing whatsoever except your bald assertions.

It must be remembered that besides all other laws in Singapore, for societies, the two most important laws are the Societies Act and its own constitution. What you know under financial accounting may well be over-ridden by one or both of those two important laws.Yes. Could you point out what about these two laws override the basic principles of accrual accounting? Saying that they "may affect" is nothing but a red herring that has no effect on the argument at hand. Please be more specific.

I am glad you note that. Kum Hong's silence if very, very telling, isn't it? His silence speaks louder than anything else.Very wrong, you are. Illogical, you also are. It says nothing (the very definition of silence) except what you unjustifiably ascribe to him. Let me emphasize that everything you have tried to insinuate about Mr Siew is nothing but the product of your imagination, because you have nothing but an assertion.

Did I ever once say that the outgoing EXCO is to be let off? All I am saying is that incoming EXCO cannot sweep the issue under the carpet. Otherwise, they too will be seen as party to the constitution breach.Sweep what issue? You have yet to spell out what the issue is and what it has to do with the incoming EXCO. I invite you to spell out the issue so that we can better debate it.

Again, you are interpreting the constitution right after you admit you are not in the position to do it. Rule 18 states that the expenditure by EXCO must not be above $20k. It does not say that if someone else approved it and is no longer in office, another person who takes over can start making payments.Umm, no. You assert that the constitution causes an issue. By that, you are already interpreting it in your way. May I ask what qualifies you to interpret it that way and what that interpretation is based on? If not, who are you to assert that your interpretation takes precedence? Can you cite a more qualified source that holds your position?

That is not how it works. You think the Registrar is so free to look at everything in detail? There are thousands of societies under his charge. Many a time, these breaches of constitution which has serious implications are buried until years later, when someone blows the whistle. Even Enron and Lehman escaped the regulators' eyes, remember that?Really? You argue that the Registrar does not read what he's supposed to regulate? Your argument is just incoherent. First you argue that the Registrar will take exception to the anomalies in the financial statements, then you turn around and argue that the Registrar doesn't even read the notes of the financial statements. Do you realize that the notes that accompany financial statements are integral parts of the financial statement?

solo bear said...

KW

You keep bringing up APA as your source. Please note that APA's decision to declassify homosexuality as sickness was taken by a vote. Imagine a group of oncologists trying to declassify cancer as a disease by taking a vote. Since when do doctors take a vote to decide if something is a sickness or disease?

Your one source does not negate that the medical world has yet to accept homo as a trait that can be passed on.

>>At this point, I reiterate, you have not cited any source, not called up any data, nothing whatsoever except your bald assertions.
>>

Your source itself is dubious. Voting to decide if something is a disease or not? LOL

>>Yes. Could you point out what about these two laws override the basic principles of accrual accounting?
>>

I have NEVER said that laws can override principles of accounting. I said that the Societies Act and/or its constitution MAY override YOUR interpretation, if you use Principles of Accounting, such that you feel it is nothing technically wrong, if you don't seek general members approval to pay off that $90k bill.

Putting in a nutshell, while from an accounting practitioner's point of view nothing is amiss, from the Society's or ROS's view, it may be something else.

>>Sweep what issue? You have yet to spell out what the issue is and what it has to do with the incoming EXCO. I invite you to spell out the issue so that we can better debate it.
>>

You are not listening, are you? On the night of 2 May 2009, Kum Hong and/or the other lawyers could have advised the old guard to get general members' mandate to clear that $90k bill. They didn't. That shows their incompetency. Now that it has not been cleared, AWARE still can't clear that $90k bill, because of Rule 18. So what is AWARE going to do about it?

>>You assert that the constitution causes an issue.
>>

No. I am saying the disbursing cheques to clear the $90k monster bill without general members approval can be interpreted that Rule 18 is breached by the incoming EXCO as well.

>>By that, you are already interpreting it in your way.
>>

But of course. Every rule, every statement in any constitution is open to interpretation. That's what lawyers are for, isn't it? There are they to interpret it in a legal way. So why is Kum Hong silent? Me a troll? Judge for yourself.

>>May I ask what qualifies you to interpret it that way and what that interpretation is based on? If not, who are you to assert that your interpretation takes precedence? Can you cite a more qualified source that holds your position?
>>

Trying to get personal info out of me? What if I tell you I am experienced enough to give my opinion on constitutions? What if I tell you reading and looking for different interpretations in a constitution was part and parcel of my job? What if I tell you drafting contracts between organisations, looking for loopholes in interpretation of the contract and plugging those loopholes was part of my job? What if I tell you that looking at the different Acts, and interpreting them was part of my job - because while drafting contracts, they must not contravene the party's constitution and/or any Act?

>>You argue that the Registrar does not read what he's supposed to regulate?
>>

Putting words into my mouth? I said that the Registrar has a lot of work to do. Don't expect him to pick up a needle within the haystack.

>>Do you realize that the notes that accompany financial statements are integral parts of the financial statement?
>>

Of course I do. That is called "window dressing". When the figures look bad, the auditors dress it up. As if you don't know. That's why so many corporations are able to get away with murder in the last financial meltdown, at the expense of retail investors. Agreed?

Kim said...

To HE:

So you mentioned www.narth.com?

You mean the movement exemplified by the likes of John Paulk and Ted Haggard?

solo bear said...

KW and all others (including Kum Hong),

While you people are still digesting how to solve the $90k monster that is now in the hands of Dana, let me introduce to you another bad, nasty monster. Again, it has to do with the constitution.

Rule 11:
At least three weeks’ notice should be given of an annual general meeting and at least two weeks’ notice of any other general meeting and particulars of its agenda will be posted to members one week in advance of the meeting. The following points will be considered at the annual general meeting:
(a) The previous financial year’s accounts and report of the Executive Committee.
(b) The election of office-bearers for the following year.
(c) The election of Hon Auditors as specified in Rule 21
.

The above is silent whether an EXCO can be elected at an EGM. However, any item that is to be brought up at the EGM, must be posted to members one week in advance of the meeting.

So has the constitution been breached again? Nowhere in the notice of the EGM that was held on 2 May 2009, was there anything said that a new EXCO be elected. It just called for a no vote of confidence. That being the case. The proper procedure is for Josie and gang to vacate THEN, hold another EGM to elect the new EXCO.

So, now what? Another constitution breach? Any wise crack lawyer who boasted on 2 May 2009 they could help AWARE for free willing to comment?

Today's Mothers' Day. Dana sure must be having labour pangs with her new born-again AWARE now.

HE said...

So, Mr Siew,
Are you going to push for change in Section 377A again if you stay for another term as NMP?

alba said...

Dun tell you! Let you "sum see see"!

Siew Kum Hong said...

To HE: I have no current plans or intention to do so. You will note that I do not rule it out -- however, the debate in 2007 arose in the context of the Penal Code amendments, and I do not envisage another round of Penal Code amendments coming up in the next couple of years.

Siew Kum Hong said...

To HE: I do want to add this, just to be clear -- there is of course no guarantee or assurance that I will be re-appointed. That is really up to the Special Select Committee.

david said...

SoloBear,

All this discussion about "monster bill" does not make sense, IMO.

This matter should be handled internally by Aware. They should have their options, to go to court or installment or whatever. Just leave it to them to decide.

If you want to contribute any idea on how to solve it, please give feedback to Dana's team. If you want to contribute your brain or ideas, please join Aware organisation and speak out your opinion there, or at least send them email.

You are asking about bill settlement to mr Siew, and others on how to settle the bill does not make sense at all. You bark at wrong tree.

I have got impression you know a bit here and there about law and consitutions, and pretty good and copy-paste the law statement. But by giving argument, "your silence statement means you don't dispute my argument", sounds like a kid trying hard to debate and trying hard to win argument. My gosh, this is just a blog site, it's not a court. When someone does not want to entertain you by answering your question, does not mean they agree/disagree.

And another laughable argument that Mr Siew was controlling the crowd to cheer and boos. And the funny thing, you have this conspiracy that someone is behind the cheer and boos. Well, how about another conspiracy behind the word "Shut up and Sit Down". Anyone in the EGM, asking Sally Ang to do that? Human is not robot, they can cheer and boos if they are unhappy with situation. Or perhaps, we have another conspiracy that you wrote your blog and your comments here, instructed by Josies' team? Get a life, or write a conspiracy book, it could become a hit.

And somehow you are insisting Mr Siew is the man behind the scene? Why don't you go a little bit further action, by writing to a newspaper about your conspiracy theory?

Again, just give your feedback, channel your energy to discuss and give options to the new guard regarding this bill.

Mr Siew Kum Hong, it's a very interesting article. I hope someone from Josie's team can come out with a blog, to present their own view. That will be more "entertaining" for public. ^_^
ho.ho.ho.

solo bear said...

David,
>> All this discussion about "monster bill" does not make sense, IMO.
This matter should be handled internally by Aware. They should have their options, to go to court or installment or whatever. Just leave it to them to decide.
>>

The point is not the settlement per se, but the constitution that is not followed if no EGM is held to address the issue.

>>If you want to contribute any idea on how to solve it, please give feedback to Dana's team. If you want to contribute your brain or ideas, please join Aware organisation and speak out your opinion there, or at least send them email.
>>

No I do not want to contribute. I just want to highlight the arrogance of the old guard, how they use the monster bill to shoot Josie down, yet did not see that the monster would be coming their way.

>>You are asking about bill settlement to mr Siew, and others on how to settle the bill does not make sense at all. You bark at wrong tree.
>>

Like I said, I just want to highlight to Mr Siew and his supporters how careless old guard and his team of advisors were, forgetting that the monster they used to shoot Josie down, would eventually be passed to them.

>>I have got impression you know a bit here and there about law and consitutions, and pretty good and copy-paste the law statement.
>>

I am not interested what YOU think of me.

To Kum Hong's credit, I have to say that at least he does not censor comments. This is unlike so many other sites that purport to promote freedom of speech, yet censor and/or skew their opinions to only one side of the story.

The latest is the one below. What freedom of speech are these sites talking about, if they censor opinions they do not like?

Mr Wang, another gay sock puppet

Nicholas said...

hi mr siew

thought u might be interested in seeing what the alternative media is saying about your participation in the AWARE saga:

http://wayangparty.com/?p=9218

personally, i feel that as a member of parliment and a de facto politician supposed to lead and represent us, you should not have taken sides in the conflict and fanned the flames in the volatile situation

that is simply irresponsible as a member of parliment

Nicholas said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Siew Kum Hong said...

To Nicholas: I clicked on that link, before I realised who the writer(s) was/were. I do not read the Brotherhood Press, and have no desire to, so I did not read further.

As for your comment about what I should and should not have done -- I've said this before, but I'll say it again. I've been an associate member of AWARE since Oct 2008, pre-dating most or all of the Josie Lau exco that resigned on 2 May. I felt the need to stand up for the values that I supported, to (re-)establish the society that I had joined. That was why, when some of the original members came to me for help after the AGM on 28 March, I agreed to work with them.

That was in my personal capacity as an associate member of AWARE. It was not in my capacity as an NMP. Indeed, there was a Parliamentary sitting on 13 April 2009, and I did not make any note of or mention AWARE at all.

So I do not really understand why you seem to think that I am not allowed to hold a view or to act on that view, in my personal capacity. I also do not understand why you allege that my involvement had "fanned the flames in a volatile situation" -- I think that exaggerates what took place that day, exaggerates my influence, and misrepresents what I did on the day.

Finally, I continue to be surprised by comments that suggest that MPs (or NMPs) should not "take sides". But that is another topic for another day, especially given that I had not acted in my capacity as an NMP in this case.

Donaldson Tan said...

Dear Kum Hong,

Good call. I don't read the Brotherhood too.

Dear Nicholas,

All MPs are supposed to take side in a parliamentary debate. Only in this way, then all possible interests and view points would be expressed in parliament in order for Parliament as a whole to arrive at a decision while considering all groups. What you are actually suggesting is tyranny of the majority.

Dear Solo Bear,

You are a troll. Mr Wang had already described you as either unintelligent or malicious in the nicest possible manner and you still have the cheek to put up someone's mocking on your blog. I have never seen anyone so unintelligently misguided.

solo bear said...

Donaldson,

Mr Siew has spoken with silence. I accept. It is you and the likes who cannot accept what I say.

>>Mr Wang had already described you as either unintelligent or malicious
>>

Mr Who?

I give credit where it is due. Although Kum Hong's view is bias towards old guard and not very fair in that he did not give whole story, I at least respect him for not censoring my posts.

At least, he believes in allowing free speech.

If you think I am harsh to Siew Kum Hong, you should see how hard I am to true hypocrites who censor others, while taking a pompous high stance that they are for democracy.

Alternative media hijacking opposition

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