Sunday, May 3, 2009

Lessons from the AWARE saga

Lessons from the AWARE saga

March 28 2009 will be a date many people will now remember. That was the Saturday when a majority of "unknown new faces" brushed aside the existing old guards and incumbents at AWARE's AGM to set themselves up as a new Exco.
A chain of dramatic incidents and events developed fast and furiously over several days and weeks in the life of this new committee.
The newly elected president resigned as she was sidelined by the newcomers...who became bolder day by day, sacking long-time staff, redoing office security systems, etc..etc. And when confronted by the members of the press and media gave conflicting accounts to simple questions asked viz...their background, their agenda for action, their inter-connectedness, their links, what they stand for etc.
Much later, on Tv, the public were shocked to discover they all along had a "feminist mentor" in the person of Dr Thio Su Mien who was the coach and shadow behind the "takeover" ploy. [ Photos: Source S T Breaking News, 3 May 2009 ]

Much has since been revealed about the background of at least 6 key members of that new Exco plus their coach. They all belong to COOS, an Anglican church at Margaret Drive whose senior pastor Derek Hong had himself "crossed the thin red line" when he openly urged his flock to support this new Exco in the great face off with the old guards.

It is not too difficult sometimes, to mount a "takeover" of an association, especially when the constitution is not strong on who can vote. Newly registered members can immediately vote too! Unbelievable!
That was what happened at AWARE.
Many organisations will now be having more than a serious re-look at their own constitutions in the light of what had transpired recently.
But really, I consider it shameful for any group of people who did not put in any ounce of effort when the organisation was formed and slowly developed to the success it has become and attempting to hijack the organisation for their own ulterior purposes.
If they are so capable and so outspoken on specific issues...then go found your own association.
What is there to stop them?
Leave the original association alone.
Otherwise there will be another great showdown...and the public will win again, handsdown.
The so-called new Exco may be well-meaning people but truly they have much to learn about

doing such James Bond stuff.


peter said...

Important lesson for men also: BEWARE of Women in their 40s.......Can be very fierce.

The "Young Turks" forgot that Dana Lam was once Business Times journalist.....Penang girl

peter said...

I am not surprise about the pastor crossing the line. It has happened many times before especially with independent churches. One time I saw through this "Miracle Service" held in a Tampines church where the pastor highlighted the important task for every Christian to evangelise because Singapore was chosen to be the birthday place for Christian revival in Asia. An example used where a lesbian and a Malay went on stage give her testify. I am just wondering whether this has been taken too far?

As someone from the Christian faith, I am extremely perturbed by this. Religion and worship is a personal thing.

peter said...

There is also another lesson to learn. Never be apathetic if one is a member of a club, an association or a management corporation. We "belong" for a reason and we have to exercise our responsibilities. I believe everyone joins something because of a reason and in this case the "Young Turks" had a reason. The ease how they gained control reflects the apathetic nature of most bodies. Volunteering is difficult to ask for most people.

When I became the chairman of a condo management corporation after disposing off the previous chairman, the reason was simple. The incumbent was sitting on his backside for 4 years and the owners were not too bothered provided the monthly maintenance fees did not go up.

My reason for take-over was simple: the condo had deteriorated to such a level where owners broke all housing rules to change the facde of the building, the common TV antennae kept breaking down despite spending big bills, rubbish not cleared, etc. After elected, I told the members I would run the corporation for 1 year and I would quit after all my goals were met. Surprising they wanted me to hold office for another term which I did but I told them for the 3rd year, they must find someone else. I never like to sit in a place for far too long than necessary.

Many years after I moved out, I found from another owner how my successor tried to enbloc sale the condo, changed the strata title act to benefit some owners without a vote (imagine you pay for a garden space but that can be termed as common property) and made side deals with the contractors.

So if we are not interested in our responsibilities, there are others who are BUT for a different reason.

lily said...

Just visited your blog. Glad to know a fellow senior blogger from across the causeway. Like the stuff you have on your blog. Do visit mine at

Anonymous said...

I think it is equally shameful that the old guards of Aware should quietly use it to push an agenda that was not in its original vision - to promote homosexuality to our innocent young children. If the old guard feels so strongly about this issue, they should form another association ... Oh I forgot, the gays and lesbians already have such an association. They succeeded where the new guards did not ... subtile as a serpent.


unk Dicko said...

Hi Lily,
Thanks for dropping by!
Yes, have visited your blog and am very pleased with your focus on the active seniors and agers who are truly inspiring in their own ways.
Do keep in touch.
Nothing separates bloggers...not even a causeway!

unk Dicko said...

The MOE has just announced that they are suspending all Sexuality Education with immediate effect. They have just reviewed the content of some of these packages and found some inappropriate stuff.
Kudos to the parents and others who wrote in to give feedback.
There should be very strict guidelines which should have parents' approval before embarking on outsourcing such teaching to outsiders.