Saturday, May 23, 2009

A logical voice

It's amazing that even after the AWARE EGM on 2nd May, the issue still hasn't died completely. I suppose the Christian fundamentalists really stirred up a hornet's nest when they decided to steeplejack AWARE.

I can't remember who said it, but he said something about he didn't speak up when groups of people were taken away, in the end there is no one left to speak for you when it is your turn.

And if this source is to be believed, the mother-daughter team is deeply involved in a very fundamentalist organisations based in the U.S. I would think that this warrants a more detailed look than Siew Kum Hoong - Swiss connection.

A Reply to Letter by Dr Thio Su Mien dated 18th May 2009, taken from the author's Facebook.

Dear Sir,
It is with amazement that I read Dr Thio Su Miens letter "Gay activists a key constituency of Aware", published on the 18th of May 2009. As a responsible heterosexual member of the public, I feel that it is my duty to respond to her diatribe.

I find the fact that Dr Thio believes that Aware are pushing a pro-homosexual agenda terribly disturbing. To my knowledge, the homosexual lobby in Singapore have never had any political agenda, focusing instead on their right to acceptance in society for who they are, and as noted in the recent 'Pink Dot' gathering, on their right to select their own partners. It is a matter of deep concern that so distinguished a member of our society should display such intolerance towards the sexual inclinations of others. As a law student myself, I find it equally disturbing that a former dean of our law faculty, who must in her time have taught many of our current lawyers to critically appraise what they are told as facts of evidence, should now hold such bigoted and inflexible views herself.

Also, it is deeply disconcerting to note that Dr Thio believes that homosexuality be viewed as negative in the education system. The fact that Aware took a neutral stance when dealing with the issue, is highly laudable. It is with great pride that I say that as a Singaporean, one of the key social values I was taught during my school days was that of acceptance. Education is not about skimming over what some might deem as unpleasant fact, but about giving youth information and the power to make informed decisions over the course of their lives.

I do not understand how the CSE manual's description of anal sex, conditions the minds of teenage students towards acceptance of homosexuality when this is also practised by heterosexuals in the privacy of their own homes. Is Dr Thio oblivious to this fact? To immediately equate the two with one another is a direct admission of an agenda against the homosexually inclined.

The old guard received the vociferous support they did not because it was among their aims to promote a homosexual agenda, but merely because they accepted that certain people were inclined differently. As a 'discerning Singaporean' who has also examined the evidence in print and online accounts, I have come to the conclusion that the purpose of the 'ex-new exco' was to attack a group of people whose sole intention lay in obtaining acceptance of their status as people and not as societal non-grata. If we were to accept her argument that the old guard had a homosexual agenda, then we must also accept that Dr Thio and the group she claimed to have mentored, had an agenda based solely on their religious beliefs. This is eminently borne out by their pastors statement on the pulpit calling on his congregation to support the 'ex-new exco'.

I have always been under the impression that all religions were inclusive, and not exclusive, of human frailties. Given the plural nature of Singapore's society, it is unthinkable that a group consisting of people from a single racial background pushing a single religious agenda, represent the views of our racially diverse and secular populace. We have always been an accepting and tolerant society. The outcome of the whole 'Aware Saga' fills me with hope that we will remain so.

Akesh Abhilash

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