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Sayoni on New Media
Articles - Announcements
Written by sayoni   
Sunday, 05 July 2009 01:31

Yes, at Sayoni, we do move with the times and the all the newfangled technology on the interwebs (it is a system of tubes after all).

Find us on Twitter, at, and on Facebook, at There might be other people named “sayoni” or� a derivative thereof, on these social networking sites, but please note that we are not connected to them. Only these two accounts are our authenticated accounts on Twitter and Facebook respectively. If you come across a named account on another website which you are not sure is connected to us, feel free to drop us an email for verification, at

Breaking News: Indian High Court has decriminalised gay sex
Articles - LGBT Rights, Politics & World News
Written by sayoni   
Thursday, 02 July 2009 00:00

Just today, the High Court of India ruled that s377 of the Indian Penal Code did not include consensual homosexual sex. This breakthrough comes after three years of litigation that commenced in 2006, by an interest group known as Naz Foundation sought a declaration that the law was discriminatory towards homosexuals. The decision is expected to be appealed. We will be reporting further on this development, and presenting an analysis of the judgment once it has been published.

Originally Reported by Reuters.

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – An Indian court Thursday ruled gay sex was not a crime, a verdict that will bolster demands by gay and health groups that the government scrap a British colonial law which bans homosexual sex.

In a country where public hugging and kissing even among heterosexuals invites lewd remarks and sometimes beatings, gay sex has been a taboo, leaving the government unsure how conservative Indians would react if the law was repealed.

The Delhi High Court’s ruling that homosexual sex among consenting adults is not a crime is expected to boost an increasingly vocal pro-gay lobby in India that says the British-era law was a violation of human rights.

The current law bans “sex against the order of nature,” and is widely interpreted to mean homosexual sex in India.

Gay rights activists hailed the court verdict as historic and many supporters of homosexuality were seen celebrating with sweets and smearing each other with vermilion.

“We have finally entered into the 21st century,” said Anjali Gopalan, leader of Naz Foundation, a leading health and gay rights lobby.

The ruling applies to all of India, but can be appealed at the Supreme Court.

Gay rights activists also argue the law, framed in 1861, was an impediment in fighting against HIV/AIDS because many homosexuals refuse to come out in the open fearing harassment by authorities.

“Consensual sex amongst adults is legal which includes even gay sex and sex among the same sexes,” said a two-judge bench of the court. The verdict said the current law will apply in the event of sex without consent.

Petitions to change the 1861 law have so far been firmly rejected by the government but there has been some softening up on the stand in recent years, with officials saying the possibility of revoking the ban was being discussed.

Thursday’s court verdict came after nine years of legal proceedings initiated by India’s gay groups.

Under the current law, homosexual sex is punishable by up to 10 years in jail.

(Reporting by S. Venkatraman and Krittivas Mukherjee; Editing by Alistair Scrutton and Valerie Lee)

6 Men Charged under s377 and s377A for sex with teen (Singapore)
Articles - LGBT Rights, Politics & World News
Written by sayoni   
Sunday, 07 June 2009 00:00

In breaking news of this week, 6 men have been charged under s377A and s377 of the Singapore Penal Code, for sex with a teen they met on the internet. We reproduce the AGC Media Briefing below.


The abovenamed six accused persons have been charged for committing unnatural
offences with a 15 year old male student on occasions in 2006 and 2007. The six
accused persons met the victim while chatting on the internet. The accused
persons are charged as follows:-

1. NG GENG WHYE: 1 charge of Carnal Intercourse Against the Order of Nature under s377 of the Penal Code Cap.224;

2. QUEK HOCK SENG: 1 charge of Gross Indecency under s377A of the Penal Code Cap.224.

3. SONG CHOONG CHEN THOMAS : 1 charge of Gross Indecency under s377A of the Penal Code Cap.224;

4. BALASUNDARAM S/O SUPPIAH : 1 charge of Carnal Intercourse Against the Order of Nature under s377 of the Penal Code Cap.224.

5. MUHAMMAD HAFASHAH BIN MOHD ASLAM: 2 charges of Carnal Intercourse Against the Order of Nature under s377 of the Penal Code Cap.224; and

6. NG YONG YOU VICTOR: 2 charges of Gross Indecency under s377A of the Penal Code Cap.224.

The Public Prosecutor will prosecute persons who exploit a young victim who is a minor, irrespective of the gender of the victim or whether the act was consensual. A young male victim, who is a minor, deserves to be accorded the same protection the law as that given to a young female victim who is a minor.

One might be inclined to ask why they are being prosecuted under a law that does not exist anymore – s377 is now confined solely to cases of necrophilia, and not unnatural sex. That would be because the offences were committed in 2006-2007, at a time when s377 still covered all unnatural sex.

The other question is, why not charge those charged under s377A, under the new s376A, which was specifically inserted to provide for the protection of minors of both genders? It is a principle of criminal law that laws cannot be retrospective – s376A did not exist in force at the time of the offence (gazetted on 1 Feb 2008), and hence cannot be used to prosecute them.

In our opinion, it is important to protect minors from sexual predators, and we believe that if the men are indeed guilty of assaulting the teen (or having sex with him at a point when he is unable to consent), they should be punished. We cannot, legally and socially, agree with the use of s377A to prosecute the crime, however, we acknowledge that the AGC must have been caught between a rock and a hard place in trying to follow the circuitous roads of legal reasoning. The issue here is that male minors were never protected under the Penal Code until the advent of s376A, and s377A was used a very poor substitute to address a much deeper, very different social problem.

We hope that for future crimes such as this, s376A will be used, and not s377A.

Insider’s Account: Dinah Shore 2009
Articles - Entertainment
Written by (Guest Writers)   
Saturday, 06 June 2009 00:00

Editor’s Foreward: For the readers of our blog, Dinah Shore is an annual one-week long party for queer women, held in Palm Springs. One of our members, pink_is_in, recently decided to spend a weekend in Dinah Shore with her girlfriend, and here’s an account of her experience being surrounded by thousands of queer women bent on partying it up. Who said gay men were the only ones who knew how to party? Also, please note the personal views expressed herein are the author’s alone, and Sayoni in no way endorses or supports her views.

Vagina Heaven

Dinah Shore 2009 (Organised by Club Skirt) or I would rather call it Vagina Heaven was held at Palm Spring, California, USA. It's basically 5 days full of parties, concerts and babes. To tell you the truth, it sounds to good to be true. Its in the middle of nowhere (well, palm spring is 90% desert), full of hot girls, for almost a week. And the best part is they are lesbian, so the chances are pretty high to get lucky! *wink*wink*


Well, my girlfriend and I decided to go to VH since we are going to USA/Canada for our vacation this year. We were pretty excited and looking forward to the experience, since we were very bored with the lesbian scene in Singapore.

Last Updated on Thursday, 25 February 2010 16:23
Some Kinda Wonderful
Articles - Coming Out
Written by (Guest Writers)   
Wednesday, 03 June 2009 06:15

This is piece of guest writing by dubdew, who published this on her blog some time ago. It is dedicated to her girlfriend, who still makes her feel that fuzzy warmth after all this while.

Taken from

I haven’t even had that much time to get to know you. Surely the only you I’ve had the chance to get to know is the one you tell me of. The one who saw those crazed days, months, years, fly by, the one who runs, the one who hangs on for dear life, the one who loved, the one who lost, the one who laughs and makes me laugh so impossibly hard. I’ve fretted my mind into quite a knot over you, and it’s the same you that I couldn’t quite seem to push away with as much conviction as I probably should have, should you have turned out to be anyone else. I can’t quite decide what someone like you could possibly want with someone like me – I’m so .. young, I’m so green, I’m so aimless, and it’s all just one big mess that I’d never voluntarily take on.

Yet you do. You take me on with the determination of a gung-ho kamikaze bomber. You’ve taken the insane amount nonsense I’ve given you in an equally insanely short period of time, nary a complaint within earshot; simply that bemused smirk which creeps across your face like sunlight over the horizon, then finally melts away into that musical laugh as I try to tell you what’s going through my mind and end up retreating under my covers. You sit right there in your chair, legs crossed, knee resting against the table, fingers twirling your watch around when they’re not otherwise tucked in your pockets or folded across your chest. Standoffish is what you seem to like describing yourself as, yet I catch you leaning forward and perching yourself on this very precarious ledge, nonchalantly swinging your legs over the edge, cards lain out on the table. You’re ready to retreat into your shell should I so choose to request of you, but that’s not the point, is it? The point is that you’re out here, waiting for me to take your hand, even if this crashes and burns the very day after I step off that ledge with you.

Last Updated on Thursday, 25 February 2010 18:37
Sayoni Summer Camp 2009: An Insider’s Account
Articles - Sayoni Summer Camp
Saturday, 23 May 2009 00:00

This article is written by a guest writer, Sharon.

It took wagonloads of faith to know nothing about the camp and yet sign up for it. I had no idea where we were headed to (friends asked, 'how would we know where to extradite your body from then, be it if you drown during water activities or if you collapse from being at a lesbian camp.' My friends equate lesbian camp to sex orgy thingy.), what was the exact itinerary (gawd, please don't let them make us play school-ish telematch games nor do the 'oh this is how much potential you have in you, however please do feel real bad about yourself so you'd move your lazy ass' seminars), or who are the other 45 campers (45?! I barely want to get to know one new person per year in my personal life).


So why did I do it? Because it is the first ever camp for queer women after all. The advert did say 'series of meaningful and exciting activities, and make connections with others in an ideal exclusive location'. Which queer woman wouldn't want to make connections with others... in a series (!), in a meaningful and exciting manner (!), and at an ideal exclusive location (!!). No wonder places filled up quickly….


The campers came from all walks of life, across an age range of 18-40s (Editor’s note: oldest person present was close to 50). There were bankers, students, engineers, bummers, researchers, test-tube washers (me), consultants and etc. Some previously knew about Sayoni, others didn't. Several came from beyond Singapore, a few came from way beyond. It was truly a diverse group, but very quickly that didn't matter. Like in the wild waterpolo matches, all that mattered was 'we are team, let's play!'. This spirit of 'team' spilled over to the workshops, late-night symposiums1 and stolen-moment gatherings.


The workshops were about self-development and growth, with a focus on encouraging self-exploration and understanding of our relationship with the world around us. In other words, the workshops were about 'who am I', 'who am I in relationships' and 'who am I in the community'. Messages from the workshops were delivered in various ways -- in detailed textual descriptions on screen, in patient comprehensive explanations by the speakers, in visually stunning pictures, videos and demonstrations, in lively open discussions from the audience, and in personal sharing of stories and opinions in small group discussions. Contrary to my expectation of the 2 to 3 hour-long workshops, I was never bored. Furthermore, I surprised myself that from each workshop, there was stuff for me to bring home to think a little more about. Even the more mature ones among us mentioned that they benefited from the workshops. Seems like it was 'milk' enough for the young 'uns and 'meat' enough for the toughies.


As quickly as 'team' surfaced from the diversity, the spirit of 'family' soon emerged by the 2nd day of the camp. You could say we played our way into each other's hearts. Waterpolo matches, meal times, BBQ dinner, late-night symposiums and even on the ferry back, these were all dear moments of playful fun, hearty laughter, good conversations, and explicit sharings, We found ourselves to be different yet so similar in our struggles, challenges, discrimination, hopes and dreams.


Just a word here about the camp conditions. I believe I echo the sentiments of many campers when I say it was good. The rooms were big and spacious, each one had a balcony with a view, the sheets were comfy and clean, toilets were clean and functioning properly, and even had toilet paper and paper towels all the time. (Yes, I am quite the fussy traveller.) Meals were buffet-style with at least 2 types of 'carbo' (rice, bread, noodles, or pasta), 3 kinds of meat, vegetables, a soup, a long dessert table, and the ever-essential coffee and tea. The resort was a good choice to have the camp. It had a big beautiful pool, a private dining area for all of us, a private beach, and an outdoor bar & grill place by the beach with a good sound system and even a place to dance. Schedule-wise, we had enough time for fun and workshops. There was also free time where we could choose to laze at the hotel or go down to town for shopping and a 2-hour massage. The organisers were also flexible in accommodating our request for more pool time in the sun. I was also impressed that it was relatively fast and painless from the point of meet-up and registration, getting our boarding passes, onto the ferry and 3-min bus transfer, to checking-in to our rooms.


In my business organisation, we are extremely customer-oriented. At the end of million-dollar projects, we give our clients a customer satisfaction survey to fill up and mail anonymously to our head office. On the survey form, clients can rate us on the scale of 1 to 5 where 1 is 'disappointed', 2 is 'does not meet expectations', 3 is 'meets my expectations', 4 is 'beyond my expectations' and 5 is 'delighted'.

This camper is delighted.




1. Symposium – (in ancient Greece and Rome) a convivial meeting, usually following a dinner, for drinking and intellectual conversation.
Last Updated on Sunday, 06 June 2010 23:12
AWARE EOGM: An Account and Commentary
Articles - Events
Written by Indu   
Wednesday, 06 May 2009 00:00

Most of the bloggosphere has been buzzing with the happenings of the Association of Women for Action and Research (AWARE) Extraordinary General Meeting (EOGM) on 2nd May. The run up to the meeting was fraught with drama, suspense and old-fashioned politicking. The stakes were high for the veterans – the 24-year old organisation they had been with for years (and in some cases, since its founding) was in danger of being lost to a group of new faces who did not exactly seem to have women’s welfare in mind. (See here and here for a review of the events after the power-grab).

The venue had been changed twice – at first from Toa Payoh Auditorium to Expo, then, upon the instigation of the police (who was concerned with law and order issues given a large-scale Christian seminar would be going on next door), to Suntec. The media were ready with cameras and microphones, and when Saturday dawned bright and early upon Suntec, the stage was more than set.

I arrived at 10.45 am, as the registration was set to start at 12 pm (and the meeting was set to start at 2pm). Clearly I was not the only one with the bright idea of arriving early – the 4th floor was already full of supporters on both sides: red-shirted men and women on the side of the new exco, and white-shirted volunteers on the side of the new exco. When I arrived, taking in my outlaw appearance (ie, not being a chinese christian), 3 women tried to stop me from going up the escalator to the 4th floor, saying registration didn’t start until 12, and that the white t-shirted people weren’t part of their team. I brushed them aside and went up anyway.

After waiting an extraordinarily long time in the queue (thank god for reading materials I brought along), during which the white-shirts distributed food, flowers pamphlets and advice, and passing a security check, I finally entered the hall and sat myself down for what was going to be a long wait.

Little did I know the said long wait was going to be for the next 9 hours until the end of the EGM. In between reading, I noticed that there were two police-men guarding Thio Su Mien, and that an extraordinarily old woman on canes (literally) was walking up the aisle to the VIP seats, whom I later learned was Mrs David Marshall, coming to support the old guard.

The meeting started really late, at 2.40pm, where they exco finally presented themselves. The second Josie Lau took the mic and started speaking, the previously demure congregration burst into jeers and shouts.

And that pretty much set the tone for the rest of the EOGM. If anyone ever thought Singaporeans were quiet docile lambs, all such notions would have been dispelled within seconds of being in that hall.

The drama continued for the next 7 hours – for a full transcript of proceedings, see here. The highlight of the proceedings were threefold: when the new exco admitted that they had spent 90k SGD to date, in prepping for the EGM (including the venue), when Thio Su Mien stood up and declared that she was qualified to be a feminist mentor because she was mentioned on an obscure book AWARE published, on page 73, and when the new exco was voted out 1414:761 through a no-confidence motion.

Now, having had a few days to digest this historic win and event, and having read distinguished commentaries upon it (here and here), there are a few things I would like to highlight.

Firstly, the behaviour of the exco in spending nearly 90 000 dollars since the time they took office a few weeks ago, itself makes them entirely unsuitable for running AWARE. There were so many ways to do it for cheaper – such as employing volunteers to scrutineer (and make a buddy system to cross-check against biasness), engaging pro bono counsel instead of running to one of the most expensive law firms in Singapore and perhaps not installing CCTVs and changing the locks barely after they took over. Their attitude is one of that of a mega-church with deep pockets, or a corporate entity, not of a voluntary organisation. Whatever else one can say about their stealthy maneavours and less-than-noble intentions, if one is to judge them by their performance in office for a no-confidence motion, this would have been the clincher.

Secondly – just because you are legally in power, does not mean you have the authority to lead, especially when you have had no experience, the only reason you are voted in is because you rallied people to sign up and vote for you, and your means were underhanded and shady. Please show us some respect, and do not keep insisting that this was not planned – it most obviously was, and the longer you repeat that story, the more credibility you lose. I asked a question at the EGM which was not answered: what if I decided that Focus on the Family (FOTF) was losing its pro-family focus and becoming overly concerned with promoting homphobia? What if I decided that, because of this, I was going to appoint myself a Family Values mentor, email my friends and family and simply take over FOTF one day? It might be entirely legitimate, but does this new exco have any moral or even practical authority to lead FOTF? More importantly, is what I did right?

Thirdly, I was there, and I can testify that the crowd was indeed loud and sometimes overpowering. But contrary to what the other side has said about the old guard supporters being bullies and hooligans, I feel this was a result of passion and deep belief.  Voices were raised, but no one was harmed, or even threatened to be harmed. Emotions spilled over, but that is approximate response to what happens when one takes over an organisation by stealth and under-handed means. No one stopped the other side from speaking up – they were entirely free to make their opinions, and when they did, I observed that they made no sense (even to an objective listener). The other side had all the opportunities to speak, but they did not.  I personally feel many of the supporters of the new exco were only there to vote, not speak – by the very fact that the most of the new exco supporters left shortly after the voting process. Even I cannot help preserve the freedom of speech for someone who does not want to make their opinions known.

Fourthly, the opposition camp has painted this as a pro-gay vs anti-gay issue. It is anything but – it is the new guard who declared their motivating factor to take over AWARE was because they felt AWARE was too pro-gay. It still is NOT a pro-gay vs anti-gay issue – it is an issue of mutual respect, of living in harmony with different points of view and faiths. It is an issue of protecting the secular principles this country is built upon, by making sure one religious group does not overstep its boundaries or amass so much power as to intimidate minorities.

Fifthly, going into the hall, knowing this is not a pro-gay vs anti-gay issue, I was pleasantly surprised that there were plenty of people who spoke up for the acceptance and inclusion of queer people – women and men of all ages, backgrounds, religions and races. The message the majority sent out is that inclusiveness is not an empty word, and it means what it means. And really, for a bunch of educated women, especially Thio Su Mien – they seemed unable to tell the linguistic difference between tolerance, acceptance and promotion. The dictionary is there, use it. When you do learn the meaning, come back and tell me with a straight face that being accepting gay people for who they are, is exactly the same as telling people to be gay.

It must be said in conclusion that this EOGM was a reaffirmation, and a heart-warming sign that there is progress being made on the forefront of inclusiveness. It however, sadly highlights the existence of certain fundamentalist conservative groups who do not understand this concept and will do anything, anything to stop it from happening, even though it really has nothing to do with them.

Christians are not the enemy, neither do we consider them to be. We are not your enemy either. I take this opportunity to make a plea not to let things go that way, to not go the way America has gone in terms of the culture war – there are far far more important things in the world to think about, to work on. There are literally starving children in Africa, and I think your money, your effort, all the passion you have towards changing the world, can be redirected to causes much much bigger than trying to stop two consenting adults from loving each other.

And on that note, this is me hoping the best for the future!

Breaking News: AWARE EOGM Results – Old Guard Returned (Singapore)
Articles - Announcements
Written by sayoni   
Saturday, 02 May 2009 01:33

Today was a day to be marked down in history, as the day that Singaporeans realised they are indeed in control of their destiny, as the day they decided to take ownership in NGOs, as the day they stood up against the tide of intolerance and stood up for equal rights and inclusiveness. After a much-prolonged, 7-hour extraordinary general meeting (not counting waiting time), the old guard of Association of Women for Action and Research (AWARE) were returned to power, ousting the new exco who had all but taken AWARE’s leadership by force.

The meeting was stormy, emotional and inspiring. Many women and men stood up to speak up for the old aware and against the injustices perpetrated in the short term of the “new” exco. Many shocking things were revealed – such as the exco spending about S$90k since they took office (when only authorised to spend S$20k). The depth of their ignorance about what AWARE really did and stood for was revealed, as well as their inability to effectively lead. At the end of the long meeting, the no-confidence motion was passed by a margin of 2-1 – 1414 votes for yes, and 716 for no, and after an extended discussion, the exco finally decided to step down. The general meeting then proceeded to elect back the old guard into power – starting with Dana Lam as the president and Chew I-Jin as the Vice-President.

What was the most touching to us was the number of people – men, women, fathers, mothers,� teachers, students, christians, muslims… who all stood up and spoke up for inclusiveness, the importance of having a queer-neutral sexuality education program, and why AWARE should help queer women in need.

Sayoni would like to join in congratulating AWARE on its historic victory. This is not just a victory for womenm or even queer women, but for civil society in years to come. For extended reports on the events and commentary, stay tuned!

Why I am Bothered by the AWARE saga
Articles - Feminism
Written by (Guest Writers)   
Thursday, 30 April 2009 00:00

This article is written by a guest writer Bryan Choong.

Each time I talked to my friends and colleagues about the ongoing AWARE issue, they are puzzled why I have spoken with so much anger. There are a lot of women who are indifferent about the issues, and men who think this is a women’s problem. Some said that a new organisation can easily replace AWARE so why should we be so bothered by the new Exco and their non inclusive stand.

Being a gay person, I am sure many of my friends though that I am feeling so frustrated because the new Exco is anti gay and I felt threatened. Yes, the matter of fact is, I do. But let me explain why I am with the old guard. I should also clarify that I only joined as an associate member of AWARE recently but I have been very aware of what old AWARE represents. And it all started when I was 14 years old.

One night when I was 14 years old, I found myself sitting in the old New Bridge Road police station, waiting for my mother to complete her police statement. My mother has just been beaten by my father after months of verbal abuses. It was about 1am. There were no visible bruises and the policeman on duty told my mother that he could not do much to my father than to bring him down to the station and give him a verbal warning. Unless, in his own words, someone is visibly injured or dead. I was sitting next to my mother and listening to all these. My mother decided against the police going to our place to bring my father to the station. She feared that things would be worsened. For the rest of the night, my mother and myself sat outside the station. I was so worried that my mother would get a chill so I bought a cup of hot milo for her from the vending machine. That was the only thing this small built boy could do. I remember that cold night till today, that overwhelming helplessness of being a 14 years old boy who could not do anything to help his abused mother.

That was not the only time I felt that way. When I was 7 years old, after my father’s repeated beating, my mother left home without a single penny. Later she told me that she had to beg for a 10 cent from a stranger to call her sister for help. She was standing on the street with nothing except her clothes. In another occasion, I accompanied her to look for a place to stay when the abuse increased. We walked through the entire Joo Chiat area but nothing was affordable or safe enough for her to stay in. Hopeless and helpless, we went back home, which was increasingly more like a battlefield than a sanctuary. From that very young age, I learnt to be present at home whenever possible so that in case of a dangerous situation, I could shield her or do anything to protect her. Most of the time, I was disappointed that no one seemed to be able to render any assistance. I have to clarify here that my mother was not the soft asian woman you can imagine. However, she has gotten into a wrong marriage because she wanted to break away from my grandfather’s control. Unfortunately, in those days, you could walk away from your father but it was not so easy for you to walk away from your abusive husband. No one, apart from those who walked this journey before, will understand how vulnerable we felt.

The first sign of hope came when NMP Dr Kanwaljit Soin pushed for the amendment of Women Charter in 1997. I was so excited that I borrowed a copy of the Women Charter publication from the National Library and read it to my mother. We finally knew and got our rights. I watched the debate in the Parliament when NMP Soin spoke and I swear to the god that she is the only female MP whose face and name I could remember till now.

Finally, with the new Women Charter in place and the family court more empowered to do more for domestic violences, my mother decided to end the marriage when my father hit her for the last time and a Personal Protection Order was issued. Despite of the PPO, my mother’s lawyer, Ms Ellen Lee, now MP for Sembawang GRC tried so hard to ensure our safety during the divorce proceeding. She even allowed us to use her office address in Beach Road as a correspondence address so that our actual place of residence would not be exposed.

After a long legal battle, we got our lives back, leaving the years of living in constant fear and abuses behind. I regained my trust that there is justice in this world and women and children should be protected against any wrongful acts by their male family members. What Dr Soin and AWARE probably would not know is that their fight for women rights have changed the life of a boy who they never know.

I cannot tolerate the new Exco’s attempt to deny the good works by these women and AWARE. And I cannot trust them when the church they belonged to, openly stated that 'the wife is in subjection to her husband' and 'women [are] to continually deny themselves and yield the rule to men'. This statement alone makes me feel so sick, the same sick feeling I had when the policeman told me that he could not do anything.

In Singapore we are so used to take a neutral stand on everything, until it affects you. I know exactly how that feels. For you who has the right to cast your vote and decide not to do anything at all, you might regret it when you need it.

Editor’s Note: Please visit for news and updates, and information on how you can help.

Last Updated on Thursday, 25 February 2010 18:29
One Cause For All Women
Articles - Announcements
Wednesday, 29 April 2009 01:34


Help save AWARE.� Vote out the new exco.

Dana Lam’s interview to save AWARE

Update : New Venue for the EGM
Suntec Exhibition Hall 402!

Don’t go to the wrong place!�� The venue in the video clips are outdated.

Responsa to the Press Conference by AWARE’s New Exco
Articles - Feminism
Written by Indu   
Tuesday, 28 April 2009 00:00
The past few days, after the new guard came out and declared their motivations and objectives, and revealed Dr Thio Su Mien to be their mentor, there have been a variety of responses from various sectors and individuals. We collect and republish for you, a selection of responses.

But first, we would like to remind all AWARE members that the EOGM on 2nd May will be held at SINGAPORE EXPO HALL 2. Official notices from AWARE states that Registration will begin at 12noon, EGM at 2p.m. Bring your NRIC for admission. Please check SAVE AWARE for the latest news.


Press Conference by the Old Guard

24th April 2009

We are glad that the truth is finally out. What happened at AWARE AGM on 28 March was a planned takeover by a group of women, guided by their ‘feminist mentor’ Dr Thio Su Mien, who have taken it upon themselves to, as they put it, ‘bring AWARE back to its original, very noble, objective’.

The issue is not whether AWARE has indeed strayed from its original aims. What is really at stake is the space for a diversity of views in our cosmopolitan and pluralistic society. Singapore is a multiracial, mulitreligious and multicultural society. As we progress, the diversity will grow. We have to be able to co-exist, to live with differing views on many issues.

What has happened at AWARE is a threat to Singapore’s pluralistic society. A ‘feminist mentor’ takes exception to some of AWARE’s programmes, decides to monitor the organisation’s activities, and then encourages women she knows to challenge AWARE; they could have invited AWARE to a seminar to discuss the programmes; they could have written to the media.

Instead, these women joined AWARE in the few months before the AGM and then voted their representatives onto the Executive Committee ‘ without giving any indication that they were acting together. They continued with this stance until Thursday when they finally told the truth.

The cannot be the way forward for Singapore. We cannot have people acting like moral vigilantes running around and taking over established organisations. If Dr Thio and her mentees feel that AWARE has strayed from its original aims, or that some of the programmes are unsuitable, then go ahead and criticize AWARE, but do so openly.

Better still, form their own organization to offer parallel programmes with what they see as the right messages, and let the public choose which they prefer. Their motives and actions will then be visible to all. There will be transparency and accountability.

Video of press conference

Last Updated on Thursday, 25 February 2010 18:28
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