Thursday, May 07, 2009

Silvery tongue

To its credit, the Ministry of Education (MOE) has come out to state, officially and unequivocally, that the instructor guide used in the Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) programme run by AWARE are "explicit and inappropriate, and convey messages which could promote homosexuality or suggest approval of pre-marital sex." (See Today, 7 May 2009, page 1 and Voices section, page 30; Business Times, 7 May 2009, page 3 - "MOE suspends AWARE 's sex education programme")

This vindicates the former AWARE committee's stance that AWARE has lost its direction. Indeed, it appears that AWARE's agenda has been hijacked by liberal elements, either from within or outside, that is pushing their views and preferences regardless of what the rest of Singapore society believes in or prefers. This insidious approach is worse than one where a particular religion is identified and accused of pushing its religious agenda. At least we know where they are coming from even if we may not agree entirely with them. By painting itself as non-religious and non-judgmental, the homosexual 'religious' faction has hoodwinked some, nay, many, naive women (and some men too) in AWARE into adopting, if not applauding, such liberal ideas and perverted practices (e.g. "Anal sex can be healthy, homosexuality is perfectly normal...").

Yes, more than a thousand women voted for the old AWARE guard, but I wonder among these group of people, how many are AWARE of AWARE's practices, particularly with respect to the CSE programme. I, for one,just got to know about it only in the last few weeks. If they are, do they approve? If they approve, will they let their children be schooled in this homosexual 'religion'? Is AWARE now a hotbed of homosexuals and homosexual sympathisers? If AWARE's CSE programme is neutral in its message about sexuality and choice, does the CSE give equal voice and emphasis to sexual abstinence as a choice, as Ms Charlotte Wong, former VP of the ousted AWARE committee has rightly questioned? And even if the CSE seeks to present a balanced view, as the old guard has always claimed, what has it put in place that will ensure that its trainers do not push their own preferences and biases in the classroom?

Josie Lau and her supporters may have lost within the confines of the Suntec City Convention Centre room by the 'ballot box', but it would appear that outside it, there is a significant number of people who are questioning the very practices that moved Ms Lau and her band to attempt to reform AWARE. Today reports that there are 7,000 signatures, so far, from people who have expressed concerns about AWARE's CSE. So before the old AWARE celebrate its 'victory' last Saturday (2 May 2009) for much longer, it must take stock of itself. Its President, Ms Dana Lam said that AWARE "will be open to seeing what has to be done" in response to the MOE ban, but in the same breadth, she said that AWARE will "stand by the programme. After all, we've been running it for almost 2 years."

I am worried. Can we ever trust what AWARE says now? Where along the way has it lost its integrity?

A critique of the secret CSE Manual: - Thank you, Mr Alan S.L. Wong for the link.


sgcynic said...

"I am worried. Can we ever trust what AWARE says now?"

On the other hand, I definitely do not trust what Thio, Lau and gang. Why wait years or months before raising the issue, and only after the (attempted) takover of AWARE? Why the stealth? If they really had a case, why didn't they just bring it up with AWARE and with MOE?

Wang said...

Hear Hear and thanks for the evenhanded view on concerns of parents

Anonymous said...

Hello there.

I agree with your sentiments.

If I had the opportunity to do so, I would ask AWARE the following: Granted that the literature in question is a trainer's manual, but given the controversy over AWARE's CSE, why did AWARE not do its part and stop what it alleges to be rumour-mongering by making the document accessible to the public in the spirit of openness and transparency?

Anonymous said...

Writer seemed to claim he/she is/was one of the instructors of AWARE's CSE programme.

Writer's belief that "I’m sure you recognise that sex ed for homosexuals must start young too" is equally controversial. Just who are these CSE instructors?

BTW, I absolutely do not support JL and new/old AWARE exco. Pl do not brand everyone who are not 'positive' abt homosexuality as JL supporters.

Anonymous said...

The crux of the matter is parents have the right to know and scrutinise what is being discussed during the CSE sessions. They have the right to determine if the materials -- specifically how the discussion will progress -- contain things that are in agreement with the values they want to inculcate in their children. Parents -- as adults -- have the responsibility and should be able to make informed decisions about the issues regarding sexuality. If anything, the CSE may present certain information to the kids which may be contrary to what parents want for them. -- Project Lucy

Anonymous said...

That CSE “could promote homosexuality or suggest approval of pre-marital sex” is not a fact – it is a possibility. There is nothing unequivocal about that statement. In reality, that statement spells out that there are differing views. For some, it would “suggest approval”. For others, it does not. And to equate homosexuality to religion is extremely disingenuous. The logic behind your arguments is extremely flawed, and it would take far too much time for me to bother to correct it. Homosexuality may not be genetic, but after reading such detritus, I’m starting to wonder if stupidity is. Come to think of it, I’m sure it is.

Anonymous said...

George says:
I support the fight back by the old guards for the simple reason that the TSM/JL clique had perpetuated a very misguided and mischievous takeover to impose their will on a secular society.

Their accusation/justification for their conduct - that AWARE has a pro-homosexual agenda - pales IMO in comparison with their unethical (fortunately, abortive) attempt.

What they did was not good for the country, no good for AWARE and not good to the larger Christian community, of which I am a member.

What made it particularly indefensible is that the ring leader is a senior member of the legal profession here, who should have known better the repercussion of such an act. The conduct of theJL team is also very disappointing as they are all well educated and holding responsible jobs, some like JL herself, in big commercial organisations.

Their collective behaviour have been 'exemplarily' negative. They had all acted VERY IRRESPONSIBLY, OSTENSIBLY BLINDED BY THEIR OWN NARROW INTERPRETATION OF THE CHRISTIAN FAITH.

sgcynic said...

If you lack integrity, it matters not what your faith is or what your beliefs are. Purity can never be achieved through tainted means. It is incongruent for anyone to claim to be pure in thought but not so in deed.

PS: Would we accept it if our police officers were to use ANY means necessary to get a conviction? Does the end justify the means?

Lam Chun See said...

I think this issue has really divided Spore. Just look at the number of comments in the Reach website. Most of the other issues have only 1 or 2 - many zero comments.

Previously, on the internet, its always the liberals that are very vocal in hammering the Christians and conservatives. This time around the later have become very vocal.

If I were the govt, I would really keep a close watch on this. What they feared would happen during the earlier debate on the bill criminalizing homosexual act (was that 377a) has really happened this time.

sgcynic said...

I respect all religions. In multi-racial and multi-religious Singapore, all groups and religions have the right to voice their concerns and aspirations. Do it with candour and mutual respect. Any persons or groups, religious or otherwise, that seeks to encroach on the space and freedom of others should be rebuked. Any insidious acts of subversion must be hammered before they take root.

Alan S.L. Wong said...

It is good that we all read AWARE's CSE Instructor Guide to know what it says and does not say.

You can read my critique at where I quote verbatim some of the relevant sections of the Guide.

Epilogos said...

Thank you for the link. Indeed, it is important to be aware of the facts than to leave to hearsay.

sgcynic said...

Hmm, which are "facts" and which are "hearsay"? Is what is extracted and packaged the whole truth or a partial truth as seen from one perspective? If we want the untainted truth, I suggest we read the original CSE document and form our own "critique". :>

Epilogos said...

True, but an OPEN document allows for informed debate. With a secret document, you are deceived.

sgcynic said...

LOL... No wonder the government is deceiving us all this while. So many documents of DBS and FOTF that we do not have access to. They must be deceiving us as well!

sgcynic said...

Oh, I'm thinking to distrust the teachers in our schools. They also have teacher guides /manuals that students do not have access to!

Epilogos said...

You are right. Some say there are conspiracies, deceptions, etc. in high places. Some believe otherwise because they point out that there are checks in place at government and corporates, such as periodic statutory audits.

Unlike Aware's CSE, all internal educational materials in Singapore Schools are subject to regular audits too, first at the HOD level, and possibly at MOE level.

sgcynic said...

I'm not sure if the AWARE CSE materials are subjected to audit (internal or external). I'm not concerned with what was in the trainer's manual as that was meant for the eyes of the trainer only. So long as what was taught to students are appropriate and nuanced accordingly (here we are to disagree), I am fine with it. What is interesting is that no complaints was ever brought up prior to the AWARE saga. What I do find disturbing in the entire episode, I have already stated in my earlier posts. I'll leave it at that. I'm accepting of any groups so long as their intentions AND actions are honourable and aboveboard.