fbpx
Editor of Glass Castle, Jolene, addresses the takeover of AWARE.

Takeover of AWARE – “Please sit up and pay attention.”

From Glass Castle:

At the end of March, AWARE held an AGM attended by a large bloc of new members, many of whom had not previously been especially active in the organisation (according to the Straits Times, a large majority of them had only joined the organisation in the preceding 3 months).

They proceeded to elect a new executive committee dominated by anti-gay activists. The new President (who has since, bizarrely, resigned), Claire Nazar, has publicly said that in her interpretation of her religion, Christianity, homosexuality is an ‘abomination’ and ‘the [result] of sin and flouting of God’s moral order’. The new honorary secretary, Jenica Chua, has previously criticised NMP Siew Kum Hong for his support for the legalisation of gay sex by referring to ‘the homosexual agenda’ and ‘the homosexual interest group’, language which originates from Christian fundamentalist movements in America. 

Their supporters at the meeting included more individuals with clear connections to anti-gay Christian fundamentalist activism. Among these was Angela Thiang, who works in a company headed by infamous anti-gay Christian NMP Thio Li Ann [Edited to Add on 14 April: this was an error in the original article; in fact the company is headed by Thio's mother, Thio Su Mien: on which see here], and who has publicly spoken in favour of Section 377A and in opposition to abortion rights. There was also Dr Alan Chin, who has used the language of American Christian fundamentalists by referring disapprovingly to ‘the gay lifestyle’.

Many of the members who voted for this new executive committee had only joined recently and were not well-known to active existing members of AWARE – suggesting that they were a new faction, rather than representing and reflecting the existing values of the group. In other words, the organisation appears to now be run not by secular feminists but by sectarian fundamentalists. It is likely that they will use it to push through a new agenda, promoting visions of gender, sexuality and women’s rights which are contrary to what AWARE previously stood for.

This has severe implications for women’s rights, LGBTQ rights, and civic society at large. Even if you consider yourself wholly indifferent to feminism or LGBTQ rights, please sit up and pay attention. They could come for you next.

Read the rest of the article here.

Read also: From now on, be wary of AWARE by Alex Au.

-----