~ By Lim Say Liang ~
In recognition of his tireless efforts in giving a voice to the plight of the marginalised, the Humanist Society (Singapore) will honour Mr Au Waipang with the Humanist of the Year award for 2012. Established last year, the award is presented to Singapore humanists who have made a positive impact on the society at large. Local author Catherine Lim is the first recipient.
Born in 1952, Mr Au is a prominent social commentator and gay activist in Singapore. His personal blog, Yawning Bread, is founded in 1996 and is renowned today as a treasure trove of sharp, witty analyses. To the local gay community, Mr Au is highly respected for his relentless fight against the discrimination they face in a socially conservative society. He is one of the founders of People Like Us, a local gay equality lobby group formed in 1993. In addition, Mr Au has conducted talks, appeared on television and hit the ground running as a photographer and investigative journalist. He is a vocal defender of Singapore's secularism and an outspoken critic of religious extremism, pseudoscientific institutions and creationism.
Besides the award presentation, June 23 also marks the Humanist Society’s celebration of the World Humanist Day, an annual celebration of humanism as a philosophical life stance and a means to effect change in the world.
Date & time: June 23, 3-6pm
Location: Singapore Council of Women's Organisations, training Room 2 & 3.
Entry fee: $10 for members, $12 for non-members
ABOUT THE HUMANIST SOCIETY (SINGAPORE)
Formed in 2010, the Humanist Society (Singapore) is registered society in Singapore for humanists, freethinkers, atheists, agnostics and other like-minded people. It hopes to raise awareness that a significant secular, non-religious segment of our society exists and actively contributes to the progress of Singapore as a nation and a member of the global community. Aside from the society’s work towards maintaining a secular space in society, it holds events relating to Humanism, science, and critical thinking, and provides a setting for like-minded people to have discussions on issues of the day.
In the long run, the Society strives to encourage a rational approach to human problems, to promote the fullest possible use of science and the arts, for human welfare, to defend freedom of expression, and to provide a constructive alternative to theological and dogmatic creeds. It is guided by reason, informed by evidence, driven by compassion. In addition, it encourages informed and reasoned discussion of issues in a manner that shows respect for the individual and his or her views, as well as respect for the universal human rights of men and women free from discrimination on the basis of race, class, disability, gender, sexual orientation, age, or nationality.
The Society also strives to cooperate with other NGOs in Singapore in the spirit of compassion and rationality. Since its founding it has taken part in Pink Dot, held a joint-talk with ACRES on animal cruelty, and worked with other NGOs and advocacy groups on sexuality education issues.