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Civil Engagement in a Civil Society

A lot has happened over the AWARE saga, and because of exams, I have not been able to do a commentary on it. Not that there would be a lot for me to say, every possible angle has been thoroughly canvassed by the bloggosphere and media. It is really quite clear that I do not support the new exco after them using such shady methods and knowing their background. I do not find my confidence in them bolstered after the revelation that Dr Thio Su-Mien is behind it. I have already had a run-in with her daughter, Dr Thio Li-Ann before, as some people would remember – and while I disagreed with her and found her remarks in parliament insulting, I was one of the first ones to stand up and say that she should not be fired or receive death threats because of what she said. My principles, or stance, have not changed. I believe, and still believe, in civil, dignified debate, not name-calling or personal attacks.

So, whoever send that death threat to the new exco – cut it out. You are making us look bad. While I have strong doubts about the veracity of the said death threat, or even any real intention, I am going to treat it as real for the purposes of this discussion, and repeat, once again, that no one, NO ONE, should be doing anything remotely despicable. Having said that (and this is directed at you, new exco) receiving death threats does not make your cause a noble one (Harvey Milk got death threats on a regular basis, and I doubt you are going to agree his cause is noble).

Secondly, as to Josie Lau’s job. I have absolutely no idea what DBS is doing to her position, and frankly, I don’t care. While the revelation that she is the one who led DBS-FOTF linkup is infuriating but not surprising, I believe that issue has already been dealt with and buried. DBS has learned its lesson. But this new saga really has nothing to do with them. I know some of us already cancelled our DBS accounts after the FOTF saga – and now there is a new call from Mr Wang to cancel our DBS cards so that Josie can get fired.

I have to say, this is not a strategy I am comfortable with, or will ever endorse. Boycotting a business that might support an anti-gay cause is one thing, but trying to target it at a person is not acceptable unless she’s a mass murderer/fraudster etc.

Josie is as much as human being as the rest of us, and she has a family to support too – two kids, in fact. She has the full right to have a career and do things outside this career, and express her own views. As do any of us. How would any of you like to be fired because you supported a gay cause? What if all the fundies called in and boycotted the business/company you worked for, just to get you fired? Her job performance has nothing to do with her beliefs – DBS can decide whether to keep her on or not.

I will not, and cannot, endorse such a blunt tool tactic. That’s going too far. Not to mention it will only backfire on us, because we are going to look petty and undignified. Let’s try to do justice to YawningBread’s assertion that we are a mature bunch on this issue.

Not to mention I do not want to hear the new exco play the victim again. It is kind of getting tiring, really. Morever, when they play the victim, they avoid the real issues and hard questions. They are already good at that, lets not give them more opportunities.


April 26, 2009 Posted by | Announcements, LGBTQ, Politics, singapore | , , , | 1 Comment