24 April 2009

Group of 9 comes clean...

1. But are full of fail

After some weird events, the Group of 9 held a press conference very, very late last night.

Maybe we should call them Group of 10, now that Thio Su Mien has come out as the broker of the takeover, and acknowledged it was really a takeover.

I will leave Corinna Lim and the old guard to rebut the G9's hilarious inaccuracies and outright ignorance of Aware's programmes.

It's a laundry list of fail: at the top of my head, the G9/10 seems to interpret Aware's addition of outreach programmes to lesbian women as becoming a "single purpose organisation overly concerned with promoting lesbianism".

This is even more fail if we recall that just a few days earlier... Josie Lau described Aware as an overextended organisation with too many purposes: "What the new committee wants to do is that, like any good corporation, if you’ve diversified too much, consolidate."

Another high point of fail: mistaking the talk Constance Singam gave at Indignation 2008, hosted by Sayoni... as a talk hosted by SgButterfly.

The new exco's actions have been so surreal, Operation Leper is open to the idea that perhaps their members have proven that they are most suited to appointment as writers for sketch comedy shows on television. And more than open to the idea that it may have to rename itself as Operation Give Them The Noose. Or Operation Let Them Make Us Laugh On TV.

2. But demand privacy

But the most satisfying fail moment in the conference? The mention of Operation Leper. The Group of 9 alleged to have received death threats, invasions into their privacy, boycott calls, and then moved on to mention their objection to our initiative, because we named Lois Ng's company address.

We are surprised at their objection to the boycott. As civil society wannabe-honchos, I'm not sure they realise that boycotts are part and parcel of day to day life in the polity. I'm not sure Lois Ng realises that I got her company address from her company's website, as well as from Google and Google maps. This is all public information, and easily available. So is, for example, the list of vendors who carry her company's merchandise.

But there is a lesson to be learnt from all this - Aristotle has a nice saying which I'll paraphrase here: one's true character can be judged from how they behave when no one is looking.

Or when they think no one can see what they're doing.

Somehow, I do not think Lois's objections to having her company details published bode well about her character.

3. But there can never be reconciliation

The language at the conference would be a major indicator. I will leave other blogs to discuss the language used, verbal and otherwise.

Here, I would like to point out the conference fits within the strategy of G9/10. As observers have universally pointed out, the G9/10 modus operandi was that of stealth, non-transparency, silence, and stonewalling while holding the organisation to a communications lockdown during their ongoing purges of key sub-committees.

Why the conference then? Why the sudden loquaciousness, the sudden urge to make their motivations known, their condemnations of Aware's actions, when they have taken great efforts to hide all these at the takeover AGM, during the purge, and even towards the press in their earlier media interviews?

If they could afford to be this open and upfront now, why not earlier? Why not during the AGM? If they had been this open at the AGM, their victory by numbers would have far more legitimate, attracted much less condemnation, and their open discussion leading to the election victory would have been just a normal interaction of civil society.

The key lies in the final lines of the Channelnewsasia report:

The team will go ahead with the extraordinary general meeting planned for May 2 and is looking for a new venue to accommodate its burgeoning membership. It is now 880 and still growing.

The conference is the martyr video moment of the G9/10. Faced with certain defeat, they want the entire world to know why they did it, before their takeover goes down in flames. They want the entire world to know YES, it was a well-organised takeover, it involved going behind the scenes to garner support from various networks, and then mustering the necessary number of minions to vote them into the exco. And of course they want the entire world to know they did it for the greater good.

Classic martyr video moment, because they do know their own numbers, and these numbers do not account for the 880 figure staring at them in the face.

Classic martyr video moment, because the conference is their public call to arms, their last ditch attempt to rally the numbers from outside of their networks. Me? I'm surprised that they needed to do this. In a straight numbers fight, the Church is always able to out-recruit and out-organise any other secular civil society group or movement.

Implications? The depth and extent of active support for the G9/10 takeover is far less than we thought.


solvent_d said...

In the same vein, I think they decided to go through with the anti-gay angle just so that they can again muster the kind of support they got when they had Keep377A.

Anonymous said...

"The conspirators who took over AWARE in a manner hostile to the principles of civil society must never be allowed to work in civil society again."

What strong word! Will akikonomu dare to show his/her face? Why such strong view against the AWARE saga? You gay angry with the anti-movement at aware?

Show yourself !!!!!!!!!

akikonomu said...

Very entertaining comment, Anonymous =D


I'm an equal opportunity insulter of stupid ideas, whether they originate from the left or right.

I've poured scorn on the campaign to boycott DBS over FOTF.

I've poured scorned on the gay overlord Alex Au and his insane agenda.

I've taken a principled stand on the flaws of the 377a campaign.

Dear, dear anonymous: Thanks for playing. Better luck next time?

To supporters of the Group of 10: Please send more competent anonymous commentators to my blog! You can't expect me to engage with idiots and trolls all the time, right?

-ben said...

What strong word! Will akikonomu dare to show his/her face? ...

Show yourself !!!!!!!!!

Is dat you?


Anonymous said...

I can't imagine these fundamentalists had to resort to a coup to push their agenda through a secular society. It's time Singapore's women took actions and cast their no-confidence vote on this new scheming exco.