updated 20 May 2009, 02:55
    Powered by
user id password
Wed, May 20, 2009
The Straits Times
EmailPrintDecrease text sizeIncrease text size
Membership surged from 300 to 3,000 in five weeks

IN JUST five weeks, Aware's membership swelled from 300 to a record 3,000.

The biggest surge came over the past week, when hundreds signed up in order to have a say in Saturday's extraordinary general meeting (EGM) where members would vote on a no-confidence motion against the new exco led by Ms Josie Lau.

Housewife Charissa Sng, 38, was among the new members. She did not know a soul at Aware, but signed up last week and went to the EGM because she felt the takeover was 'morally wrong'.

'The ousted committee wondered whether what happened at the meeting represented the views of most Singaporean women,' she told The Straits Times yesterday. 'I think it did.'

The two women who sat next to her at the EGM were both mothers, a Malay housewife and a Chinese teacher. They also did not know anyone at Aware but came to show their support. 'We Singaporeans are always being deemed passive,' said Ms Sng, a mother of two young children. 'But that changed on Saturday.'

But the surging membership also included those who backed the new team.

In the run-up to the EGM, the Internet was abuzz with appeals, including from church-related individuals, for women to join Aware and support Josie Lau's team.

A middle-aged man who attended the EGM in the new team's red 'pro-woman, pro-family, pro-Singapore' T-shirt said he wanted to make a stand against Aware's sexuality education programme.

In the end, it was a numbers game. Before the EGM, the exco would only confirm that membership had crossed 1000.

This article was first published in The Straits Times.

more: aware
readers' comments

Copyright © 2009 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. Co. Regn. No. 198402868E. All rights reserved.