updated 12 May 2009, 00:02
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Tue, May 12, 2009
The Straits Times
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Empty seats: Did some of Lau's supporters stay away?

DESPITE the large turnout at Saturday's EGM, there were many empty seats in the Suntec City meeting hall.

And given the flurry of online appeals to supporters of Ms Josie Lau and her team, even some long-time members of Aware had expected to be outnumbered.

As the hall filled, a rumour spread that Ms Lau's supporters were about to arrive by the busload. This was after the organisers opened up an adjoining hall to make room for many more people.

But the rows of empty seats left many wondering if some supporters of the new team decided not to come in the end.

And was that how the no-confidence vote ended with such a lopsided result: 1,414 to throw out the Josie Lau team, 761 to keep it.

Mrs Irene Lim, 46, e-mailed The Straits Times yesterday to say that although she supported Ms Lau and was shocked by what Dr Thio had said about Aware's sexuality education programme, she changed her mind about attending the extraordinary general meeting.

She said she pulled back after the National Council of Churches of Singapore said last week that it did not condone churches getting involved in the Aware saga. 'I talked it over with my Bible study group and we all agreed that it is not good for Singapore to create this division. There are other avenues to bring up this matter,' she said.

She said she was among those who signed a petition urging the Education Ministry to review the programme.

Were there many others like her? There was no telling.

But that might also have affected the way this saga played out so dramatically to the finish line.

This article was first published in The Straits Times.

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readers' comments
This whole saga played out like something out of 1984.
Posted by magicken on Wed, 6 May 2009 at 12:58 PM

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