Saturday, April 25, 2009


Reader Raymond Anthony Fernando responds to the AWARE SAGA.

This letter was published in the New paper on Saturday 25 April 2009.

The on-going row that has turned ugly between the old guard and the new exco is giving Aware a very bad image.

Shouting matches, microphone-snatching and emotional outbursts among Aware members from the old and new team in the presence of the media did not do the women's organisation any good.

If office politics that can lower productivity and affect staff morale, creeps into an organisation like Aware, then members will lose focus and not be able to carry on the tasks at hand successfully.

However, if the old guard and the new guard can come to a compromise, say with the Ministry of Community, Youth and Sports playing mediator, then I am sure, the road ahead will be much smoother for Aware. Certainly such a turn-around will benefit all women in Singapore.

Building relations with media

To stay relevant, the new Aware exco must first of all build healthy relations with the media, who can play a crucial role in helping to raise awareness of issues that the new team intends to focus on.

Secondly, employers should encourage, rather than discourage their staff from doing voluntary work, especially if it helps in nation building.

If the new president, Ms Josie Lau is able to take Aware to greater heights, then I am sure that her employer will be more receptive to her heading the organisation.

I wish Ms Josie Lau and her team all the very best in their efforts to build a better life for all women in Singapore. Voluntary work and advocacy can sometimes be viewed as a seemingly thankless task, but somebody has got to have the courage and conviction to do it.

Those who feel discouraged or disheartened should take note of what I believe, Sir Winston Churchill once said: “ You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life.”

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