Ever since the local news is out after my interview with The Straits Times (scanned copy) and Jayne’s with TODAY (scanned page #1 and page #2), I have received numerous personal messages from my friends and families. Thank you for your support and I hear your concerns. This is not an easy time for me, nor is it an easy decision to make. I hear your questions and I would like to shed some lights on my side of the story, in my personal capacity, for those who wish to know more, as a friend. I will not address to specific questions on the association here as you may find more answers from the temporary website’s FAQ section. This website is my personal space to share my thoughts and my hobbies with my families and friends and new friends from the online world. I wish you could respect that.
- Two Options, Period – I have two options. Step down like the rest or step up and drive this legal entity forward. Personally I feel that there is a certain level of responsibility when I agree to a role offered, when I have signed a legal binding document submitted to the government. Beyond that, even if I were to step down, I would prefer to have a transition period to help the next team on board to come up to speed, to minimize the impact to this entity. And given these two options, I choose to step up, institute change that will take the association forward. I can only do so if I stay on.
- Why the Rest Have Stepped Down – The Straits Times reported that it is due to the family and work commitment. Some friends asked me how true it is. While I cannot and should not speculate the reasons behind (as decisions are made more than the rationale mind, there are emotions and background involved as well), here is what I can share with you. We were ecstatic as a team when we first announced the news publicly (you can trace back our previous entries) but what came next were pure stress for all of us. Most if not all of us were actively monitoring the responses from the public, from the Blogosphere, and we have dedicated a team to be on the ground and address these responses. The initial response was largely not good, I admit. It was (still is) very draining and stressful if you may imagine and it added strain to work and relationship and studies, for those weeks of the Internet that never slept. That much I can share with you. I respect those who were in the talented team. They are great people to work with. I wish the working relationship could have lasted longer.
- Guilt by Association – I am aware that Jayne does not have an unblemished record when it comes to how she has responded to the public in the past. My sister has too approached me and offered her words of concern. I wish we had a prominent unblemished Singaporean blogger who steps up and create an association for the blogging community while raising our profile through networking with valued partners, bringing in high profile projects, but there is none. Association of Bloggers (Singapore) is first of its kind and if not for Jayne, there will still be no such entity. But I am not a blind follower. I will hold her words to see through a transparent AGM (annual general meeting) for the election of the most appropriate leader for the association. And I can’t see that through if I am not in it. Jayne, if you are reading this, just so to let you know, I am watching you!
- A New Untested Platform – Personally, I feel that it is fundamentally challenging to thread the boundaries between strong opposing political views and commercial influence – both we need to stay away because of the Societies Act and the fact that AB(S) is a non-profit organization. The guiding principle to me would be to mimic Singapore’s unique environment and to maintain the harmony guided by the government. It is not easy because every decision the team faces has to go through rounds of debate in view of potential abuse. We are still learning our way in this untested platform.
- Random Thoughts – I understand we could have been much better off if we were to hold off our announcement until the association is officially launched; I understand we could have been much better off if Jayne didn’t have baggage from the past; but I also understand why we need to move fast because the upcoming high profile projects coming our way that demand us to be so. I wish the general public has a better understanding on how an association is set up in Singapore; and I wish that the public is more forgiving and to give this entity a chance to grow and evolve. I still want to help creating something tangible for the good of Singapore. Besides this primary motivation, I am blessed and motivated with all these opportunities that will make me a better, stronger person.
Now, if I could go back to my happy-go-lucky life and focus on making babies my photography and music and writing, I would much appreciate that. Thank you for listening to my side of the story.