Speaking Up Not As Secretary of Association of Bloggers (Singapore)

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.

28 thoughts on “Speaking Up Not As Secretary of Association of Bloggers (Singapore)”

  1. I would have to agree with that first comment if not for the work we have piling up. haha…..

    Thanks. I like you watching me. In fact, many people have told me, they are watching me.

    I will be coming up with my own post but it might take longer because I am not a good writer. And my son is very ill, his condition turned worse again today.

  2. As always, you will have my support! 😉

    Having said that, I understand that there may be a lot of things we want to achieve in life. However, we may need to have a good balance in life. Just admit that we are not supermen and we have only 24 hours every day. Take care of yourself and… yes… make more babies! 🙂 Instead of rushing for the high profile projects, I am sure this will also be a very good way for you to create “something tangible for the good of Singapore”. lol 😛

  3. I’ve been slightly critical of the formation of the association too. But I admit it remains to be seen what will happen. It may be still early. The results will show for themselves. One thing though… the association needs some serious damage control!

  4. Zs – Thank you for dropping by. I hear you and we are doing all we can to at least minimize on any further damage and to focus on action that speak for itself. There is only that much words can cure. We all want to see results.

    At least, I do.

    I am open for any constructive feedback.

  5. Darkspore – Thanks buddy. Hmmm … where have I kept my principles … they were lying somewhere the other day …

    Ha ha ha … but you are right. Because decisions are best made based on principles.

  6. There is a similar idea from dailyblogtips.com some time ago, to have some sort of union or association for the bloggers.

    It didn’t take off as getting it registered means that there are strict rules to follow. Thus I am surprise to see something like this in Singapore.

    I guess the managing community is blinded by the excitement that no one notice that the Association is not ready for the world yet.

    It is going to be an uphill task from now on. Best of luck to you and ABS.

  7. Motd – Cheers. And you are right. There are guidelines to follow due to Societies Act. The upside is that as a legal entities, more doors that are previously not reachable are now open. And of course there are other rules such as all office-bearers have to be Singaporeans amongst others.

    Stay tuned for the proposed list of events. That will shine more light on what AB(S) can do. Right now it is a bit of chicken and egg. We need the member base to get our partners committed and our partners need to see that we are of a certain size before the collaboration can be made.

  8. Ed – Sure thing, friend. We really need to meet! Not to worry, the last time I refer the operation manual, making babies doesn’t take 24 hours. We have time to meet.

  9. Wilfrid, I just wanna say that you wrote a very clear, transparent post about your own thoughts about your own experience in the association. -)

    i’m sure you’ll find your own community of like-minded people who want to contribute to the association, that’s the beauty of it. Wishin’ you, Jayne and the rest of the new committee the resolve and wisdom to serve your community -)

  10. Brian – Thanks, I personally wish to keep things as transparent as possible. And thanks for your well wishes. We will do our best and hope that in time to come, more like-minded people will join us and … split up the work!

    Ha ha ha … have a nice day.

  11. Harmony – Hi, I am not dropping it as yet 🙂 Maybe the blog entry reads a bit gloomy eh? We have just formally admitted a new treasurer and a new committee member into the team.

  12. Hey. All the best with your work for the association. Yeah, I guess you guys were too excited in the beginning and all. But you know what, I believe the association will pull it through because of the commitment, passion and perseverence put up by you and Jayne.

    A suggestion: Maybe the association can be a sort of platform for bloggers to up their skills. For example, members can enjoy a discount for website marketing, blogging ethics etc workshops as compared to non-members. No need full subsidy or that sort. Then, I hope the membership fee can be reduced. =)

  13. Azhar – Thanks! You are absolutely right. We were too excited. We thought, since we are from the New Media, the news should be out asap. Lol. Lessons learned.

    Yes, we aim to “promote, protect, and educate”. Education through workshop and knowledge sharing will be part of what we aim to achieve.. I like your suggestions and will definitely bring it forward to my team.

    As of now, we are working on the membership fee. For an association to be registered in Singapore, the membership fee structure has to be documented in the constitution and it comes with two components, the “entry fee” and the “subscription fee”. Raising fees require AGM approval I believe and certainly, we are planning to look into how this structure can be catered for different groups of members.

    Again, we communicated what has been documented in our Constitution. But the fees structure will only be finalized once we have done the due diligence of budgeting and event planning.

  14. I sort of finally caught up on whats going on. I feel that everyone of us have different views but even if you would to receive many opposite/negative views, this does not mean you are necessarily wrong/less than good. You are very responsible to have thought through everything and very positive to have stood by your beliefs 🙂

  15. Si Ying – Ah, no need to read too deep. It is kind of amazing that yesterday’s news seems so old looking back.

    I like your thought on not necessarily wrong or less than good. Haven’t really thought of it that way.

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