Larry’s View

Larry’s view on any and everything.

S’pore gay teacher outs himself on blog

September 18, 2007
singapore schools prefer to teach dishonesty
By Alex Au
In this column about the Otto Fong’s coming out, gay activist and social commentator Alex Au reports on the local media’s coverage of the case.
Once again, the Singapore government has been wrong-footed by a brave gay man, doing nothing more than just trying to be honest.

The gist of the Otto Fong story can be found in singapore teacher removes coming out blog under ministry pressure. A science teacher at Raffles Institution, one of Singapore’s premier secondary schools, Fong penned a moving statement on his blog on September 8, saying he didn’t want to be a bonsai tree – “an imitation of a real tree… with limited nutrients, trimmed constantly to fit someone else’s whim.”

“It looks like a real tree, except it can’t do many things a real tree can,” he wrote.

He saw it as part of his mission as a teacher to be honest about himself to his students. However, three days after putting up his post which quickly made headlines in the blogosphere, it was taken down. The word circulating on the Internet was that he had been called to the school principal’s office and told to do so.

As can be seen from the earlier Fridae story, the Ministry of Education said it “does not condone any open espousal of homosexual values by teachers in any form, in or out of the classroom” as “teachers are in a unique position of authority and are often seen as role models by their students.”

“The school has spoken to the teacher concerned and the teacher has agreed to take down his blog in the best interest of the students. The Ministry supports the action taken by the school on this matter.”

Prof Khoo Hoon Eng, Associate Director of the National University of Singapore’s Centre for Development of Teaching and Learning, wrote the headmaster of Raffles Institution: “As for MOE’s decision to ask Mr. Fong to withdraw his blog entry because teachers are role models and should not espouse ‘homosexual’ values, I would like to know which of Mr. Fong’s values that he so eloquently wrote about in his blog are ‘homosexual’ ones. Were these the values that the MOE meant? His desire to serve Singapore? His passion to educate the young? His not wanting to lie? His desire to stop hate from being perpetuated?”

Indeed, the primary value that Fong espoused on his blog was honesty. If that is a homosexual value, then God bless heterosexuals.

It will be most interesting to see what answer Prof Khoo gets.

Policy built on ignorance, implemented by the ignorant

Indeed, for a branch of government whose mission is to educate each new generation of Singaporeans into thinking citizens, they have applied language unthinkingly. They are using whatever words come to hand – “homosexual values” – to justify their knee-jerk discrimination.

For a branch of government supposedly dedicated to imparting knowledge to young people, their own actions are driven by ignorance. They seem to think that people can be influenced into “becoming” gay, and to forestall that possibility, schoolchildren must not realise that some of the teachers they look up to are gay. It’s fine if children are taught that being gay is a negative quality, associated with antisocial behaviour, crime and disease, but it must not be associated with positive attributes like honesty, integrity, talent and admirability.

This is the only reason I can think of – if “reason” is an appropriate word for what is really an act of unreason – for the ministry insisting that Fong take his blogpost down and keep his sexual orientation in the closet.

By this line of argument, schoolchildren may read about “homosexual paedophiles” being sent to jail, but not about teachers telling the world they are proud to be gay.

The determined campaign to ensure the invisibility of positive portrayals is a malicious act of discrimination. It’s an abuse of human rights to deny a whole category of people their right to speak up for themselves. It is a form of hate speech to so bias the public representation of a category of people, such that only slurs and slanders remain.

The triumph of knowledge over ignorance

Yet, you will find Otto Fong’s post very much alive, here on Fridae and other blogs. In the age of the Internet, censorship as attempted on Fong, goes no further than Fong. Eventually, despite the major newsrooms knowing about the issue and not writing about it, the story emerged nonetheless in the mainstream press, via the Chinese newspaper Zaobao and the English tabloid The New Paper.

Even so, The New Paper refused to mention either his name or his school. They must have judged that to do so would undermine the Ministry’s desire that pupils in Raffles Institution should continue to think that all their teachers were straight. So once again, Singapore’s newspapers join the government in its continuing effort to erase the visibility of gay people.

But not quite. Zaobao, on the hand, named both Otto Fong and his school. Once again, it indicates to me that the Chinese media are braver than the quisling English ones.

Whether on blogs or Zaobao, you can be sure that by now, nearly all the pupils of Raffles Institution will know; the only party looking stupid is the government. Out of touch with technology, out of touch with the times.

In the brief period that Fong’s original blogpost was up, he received numerous supportive comments, some from his former students. Even Zaobao reported that “parents and students interviewed say that if a teacher has upright character and dedication for teaching, his sexual orientation should not be a concern.”

For example, “Parent Wu Shu Qian (46, housewife) thinks that dedicated and responsible teachers should not be ostracised or reprimanded because they are gay.”

She told the newspaper: “From what I know, Mr Fong is good at teaching. A teacher like him is hard to come by. It would be a great pity if he is forced to leave because of this incident.”

Whether intentionally or not, Otto Fong has done a great public service by being honest on his blog. He has forced the government, school administrators, newspapers and students, parents and the general public to confront the issue of gay teachers. No doubt some of these parties have flunked the test.

By the same token, Fong has shown the futility of censorship. And I hope he has given courage to others to walk the same path of personal integrity. As he himself wrote: “I feel I am shortchanging both society and myself by staying in the closet. I must be true to myself. If my colleagues and students, both gay and straight, see that being true to one’s own self has great value, perhaps we can produce a new generation who is truly courageous.”

The Straits Times on Saturday published a commentary by Paul Jacob, the deputy political editor, titled ‘’A teacher’s disclosure and the issue is out in the open.’’ Read more about it on Alex Au has been a gay activist for over 10 years and is the co-founder of gay advocacy group People Like Us. ae

September 20, 2007 Posted by | Gay Issue & Rights-Overseas | Leave a comment

The 100 best reasons for being a man

1. There is no #1 reason, and that’s okay
2. Movie nudity is virtually always female
3. Child birth
4. A five day vacation requires only one suitcase
5. Monday Night Football
6. Belching is cool
7. Your bathroom lines are always 80% shorter
8. You can open all your own jars
9. Old friends don’t give a crap if you’ve lost or gained weight
10. Dry cleaners and haircutters don’t rob you blind
11. Screw up the laundry once, never allowed to do it again
12. Your ass is never a factor in a job interview
13. All your orgasms are real
14. Those chairs by the waiting room at lingerie shops are for you
15. Guys in hockey masks don’t attack you
16. You don’t have to lug a bag of useful stuff around everywhere you go
17. You can still get away with MAKING a Valentine’s day card
18. You can go to the bathroom without a support group
19. Your last name stays put
20. You can understand Homer Simpson
21. You never get a stupid Love Quiz in GQ
22. You can kill your own food
23. The garage is all yours
24. You get extra credit for the slightest act of thoughtfulness
25. Big Breasted Stripper days on Jerry Springer
26. We’re treated like royalty when we’re sick
27. You never have to clean the toilet
28. You can be showered and ready in 10 minutes
29. Sex means never worrying about your reputation
30. Wedding plans take care of themselves
31. If someone forgets to invite you to something he or she is still your friend
32. Your underwear is $10 for a three pack
33. The National College Cheerleading Championship
34. None of your co-workers have the power to make you cry
35. You don’t have to shave below the neck
36. Scratching your ass is just fine
37. If you’re 34 and single nobody notices
38. You can write your name in snow
39. Beer is a food group
40. Everything on your face stays its original colour
41. Chocolate is just another snack
42. You can be president
43. Going to the gym to look at the aerobic girls is called ‘working out’
44. Flowers fix everything
45. You never have to worry about other people’s feelings
46. You get to think about sex 90% of the day
47. You can wear a white shirt to a water park
48. Three pairs of shoes are enough
49. You can eat a banana in a hardware store
50. A ‘mood swing’ is a place, with a swing, where you get sex.
51. Foreplay is optional
52. Falling asleep right after sex
53. Nobody stops telling a dirty joke when you walk into the room
54. You can whip your shirt off on a hot day
55. Middle aged, big gut? No problem, it’s expected.
56. Underwear lasts longer than most marriages
57. Car mechanics tell the truth
58. The belly button is a fantastic place to store corn chip crumbs
59. You can watch a game in silence with your buddy for hours without thinking: He must be mad at me
60. The world is your urinal
61. Wake up, shower, eat, brush your teeth, leave… max 15 minutes.
62. You get to jump up and slap stuff
63. Hot wax never comes near your pubic area
64. One mood, all the time
65. Your virginity is never ‘taken’ away. You’d gladly give it to anyone that asks.
66. Father-in-laws are sweet older men. Mother-in-laws are nasty old bitches.
67. You know at least twenty ways to open a beer bottle
68. You can sit with your knees apart no matter what you are wearing
69. Same work…more pay
70. Gray hair and wrinkles add character
71. You don’t have to leave the room to make an emergency crotch adjustment
72. It’s OK to marry a girl much younger than you if you have money
73. It’s OK to cop a free feel when you cuddle.
74. With 400 million sperms per shot you could double the earth’s population in 15 tries, at least in theory
75. You never have to wear high heels.
76. Sometimes women will fight over you, and you get to watch
77. The remote is yours and yours alone
78. People never glance at your chest when you’re talking to them
79. People never complain about men drivers
80. Drinking till you pass out is occasionally OK
81. Bachelor parties kick ass over bridal showers
82. You have a normal and healthy relationship with your mom
83. Breast augmentation on your wife is a gift to both of you
84. You needn’t pretend you’re \”freshening up\” to go to the bathroom
85. If you don’t call your buddy when you say you will, he won’t tell your friends you’ve changed
86. Someday you’ll be a dirty old man, and you’re looking forward to it.
87. You can rationalize any behaviour with the handy phrase \”F*** it!\”
88. If another guy shows up at the party in the same outfit you might become lifelong buddies
89. Dad always let you stay out late while your sister had to be in before midnight
90. The occasional well-rendered belch is practically expected
91. You never have to miss a sexual opportunity because you’re not in the mood
92. You’re expected to stink if you work out
93. If something mechanical didn’t work, you can bash it with a hammer and throw it across the room
94. New shoes don’t cut, blister, or mangle your feet
95. If someone bothers you, you just don’t talk to them and problem solved.
96. Telephone company commercials don’t make you cry
97. Not liking a person does not eliminate having great sex with them
98. Girls play Barbie. You had GI Joe
99. Baywatch
100. There is always a game on somewhere

September 20, 2007 Posted by | Blogroll | Leave a comment

Sleeping Cat


September 20, 2007 Posted by | Animal Pics | Leave a comment

Learn Chinese in 5 minutes


September 20, 2007 Posted by | Blogroll | Leave a comment

Chelsea CFC-A sad day


A sad day for Chelsea and all the fans who have stuck with the club for all of those barren years.

The ”special one” brought to life a sleeping giant with great success and I hope that Roman does not live to regret his actions.

I believe that he has to stop recruiting his friends as players and board members and start taking notice of people that understand the English concept of football  and  let them get on with the team.

He is hell bent on Champions League football and on winning the title, however who can

guarantee that.


We will have to see how much damage and backward steps the club incurs.

Suppose we will now see a lot more lost games now.


Mourinho’s departure was confirmed by Chelsea in a stark, one-sentence statement in the small hours of Thursday morning.

“Chelsea Football Club and Jose Mourinho have agreed to part company today by mutual consent,” it said.

Mourinho’s Chelsea honours

2004/2005 – Premier League Champions, League Cup winners

2005/2006 – Premier League Champions

2006/2007 – League Cup winners, FA Cup winners


1963: Born on January 26. Father Felix Mourinho was a former Portugal goalkeeper.

1992: Takes first high-profile role in football when being appointed to work under Bobby Robson at Sporting Lisbon after middle-ranking jobs at Estrela Amadora and Vitoria Setubal. Begins as Robson’s translator before becoming involved in team affairs.

1993: Moves on with Robson when the veteran coach goes to Porto. In three years at Porto, the team win two league titles.

1996: Joins Barcelona in the summer of 1996 as assistant coach to Robson.

1997: Stays on at the Nou Camp after Robson departs, taking up a role under new coach Louis van Gaal.

2000: Takes his first head coaching job at Benfica but lasts just nine games before resigning due to problems in the boardroom.

2001: Appointed coach of Uniao de Leiria and guides the club into the top five of the Portuguese league midway through the 2001-02 season.

2002: Joins Porto in January and the club overcome their poor start to the league season to finish third. In Mourinho’s first full season in charge, Porto win the treble of domestic league and cup, and UEFA Cup.

2004: Having already successfully defended their Portuguese league title, Porto win the Champions League title in Monaco on May 26 with a 3-0 victory over Monaco.

June 2 – Appointed manager of Chelsea.

2005: January 28 – Mourinho charged with improper conduct by the Football Association after comments he made after the first leg of the Carling Cup semi-final against Manchester United.

January 30 – A Sunday newspaper reports Mourinho, chief executive Peter Kenyon and Ashley Cole had a meeting in the Royal Park Hotel at Lancaster Gate – allegations constituting an illegal approach. Less than a week later the Premier League launch an inquiry.

February 23 – Following a 2-1 defeat at Barcelona – in which Didier Drogbawas sent off – in the first leg of the Champions League first knock-out round, Mourinho claims Barca manager Frank Rijkaard went into referee Anders Frisk’s dressing room at half-time. UEFA’s official observers said they witnessed nothing untoward.

February 27 – Chelsea win their first trophy under Mourinho, the Carling Cup, with 3-2 win over Liverpool. Mourinho is involved in more controversy, having wandered along the touchline in front of the Liverpool fans putting his fingers to his lips. Mourinho is later “reminded of his responsibilities” by the FA.

March 8 – Chelsea beat Barcelona 4-2 at Stamford Bridge to reach Champions League quarter-finals.

March 10 – Mourinho fined £5,000 for comments after Carling Cup semi-final match against Manchester United.

March 21 – UEFA charge Mourinho, assistant boss Steve Clarke and security official Les Miles with making “wrong and unfounded” statements about the allegedmeeting between Frisk and Rijkaard.

March 23 – FA charge Mourinho, Chelsea and Ashley Cole in relation to alleged ‘tapping-up’ hotel meeting.

March 31 – Handed two-match touchline ban and 20,000 Swiss francs (around £9,000) fine by UEFA’s control and disciplinary body. Club fined 75,000 Swiss francs (£33,000).

April 30 – Chelsea seal Barclays Premiership title with 2-0 win at Bolton, prompting Mourinho to say he was keen to sit down and discuss extending his stay at Stamford Bridge.

May 4 – Jose Mourinho agrees terms on a new five-year contract.

June 1 – Found to be in breach of Premier League Rule Q, governing managers’ conduct in relation to Chelsea’s illegal approach to Arsenal full-back Cole. Fined £200,000 by the Premier League, later reduced to £75,000 on appeal.

2006: April 29 – Chelsea beat rivals Manchester United 3-0 to win their second consecutive Premiership title and Mourinho’s fourth domestic title in a row.

2007: January 10 – Mourinho rejects claims that he has faced dressing-room unrest with summer signing Michael Ballack‘s contribution to the team.

January 11 – Rumours Mourinho could leave Chelsea in the summer surface after he accused the Stamford Bridge board of refusing to back him in the January transfer window.

February 27 – Wins a second Carling Cup, beating Arsenal 2-1 at the Millennium Stadium.

April 15 – Secures an FA Cup final meeting with Manchester United with a 2-1 extra-time win over Blackburn. Shares a hug with Abramovich, raising suggestions of a warming in relations between the pair.

May – Loses Champions League semi-final to Rafael Benitez’s Liverpool on penalties and sees United wrest the Barclays Premier League crown from Stamford Bridge. Gains some revenge with an extra-time win over United in the FA Cup final at Wembley.

During the close season only Florent Maloudaand Juliano Belletti arrive in cash deals, with Arjen Robben, Glen Johnson and Lassana Diarra departing to balance the books as the lavish spending of previous seasons remained a thing of the past.

July 12 – Warned newly-appointed director of football Avram Grant not to interfere with team affairs.

August 12 – Chelsea set a new record of 64 unbeaten home matches in the English top flight with a win over Birmingham.

September 2 – After a good start to the season Chelsea lose 2-0 at Aston Villa, prompting Abramovich to leave the directors box before the final whistle.

September 18 – The Blues follow up an uninspiring home draw with Blackburn with a lacklustre 1-1 stalemate with Rosenborg in the Champions League. Only 24,973 supporters attend the match and boos ring out at the final whistle. Mourinho admitted: “Of course I am alarmed. I am not happy.”

September 19 – Leaves Chelsea by “mutual consent”, according to a club statement.

September 20, 2007 Posted by | Blogroll | Leave a comment