For advertisement

Sample

5/12/2011

What a shame

In 1955, when David Marshall was elected as the Chief Minister of the island, he was not given an office to execute his duties. The mean British, who were the colonial masters then, gave him a small table and a chair next to the staircase, like the desk of a security guard. That was the contempt the British rulers had for a locally elected leader of the people. David Marshall took the insult in his stride, for he knew that there was nothing he could do against the masters of the day. And it seemed that we have learnt from the British well, not be better masters, but on how to continue with the tradition of not providing an office to our modern day elected representatives of the people. It must be a wise practice of the colonial masters that we must retain, if not good, as a reminder of how things were then. Last night I watched the news and was shocked to see Yaw Shin Leong, the newly elected MP of Hougang, conducting his meet the people’s session in a void deck. Doesn’t the elected representative of the people deserved to be given a proper place to serve the people? I can only hope that I am wrong, that it was a temporary arrangement as he is a newly elected MP. I believe that in all decency, no matter which party the MP comes from, once he has been elected by the people to be their representative, it is only proper that the state provides him with an office space to carry out his duties to the people. Depriving him of such a facility is an insult to the office and the people that elected him to office. A people’s elected MP is not running his own private business. He is there to serve the people for the well being of the state. It cannot be that an office of the state, a representative of the people who can sit in Parliament to discuss national issues, have to meet the people in the void deck, or to pay for his own office. It cannot be that the country, with all the billions in reserves it has, is too poor to afford such an arrangement. Sounds very third world really. It would be interesting if the MP of Jalan Besar or Joo Chiat should set up his office in the back lane of Desker Road or on the five foot way outside a bar in Joo Chiat. I think I am wrong, and all elected MPs will be allocated a reasonable office for sure, in respect of the office and for him to carry out his duties to the people. But if this is not the case, then Yaw Shin Leong and all the MPs must be very grateful that the HDB did not charge them rent for the use of the void deck or to chase them away. I had a dream last night. I was walking along the void deck of some HDB flats and came face to face with some sign boards. One read ‘No football allowed’. Another one read ‘No meet the people session allowed’. Then I woke up only to know that it was a bad dream. I know that a first world country would not allow such things to happen when we can pay ministers in millions and with world class offices in the heart of town. Are we willing to continue to live with this shame?

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

Why doesn't he use Mr Low's office?

Anonymous said...

The MP are paid about $15,000 per month. Yaw could easily rent a HDB shophouse in Hougang for about $3-4k per month and then uses it to conduct his MPS as well as other activities.

Although PAP MPs conduct their MPS in air-con premises, they have to pay for it.

Anonymous said...

Besides renting the HDB shophouse to conduct his MPS, Yaw could also learn from PAP and use the HDB shophouse to conduct subsidised tuition classes which is very popular all over the island.

Anonymous said...

Well, that's Mt Low's office

Anonymous said...

The ministers can also use their million dollar salaries to rent their own offices too. The President should pay rent for living in the Istana.

Wally Buffet said...

Hey Guys,

Don't let this so called meeting the people at void deck ruse fool you fellas into believing that they are being victimized and should be pitied.

As someone said, they could jolly well rent a shophouse with party funds or better still get a well furnished container with all the trappings of comfort, maybe even piped stereo music for a small sum to conduct their meet the people sessions. A coffee machine dispensing cappuccino and latte, iced or regular can also be had for a song.

Remember, another political skullduggery is to elicit sympathy. Ever heard of sympathy votes?

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

The mayors and town council GMs have their own offices. Are the mayors/GMs more deserving of an office space from the public coffer or the elected MPs? Or are their offices paid by the party?

Are we still happy with third world antics?

Wally Buffet said...

Mr. Bean,

Town councils are municipal premises for the management and administration of the estates of the constituency. The premises are paid for by the conservancy charges contributed by residents.

Meet the people sessions are political sessions, not municipal. Whatever is done at such useless sessions are more for the political benefit of the incumbent MP than anything else. Therefore, rental of premises thereof should be borne by the political parties and or the MP concerned.

What the heck are we paying such MPs $15K every month for anyway. This allowance is not a salary. This allowance is to cover secretarial assistance, rental of political premises, transport etc. etc.

Surely you can make the distinction?

agongkia said...

Hehe.No shame no shame..I would prefer MPs conduct their session in full view of public,especially void decks.

Just like a fortune teller telling fortune in public view.

No worry of being implicated for a complaint of molest by someone with evil intention one day,you can't tell..
No worry of being molested by aunties pretending to seek helps(I fall into such risk)
No worry of being attack.
Save on unnecessary spending on rental to help the poor.
The list goes on....
But not backlane of Desker Road please...

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

The nature and role of an MP have developed to a point where meeting the people is not a selling koyok session. It is a formal meeting btw the MP and the people, to hear their problems and to help them. There are also many issues of the community that need a proper place to air.

Such a function requires a lot of office and administrative support, filing, phones, papers, printers etc. A proper office is now an essential item for the MP to function.


Is the $15k enough? There are many expenses that a MP has to incur, other than the people assisting him and the office materials. There are the social commitments, the funerals, the birthdays, the meeting of the residents.

I don't think the role of the MPs in meeting the people to help the people is of such a nature that it is unnecessary, a political gesture or just to curry for votes. It is a job that is no lesser than that of a town council GM or a mayor. In fact, with a MP, there is no need for a mayor and that money can be saved.

An office in the CC or Town Council is appropriate and not a waste of money. The MP is a legitimate institution of govt. They should be accorded due respect and given the basic amenities to serve the people.

Unless their job is just to walk around and attend Parliament when it is in session.

Anonymous said...

No big deal. Mr Low has been conducting Meet the People sessions at void deck since 1991. HDB probably will not allowed him to built office at void deck. Shop houses is not suitable for meet-the-people session. Anyway, these are no big deal, see this video to know the extent of how HDB bullied him when he first elected in Hougang. Now that's a real disgrace:

http://www.razor.tv/site/servlet/segment/main/specials/General_Election/64050.html

Anonymous said...

I watch the Razor TV video mentioned above. HDB actually asked Mr Low to build his own Town Council office using his own money in 45 days. When Low protest, they subsequently gave him a budget to do it. After the office was completed Mr Low had to give the key to HBD and rented the office from them. We are talking about town council office here. That shows how mean PAP can be.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Civil servants taking orders from politicians or politicians taking orders from civil servants? Then again it depends. That is why the depoliticisation of civil servants and other social and community organisations is important if we want to keep them out of politics.

This is similar to the separation of powers.

But some will say this is good and the most efficient way to run a country.

Anonymous said...

The great George Yeo whom many have great sympathy for for losing Aljunied GRC is leader of the PAP Team which has just SABOTAGE the incoming WP GRC team by dismissing cleaning workers and terminating cleaning contract. One resident commented that rubbished has remained uncollected for days.

PM Lee just said sorry and that his party would do better! Wayang as usual isn't it. He learned well from such nastiness and divisive tactics from his old man, no doubt!

Anonymous said...

What they talk and what they do can be two different things.

60.1% of Singaporeans bought into their tears and PM's apology, but 40% see through the insincerity of the whole scam.

You must understand that the PAP regime descended from a nasty and vindictive man and will never deviate from his stance to remain firmly in power. Birds of a feather always flock together and you cannot expect some birds to act differently can you?

Anyway, I just came back from Heartland Mall/Kovan MRT hoping to see rubbish piled up to the 3rd storey. But surprisingly, the place was just clean and unlittered as in the past, and there were no rubbish uncollected, even at the wet market/food centre.

How true about uncollected rubbish is unknown. Perhaps an exaggeration or two is good propaganda for the PAP. Remember that they still have 45% support.

Anonymous said...

Do it in the hawker centres will be just as fine.

Wally Buffet said...

Where the fuck is my comment?

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

All gone. Don't tell me that bloggers got it all because of our politics?

Anonymous said...

Where got all gone?

In your 'Goh Meng Seng accepting full responsibilities', only one comment disappeared. And at other sites, similarly, some comments were wiped out while some remained.

Anonymous said...

Where got all gone?

In your 'Goh Meng Seng accepting full responsibilities', only one comment disappeared. And at other sites, similarly, some comments were wiped out while some remained.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Ya, Bloggers made a statement that only some were gone and they are trying to restore the rest.

Alex Har said...

Chiam See Tong worked from the void deck all these years in Potong Pasir. Didn't everyone know that? The PAP rep worked in comfort in the PAP district office and had the use of the People"s Association Properties in the neighborhood, which are funded by tax payers money!.

Alex Har said...

Chiam See Tong worked from the void deck all these years in Potong Pasir. Didn't everyone know that? The PAP rep worked in comfort in the PAP district office and had the use of the People"s Association Properties in the neighborhood, which are funded by tax payers money!.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Hi Alex, welcome to the blog.

Without the alternate media, who would want to talk about such a shameful thing?

Anonymous said...

if LTK is elected as a president of spore,will his office is infront of istana hse(beside the main road) with a maybe bigger table n a big umberlla? .. tis is just my imagination.