A petition has been created on Change.org with the title “We want a promise to grant town council funds to Sengkang GRC”. It was started by Kyle Malinda-White and is directed at members of the Community Improvement Projects Committee (CIPC).
The CIPC is responsible for disbursing funds to town councils for projects suggested by citizens’ consultative committees), which are under the People’s Association.
The Workers’ Party (WP) added the new Sengkang GRC to its wards in the 2020 General Election. The party also announced on July 12 that there are plans for Sengkang GRC to have its own town council, instead of merging it with the existing Aljunied-Hougang Town Council (AHTC).
The Aljunied and Hougang town councils were merged into one in 2011, after WP’s victory in Aljunied GRC. WP chief Pritam Singh explained that “Sengkang has the economies of scale for it to be a standalone town council”.
The petition highlights that 15 town councils under the People’s Action Party (PAP) received a total of S$60 million for community improvement projects over the past two years while the WP town council received none. This statistic was drawn from Class Notes, a site run by National University of Singapore students and overseen by blogger Bertha Henson.
There are three demands in the petition:
- That community improvement projects submitted by the new Sengkang Town Council as well as the current Aljunied-Hougang Town Council will be looked into and approved;
- That projects will not be blocked just because the town council is under a different political party;
- That the CIPC unequivocally commits to ensuring Sengkang GRC residents obtain similar living standards as residents in PAP constituencies who receive these projects.
As at Friday (July 17) afternoon, more than 33,000 people had signed the petition.
When asked if the party saw any potential long-term handover issues in Sengkang, Mr Singh said that “we want to go into the discussions in good faith”. He added that the party has yet to meet the existing managing agents.
The newly-elected Sengkang GRC MPs are Ms He Ting Ru, Professor Jamus Lim, Mr Louis Chua and Ms Raeesah Khan. The team emerged victorious with 52.13% of the vote against a PAP team of Mr Ng Chee Meng, Mr Lam Pin Min, Mr Amrin Amin and Mr Raymond Lye. /TISG