MP Indranee Rajah writes back against private Facebook post that claims she ‘disturbed’ senior couple during Tiong Bahru lunch walkabout

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Photo: YouTube screengrab

A Facebook post about how Indranee Rajah, minister at the Prime Minister Office, ‘disturbed’ an elderly couple has led to her refuting these claims on her own Facebook page.

The private Facebook post described a People’s Action Party (PAP) lunch walkabout at Tiong Bahru market on Sunday. Indranee Rajah, Member of Parliament in Tanjong Pagar GRC met an older couple during her rounds.

In her Facebook post, Ms Rajah wrote, “The wife was friendly. The husband said he preferred not to be disturbed, a decision which I respected and hence smiled and moved on”.

Ms Rajah then added in her post, “Somewhat oddly, a short while after my walk about, an online article appeared referring to this encounter and purporting to set out a whole conversation which allegedly took place after he said he did not want to be disturbed.”

She was referring to a private Facebook post by a netizen who alleged a completely different account of Ms Rajah’s lunch walkabout.

The netizen’s differing account read,

“Cheyenne Cherokee

Something spectacular happened this morning (Sunday, July 2018) in Tiong Bahru Market and Food Centre.

MP for Tanjong Pagar GRC and Minister in PMG, Indranee Rajah, was making her rounds at the food center crowded with people having breakfast and lunch.

She approached a table occupied by a senior couple having their lunch with outstretched hands introducing herself as Minister and MP.

The gentleman sat firmly and told her off “I don’t care who you are and I don’t want to be disturbed when I am having my meal.”

Indranee than asked “Are you a Singaporean or a Malaysia,”

The gentleman replied “I am a born and bred true blue Singaporean and I am in deep thoughts about the second tranche of water price increase of 15 per cent and the 6.9 per cent of electricity tariffs increases starting today.”

Watched earnestly by the crowd, she clumsily hurried away.

Hats off to that senior gentleman.”

The netizen’s Facebook post alleged that Ms Rajah was “told off” by the elderly man who said, “I don’t care who you are and I don’t want to be disturbed when I am having my meal” when she continued to speak to them against their wishes.

Ms Rajah refuted the netizen’s account in her Facebook post and said, “Since I had moved on once he said he did not want to be disturbed, there was no opportunity for further conversation”.

She ended her Facebook post saying, “I have learned however not to be deterred by such online things. Being on the ground and reaching out to people is what all MPs must do.”

Netizens who commented on her post were of two varying camps; those who took sides, and those who demanded for proof before deciding.


obbana@theindependent.sg