By: 永久浪客/Forever Vagabond
Animal activist Louis Ng, who is an MP of Nee Soon GRC and Chairman of Nee Soon Town Council, wrote on this Facebook on Wed (29 Jul) telling the world that he had helped collect over 500kg of cardboard (https://www.facebook.com/
He also thanked cardboard collector Ah Huay, for giving him a chance to work with her in collecting the 500kg of cardboard. He wrote:
[My experience as a cardboard collector]
We have all heard about, read about and seen them but I feel it’s important to really understand what they are going through and their constant struggles. Today, I experienced what it is like to be a cardboard collector and helped collect over 500kg of cardboard.
I worked with Ah Huay, a Nee Soon resident and a cardboard collector for the past 20 years. We have been helping her over the years but never really walked in her shoes and truly understand what her life is like.
It was a humbling experience today, experiencing the back-breaking work she does and how she has done this to bring up her children and support her family as the sole breadwinner when her kids were young. She works tirelessly for others and is a shining example of selflessness.
Thank you Ah Huay for giving me a chance to work with you today.
To try 60 different jobs in 5 years
Last Nov, he told the media that he wants to “try 60 jobs” in one five-year term of office.
He said that he wanted to do so to “gain some first-hand experience” of the different jobs. In fact, every time he tried out a new job, he would inform everyone on Facebook and the media would pick up the news too.
For example, he has tried being a healthcare worker, policeman on patrol and others. He also said he wants to be a cleaner, Grabcar driver and coffee shop assistant. So far, his “trying out” of the different jobs seems to last for just 1 day each.
“Getting feedback is one thing, but experiencing it first hand is different,” he told the media.
He had also asked his Facebook fans for suggestions on the kind of jobs they wanted him to do and they chimed in with ideas for jobs, including social worker, pre-school teacher and construction worker.
Started grassroots activities in 2008
As far back as 2008, while managing the Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (ACRES), an animal charity he founded, he was already busy participating in grassroots activities in PAP Chong Pang Branch.
He started by assisting with activities at the Meet-the-People sessions in Chong Pang under Minister Shanmugam. He then went to help Minister Tan Chuan-Jin in Kembangan-Chai Chee and Mr Charles Chong at Joo Chiat, before heading to Nee Soon East in August last year, just before 2015 GE (http://www.channelnewsasia.
He later joined PAP Nee Soon GRC team and was elected MP in 2015 GE.
At the candidate introduction session during the GE, he told the media with a laugh, “Many of you have seen me at ACRES, seen me on the ground rescuing animals, such as jumping into MacRitchie (reservoir) to rescue a monkey.”
“On the ground now I can catch pythons, humans if need be!” he added.
In 2014, when he was asked why he joined the PAP, he explained to the media that his work as an advocate for animal welfare has shown him that “things can change when we work from within”.
“While we may not see eye to eye on all issues, I have explored working with various MPs, political officeholders and government agencies in order to further the cause,” he added.
But some political analysts were concerned about an NGO activist joining politics. IPS fellow Gillian Koh noted that the common practice of NGO activism has been to stay out of party politics. “NGOs tend to come across as being fiercely independent (and) adversarial in taking on government policies, so we sit up when a civic activist crosses over to the PAP,” she commented.
RWS complained against Louis Ng for launching “premeditated cyber-harassment”
One of the controversies Louis Ng was involved in, was “cyber-harassing” Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) in 2011 (https://sg.news.yahoo.com/
At the time, representing ACRES, Louis Ng wanted RWS to release the dolphins bought by RWS for its Marine Life Park.
RWS accused him of co-ordinating a series of “premeditated cyber-harassment” on RWS’ Facebook page. The cyber attacks became so bad that RWS had to shut down its Facebook page temporarily.
Louis Ng was calling its supporters to petition for the release of the dolphins on RWS’ Facebook page.
RWS then told the media, “We also noted that Acres directed its followers to create new Facebook IDs to flood our Facebook page.” It noted that the same message could be posted as many as 10 times by individuals. It’s not known if Louis Ng himself created any of these fictitious IDs to spam RWS Facebook page.
“This was never an ideal response (to suspend RWS Facebook page) but we cannot and will not tolerate any misuse of our Facebook page with spam, repetitive, or abusive messages,” added RWS.
When contacted about RWS’ complaint of cyber-harassment, Louis Ng defended his actions, “No. RWS is harassing the dolphins and what ACRES is doing is raising our concerns, speaking up for the dolphins and urging RWS to respond to our concerns.”
But he stressed that ACRES “never asked our supporters to post repeated comments as RWS stated” and the animal welfare group urged supports to post only “polite comments”.
“Any Facebook page contains both positive and negative feedback and we feel that any socially responsible company, not just RWS, should respond to public concerns rather than delete or ignore them for months,” he said.
Some netizens, however, criticised ACRES saying that said while activists are passionate about their cause, “the venomous name-callings of RWS and individuals who hold different views from you are unnecessary and uncalled for.”
Louis officially joined the PAP in June 2014 and it was at about this time that ACRES’s ‘Save the world’s saddest dolphins’ campaign also became inactive. The last update in the website was on 15 May 2014 (http://www.saddestdolphins.
In an interview given to the Straits Times in Oct 2013, Louis acknowledged that some people view him as a ‘sell-out’ (http://www.straitstimes.com/
What do you think?