The Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) is pushing for the authorities to resolve lift issues on behalf of residents in Blocks 115 and 119, Marsiling Rise.
The opposition party claims that the residents have been struggling with lifts that do not stop at every level for years now and that their appeals for upgrading have “gone nowhere” and have been “met with a brick wall”.
Highlighting the plight of residents who struggle with the old lifts in a Facebook post on Monday (Jan 13), the SDP said a resident who had met with an accident and was now paralysed had to be carried to the ground floor every time she went out.
A younger resident who works as a Singapore Airlines flight attendant resorts to letting her luggage tumble down the stairs because it is too heavy. Another resident, whose elderly mother is 84, told the party: “Are they waiting for her to meet with an accident before they are willing to act?”
The party claimed that nothing had been done over the years despite residents’ written appeals and visits to the Meet-The-People Sessions of their MP, Mr Ong Teng Koon.
The SDP said that it had been helping residents push for upgrading since last month. On Dec 4, it brought the matter up to National Development Minister Lawrence Wong. His ministry apparently “replied with the usual non-answer, saying that it would look into the matter”.
After the SDP wrote to the minister, Mr Ong posted a flyer in the ward saying that he had been “pushing hard” for a solution and that the situation was “making good progress”. The SDP noted that the MP did not make an effort to visit affected residents and that his flyer was “met with incredulity and anger”.
One resident apparently told the opposition party: “The matter has been going on for more than a decade and now that the SDP has taken action, he says he is pushing hard?”
On Jan 5, SDP Treasurer Bryan Lim — who has been walking the ground at Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC after he contested the ward in the 2015 General Election — said that many residents he spoke to “could not understand why they were excluded” from the national lift upgrading programme.
Mr Lim said residents were even willing to share the cost of upgrading the lifts but were disappointed that their MP did not organise a single townhall meeting to address the issue despite repeated appeals.
He added: “They could not comprehend why the PAP government could spend $880,000 to build a bin centre for the National Arts Council, $40 million for a National Day parade, overspent the 2010 Youth Olympic Games by $300 million, lavished the People’s Association with $1 billion to carry out its political work & yet, could not spend money to address their public housing issue.”
The SDP met residents of the affected blocks on Sunday (Jan 12) and garnered about 100 signatures on a petition that was drawn up to help them highlight their struggles with the old lifts.
The opposition party said on Facebook: “It is unacceptable that the residents in these blocks have to struggle with the lack of lift service to their flats. The SDP will step up efforts to highlight their plight and work to ensure that the authorities attend to their needs immediately.
“Neighbouring blocks have all had the lift systems upgraded. The excuses must stop and action begin. This matter is another demonstration of how an effective opposition serves the interests and well-being of residents and stops the PAP from taking the people for granted.”
For years, the residents at Blks 115 and 119, Marsiling Rise have been struggling to get the HDB to install lifts that…