People usually don’t pay much attention to candidates who lose the General Election (GE), which is why we think this story has not been given much attention till now. Losing candidates in GE usually also fly under the radar, but not if you are a losing candidate from the People’s Action Party (PAP).
Soon after losing GE in 2011, PAP’s candidate for Aljunied GRC, Ong Ye Kung, was appointed as NTUC’s Deputy Secretary-General. And now, PAP’s losing candidate for Aljunied GRC in GE 2015 seems to have trumped Ong.
On November 24th, PAP’s minority candidate in GE 2015 for Aljunied GRC went for a walkabout in the area of Blk. 508, Hougang Ave 8, and guess who else besides the Residents’ Committee in that area went to the walkabout with him? 2 officers from the Housing & Development Board (HDB).
HDB is a statutory board of the Ministry of National Development, and as a statutory board, it is expected to be apolitical.
Describing his visit to the residents in that area, Shamsul says:
“Joined Ville RC to meet residents from blk 506 one of the three 5 room point blocks in my division. Accompanying me were 2 HDB officers who were helpful in addressing residents concerns regarding their flats e.g spalding concrete etc. Glad to know that HDB is also another channel I can tap on to give direct feedback regarding municipal issues to the Town Council.”
Commenting on HDB officers accompanying the losing candidate in a constituency, Workers’ Party’s candidate for MacPherson ward, Bernard Chen, says:
“I would like to have HDB officers accompanying me on my walkabout in MacPherson too. But wait even the elected member of Parliament for Aljunied GRC (Muhamad Faisal) do not have access to such state resources. We can only take our own feedback and write in to HDB.”
Other PAP candidates for Aljunied GRC have also been busy in the constituency regardless of their lose to Workers’ Party there.
Victor Lye has recounted how he promised a resident who lives around Hougang Ave 10 that he will write an appeal to HDB regarding the resident’s difficulties in paying the housing loan, and hopefully persuade HDB to defer the mortgage payments until the resident’s financial situation improves.