By: 永久浪客/Forever Vagabond
In Parliament on Wednesday (13 Apr), WP Sylvia Lim argued that People’s Association (PA), a government statutory board has become partisan.
She said that PA’s activities have deviated from its original objectives, and pointed to the mobilisation of PA activists to campaign for the ruling PAP’s candidates during elections as an example.
Not surprisingly, Deputy Chairman of PA, Chan Chun Sing, denied this. He said that PA’s mission is to strengthen the social fabric of the nation.
“When I see my own residents, participants of my PA activities, supporting the Opposition, I can only ask myself: ‘How can I work harder to win them over?'” he said.
“The PA is a statutory board. It executes the directions for the Government of the day, as per any statutory board. The PA does not allow any political activity or canvassing on our premises or in our activities. And we certainly do not mobilise anyone for any political party,” Mr Chan reiterated.
“If Ms Lim has any such evidence of wrongdoing, you can let me know, and I guarantee you I will follow up. I will be the last person to ever allow the PA to be politicised.”
Actually, there is no need for Ms Lim to produce any evidence. The late founding PM of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew, had already made clear about the relationship between PA and the PAP.
In 2009, then Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew in a public dialogue proudly told the audience that the Chinese had been sending teams of PRC officials to study Singapore for many years. To illustrate a lesson the Chinese learnt about Singapore’s political system, he said (http://www.businesschina.org.
“They (delegates from China) discover that the People’s Action Party (PAP) has only a small office in Bedok. But everywhere they go, they see the PAP – in the RCs (residents’ committees), CCCs (citizens’ consultative committees), and the CCs (community clubs).” – Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew, The Straits Times 30 December 2009.
Grassroots leader also can’t “tahan” the politicizing of PA
Even a grassroots leader, Chang Nam Yuen, who tried to be neutral couldn’t stand seeing PA’s people aligning themselves politically with the PAP.
He wrote to ST (4 Jun 2011), “As a politically neutral individual, it had not been an easy decision for me to join the neighbourhood committee. However, my desire to serve was stronger than the negative feelings I had of grassroots organisations. Sadly, many capable and passionate people in my neighbourhood just refuse to step forward to serve because of the image of such organisations.”
“I would like to suggest that the People’s Association (PA) be run like a civil service organisation in order to single-mindedly and unmistakably carry out its sole purpose of serving the people. Board members of the PA should not hold any political office. There is then no conflict of interests,” he added.
But of course, the PA board itself consists mainly PAP members like PM Lee (Chairman) and Chan Chun Sing (Dty Chairman), etc. Even the Special Adviser to Chairman of PA Board is none other than Lim Boon Heng, an old guard of PAP.
Assuming Mr Chan is really a “blur king”, and didn’t know about the close associations between PA and PAP members, he can at least try to talk to Mr Chang Nam Yuen first to get to the bottom of things.Follow us on Social Media
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