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Jamus Lim: MPs are required to declare gifts from members of the public

They have to pay for items they want to keep but, he says, intangible ones are just as valuable

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Singapore — Workers’ Party MP-elect Jamus Lim took to Facebook to express his gratitude for the gifts received from members of the public. He said that physical gifts have to be declared but that intangible ones are just as valuable.

On Thursday (Aug 13), Dr Lim posted a photo of the gifts, noting that they came in many forms. “When engaging members of the public, we occasionally receive physical gifts such as books or keychains or cookies or cakes (and, increasingly these days, masks).”

He noted that Members of Parliament were expected to declare such gifts and have them valued. In addition, they have to pay for any of the items that they wish to keep “to prevent such gifts from potentially influencing our policy choices”.

“But just as valuable are the intangible gifts we receive from residents and supporters,” said Dr Lim. He gave a few examples like the dedication of time and energy by volunteers, the feedback on how to craft better policies for the country or the words of encouragement on their work.

Dr Lim mentioned that he had received two short notes for his wife and daughter. The notes were addressed “to Mrs Jamus Lim” and “to Little Miss Jamus” and expressed the sender’s appreciation for the sacrifices they have made in the background to help Dr Lim with his public service. “The value of such gifts is incalculable,” Dr Lim said.

Many of those who commented on his post were not aware of the gift declaration requirement and asked if it applied to perishable goods such as food. Dr Lim replied that the perishables were usually distributed among the volunteers to ensure that they were not the sole beneficiaries of the gifts.

Photo: FB screengrab / Jamus Lim

Photo: FB screengrab / Jamus Lim

Photo: FB screengrab / Jamus Lim

Photo: FB screengrab / Jamus Lim

Others commented on the importance of total transparency and the need to work on the team to improve the country’s economy.

Photo: FB screengrab / Jamus Lim

Photo: FB screengrab / Jamus Lim

Photo: FB screengrab / Jamus Lim

Gifts can come in many forms. When engaging members of the public, we occasionally receive physical gifts, such as books…

Posted by Jamus Lim on Wednesday, 12 August 2020

Read related:

Praise for Jamus Lim and WP for not forgetting to visit residents in private housing

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