Singapore — Opposition Peoples Voice (PV) leader Lim Tean has said that residents have the right to speak to their Member of Parliament (MP) without having to pay a fee.
On Sunday (Dec 13), Mr Lim uploaded a Facebook post touching on the recent meet-and-greet session with Minister for Health Gan Kim Yong. The opportunity was extended to residents of Blocks 101 to 124, Teck Whye Lane, and held at the void deck at Block 109.
A poster mentioned that the event was a chit-chat session during which residents could pose questions about their estate. It was held on Saturday (Dec 12) at 9.15 am and 10.30 am. There was also a S$1 door fee per person. The poster included details for the sale of tickets.
In his post, Mr Lim asked: “Why are residents having to pay S$1 to speak with Gan Kim Yong?” He said residents should have the absolute right to speak with their MP without having a pay a fee.
“It matters not whether it is S$1 or S$0.50. It is the principle that is important,” said Mr Lim. He added that the PV would “never condone such a practice”.
“An MP owes his position to the constituents, and the idea that a resident has to pay in order to speak to the MP is an affront to democracy.”
A few netizens mentioned that the fee could have been allotted to the door gift given to each attendee, as mentioned in the poster. Others noted it could have been used as a platform fee to make the event safer.
Still, many did not agree with the required fee. “MPs are public servants,” said Facebook user Irene Ong. “This is an MP taking pay from taxpayers. It is shameless.”
Others wondered if it was legal to charge residents for a chit-chat session.
“One simply forgets he is here to serve. Isn’t that what being a politician is all about or has the status and rules changed? One wonders…,” commented Facebook user Lee Russell Lance.
Still others hoped this would not become a standard or norm for residents to pay to meet with ministers or MPs. “The higher the rank, the more expensive? I hope not,” said Facebook user Ande Liew. /TISG