WAN Medical Clinic, a clinic located at Block 416 Bedok North Ave 2, has been fined a hefty S$1,000 by the East Coast-Fengshan Town Council, after the clinic staff placed chairs outside the clinic for the elderly to sit on while they wait to see the doctor or collect their medication.
East Coast-Fengshan Town Council is a town council held by the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP). It is run by East Coast GRC MPs Lim Swee Say, Maliki Osman, Jessica Tan, Lee Yi Shyan and Fengshan SMC MP Cheryl Chan.
Former Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say is in charge of the Bedok division.
Dr Muhammad Iqmal Bin Abdullah, the doctor who runs WAN Medical Clinic, said that the Town Council has been “up in arms” over the chairs that have been placed outside the clinic for the use of the elderly and the sick, for the past 7 years since he opened the clinic.
When the clinic was closed for the Hari Raya holidays, the Town Council sent the clinic a notice of composition. Dated 13 June 2019, the notice asks the clinic to pay a composition fine of S$1,000 for placing the chairs in a common property or open place and for leaving the chairs overnight at a yellow box on the road outside the clinic.
Sharing a photo of the notice of composition, Dr Iqmal wrote on Facebook: “For almost 7 years now since I started my clinic, East Coast Bedok Town Council has been up in arms about us putting chairs outside the clinic for the elderly and the sick to sit down.
“So this time round when we closed for the Hari Raya, they took the opportunity to catch us so that they can earn from this. We paid for the yellow box.
“We do not sell anything in the yellow box nor use it for smoking. Just chairs for the elderly and the weak to sit on while waiting to see the doctor.”
Dr Iqmal added that he was simply following the example of PAP politician Khaw Boon Wan who instructed polyclinics to place chairs outside their facilities for the elderly to use, when he was Health Minister. The medical doctor said: “It’s sad when there are many other more important things but the the East Coast Town Council put this as their priority.”
In a subsequent Facebook video, Dr Iqmal shared that the Town Council told him to remove the chairs “urgently”.
In the video, Dr Iqmal said that he was receiving treatment at Sengkang General Hospital himself but had to leave the hospital – with two IV cannulas still attached to his hands – in order to remove the chairs outside his clinic. He said:
“The Town Council say must remove the chairs. They don’t want the elderly to be sitting down on the chairs, I don’t know why. I don’t know why they have CHAS for osteoarthritis, for people who are sick – they don’t want them to be sitting down here. So I have to remove the chairs, they say it’s urgent.”
Absconded from Sengkang General Hospital, still with 2 i/v plugs on me, now removing chairs from the front of my clinic coz The East Coast Town Council say its urgent.
Posted by WAN Medical Clinic on Sunday, 7 July 2019
The Independent has contacted Mr Lim Swee Say and the Bedok division of East Coast-Fengshan Town Council for comment. We will update this story once we receive a response.