Featured News Netizens say "highly paid" Sun Xueling shouldn't complain about "rude" email from...

Netizens say “highly paid” Sun Xueling shouldn’t complain about “rude” email from resident

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Several netizens view her Facebook post as “unprofessional” and even a form of virtue-signalling and sympathy-begging

SINGAPORE: Minister of State Sun Xueling’s recent Facebook post criticising the way a resident wrote to her has divided public opinion online, with some agreeing with her that the resident should have been civil in his communication and others asserting that the ruling party politician shouldn’t complain given the high pay she receives as an elected official.

Ms Sun, the Member of Parliament (MP) for Punggol West SMC, shared screenshots of her resident’s email on her Facebook page yesterday morning (3 June). The resident’s email began with a less than cordial tone, stating, “Sitting pretty and waiting for your electoral loss will be something to look forward to unless something changes here.”

The primary complaint centred around the noise generated by heavy vehicles on the road near Punggol Way. The resident called upon Sun to address the issue, warning that failure to do so could result in losing the ward.

The resident also expressed grievances about the uneven cement floors at the void deck and criticized a road design, using offensive language to describe it. The email concluded with a request for the Workers’ Party’s (WP) Jamus Lim to “take over here (the ward) due to the sh*tloads of nonsense here” and referenced the Ridout Road controversy.

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The email was addressed to Ms Sun and Mr Lim but also copied to several government agencies and prominent political figures, including Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong, and Senior Minister Teo Chee Hean.

Pasir Ris-Punggol Town Council’s replied to the resident, assuring him that it addresses the issues he raised, but the resident’s email did not sit well with Ms Sun.

Stressing the importance of providing feedback in a civil manner, she wrote on Facebook: “There are ‘ways’ to provide feedback and ‘ways’ to provide feedback. I hope that as a society, we can try to be civil and not use bad language to get a point across.”

Many agreed with the politician’s call and said that the resident could have conveyed his grievances in a more polite manner. Some went so far as to call the resident a racist and xenophobic man, given some of the points he made in his email, and said that the email was offensive no matter how valid his complaints were.

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But others are not so sympathetic. Several netizens view her Facebook post as “unprofessional” and even a form of virtue-signalling.

u/AbelAngJQ said on the Singapore subreddit: Kinda puzzled why she needs to share it to the public. It’s part of the job to face overbearing and demanding residents. Kinda feels like virtue-signaling and sympathy-begging. “OMG look at these nasty ppl I deal with so much grace. I got the job done in the end so pats on my back.””

He added, “I feel all this proves if you are crude and rude to your MPs/Town Council/service people in general, you will get your way. Which is counterproductive,” in his comment that has gotten 280 upvotes.

Another Redditor, u/LeatherTanker said: “Not a smart move. Whether she is trying to gain sympathy, or trying to anonymously shame the resident, it would have hurt her image politically. Not a good move especially when it is nearing an election.

“It is rather unprofessional posting it publicly. As a public figure who serves the community, she should understand the potential of things like receiving crude language is part of her job. Is she living in a wonderland or something? She should have better control of her emotions and actions, otherwise this job is not a good fit for her.”

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Some others say that Ms Sun should see responding to all kinds of complaints as a part of her job, especially given the hefty $770,000 pay she receives as a Minister of State. This excludes her MP allowance.

A number of netizens are also able to understand where the resident was coming from and speculated that his rudeness might be due to frustration with bringing up these issues for some time without proper recourse.

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In one of several similar comments by netizens, redditor u/accessdenied65 said: “I am gonna put my bet the resident has voiced and feed backed many times with no action taken. Hence the vulgarities and rudeness. Of course they will fix the issue first and then make the vulgar email public.”


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