Singapore—Carrie Tan Huimin, an MP-elect for Nee Soon GRC from the People’s Action Party (PAP) said in a widely-shared post on Sunday (August 2) that she will be helping pick up trash at coffeeshops every month as part of her support for the public hygiene council.
The popular, newly-minted MP posted photos of herself in a red blouse, pants and a mask, picking up trash on the ground at a couple of eateries.
Ms Tan wrote that this was part of a “cleanliness exercise” wherein she picked up pieces of tissue paper and other bits of trash as well as reminded the patrons present to throw their trash in the proper bins, especially tissue paper, which can easily be blown away.
Tissues are a matter of particular concern, she wrote, as “Used tissues carry germs and when tissues fly around, germs spread too,” adding later in the post “Let’s cooperate and keep our used tissues in our pockets or throw them in the bin. This will also help the cleaning aunties and uncles. Don’t make them work so hard.”
Ms Tan also said that she had promised to support the Public Hygiene Council and the neighborhood coffee shops “with community education so that all users of communal premises will also do their part to keep Nee Soon South clean and green and healthy!”
She then pledged to pick up trash at the coffee shops every month and wrote that she hoped to set a good example by cultivating the habit of proper trash throwing.
But the new MP did not stop there. Apparently having received some backlash for her post, she added an update, saying she knew people would find her action to be very wayang, but that it was “ok” with her. “My purpose is to show that if we treat our neighbourhoods like our own home, we will pick up litter after ourselves.”
She added that as she picks up litter, residents approach her and share their problems, many of which have to do with cleanliness and littering. “I also get a close and first-hand understanding of the littering habits and problem hotspots that need to be addressed. 40% of all emails I get every day are related to municipal cleanliness and littering problem – it is something that consumes much time and energy of several government agencies to deal with everyday.”
A change in behavior, therefore, is very important, she said. “I need to lead by example.
Yes, I do this indeed for show, to show by example that no matter what role or title we hold, we should pick up after ourselves and I don’t mind picking up after others. Hope we can all 自动自发 (take initiative) – I’ll be the change I wish to see!]”
Many netizens commended the MP-elect, even those who are not supporters of the ruling party.
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