Singapore — Workers’ Party (WP) politician Nicole Seah took to Facebook on Saturday (Oct 31) to write about a visit to Fengshan ward of East Coast GRC. She drew attention to the employment issues faced by a number of families and, on a happier note, praise the “kampung spirit” of its residents.

Along with Mr Kenneth Foo, who was also in the WP team that contested in the GRC in this year’s General Election, and a team of volunteers, they went on their weekly walkabout that day in Fengshan, where they were “consistently energised by the residents’ warm welcome”.

Ms Seah said that they sometimes detect a similar “pattern” in what residents go through and that this time, because of the Covid-19 pandemic, a number of families had suffered because the sole breadwinner had become unemployed or had taken a job in another field that paid less.

She wrote: “We do sometimes detect a similar pattern in what the residents go through. In this instance, a number of families were feeling the effects of the pandemic either in the form of their sole breadwinners losing jobs or having to take on a lower-paying job, sometimes in a different industry altogether.”

While they had been able to extend assistance “to navigate such challenges in the form of letter-writing to the relevant community bodies to appeal for assistance”, they had  also enlisted help to ensure that attention would be paid to the plight of the residents.

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She added that help had been extended by WP MP Muhamad Faisal Abdul Manap (Aljunied GRC). She thanked him for allowing them to route the appeals to ensure that attention is given to the needs of the residents, “as letters submitted by an individual who is not an elected MP might not be recognised by the relevant authorities”.

Ms Seah and the WP team asked if the affected residents knew about the available Covid relief or short-term assistance schemes. Some answered that they had not been able to do so because of a lack of knowledge about the schemes or they had not been able to take time from their work to file the needed applications.

On a happier note, she said that she felt the “kampung spirit” when a resident told them that a neighbour would be returning to Fengshan next month and asked that the latter be included in WP’s food distribution and when another resident helped a neighbour in another block by sawing pipes for his electrical fixtures.

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“In this day and age, I’m cheered that neighbours are still selflessly looking out for each other. Such is the Fengshan spirit!,” she wrote. /TISG

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