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Should Charles Chong give 48 percent of his MP allowance to Lee Lilian? A reader reminds Grace Fu of her exchange with Chiam See Tong




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Letter by reader: J Tan
I chanced upon your article: https://theindependent.sg.sg/minister-grace-fu-slams-lee-lian-wp-files-motion-on-ncmp-seat/ which brought to my mind vividly, of a parliamentary exchange between then MOS Grace Fu of MND and The Hon. Mr Chiam See Tong, then MP for Potong Pasir (which (constituency) has since switched sides for carrots).
Mr Chiam had filed a question in 2006 after winning Potong Pasir for 45% of the $80 million dollars dangled by ESM Goh to upgrade his ward as 45% of Potong Pasir had supported the candidate.
Grace Fu then asserted that it made no sense as Mr Chiam would also have to render 45% of his salary to advisor Sitoh Yih Pin in that instance.
So coming back to Grace Fu’s “slamming”, wouldn’t Charles Chong have to surrender 48.24% of his salary to support Ms Lee’s Parliamentary work as NCMPs only draw $2k monthly with no legislative assistant.
Grace Fu and Charles Chong for that matter, should be more concern on meeting the aspirations of the 15,800 who did not support the due to disenchantment with prevailing governmental policies rather than choosing to “rub salt on wounds” and expose the true intentions of the PAP Minister in the process.
I end by applauding the courage and graciousness of Ms Lee in the face of adversity as well as her sound reasoning for rejecting the NCMP seat which rightly reflects the undue consequences of the choice of the 16,957.

from Parliamentary records:

Mr Chiam See Tong asked the Minister for National Development whether the Government is willing to release 45% of the $80 million promised by the Government for upgrading of HDB estates in Potong Pasir in the last election, since 45% of the voters in Potong Pasir voted for the ruling party’s candidate.
Ms Grace Fu Hai Yien (for the Minister for National Development): Sir, the $80 million upgrading package proposed for Potong Pasir estate was part of the PAP’s plans for the constituency, offered by the PAP candidate. The majority of the voters in Potong Pasir did not support this plan, so the upgrading package has been shelved.
But I must add that I am quite puzzled by Mr Chiam’s question. He is requesting for 45% of the funds on the basis that 45% of the electorate voted for the PAP candidate, Mr Sitoh Yih Pin. Does it imply that he represents only 55% of the electorate in Potong Pasir? And if we go by that logic, does it mean that he should share his chair with Mr Sitoh, ie, 55:45 in this Parliament? And if we take the logic further, does it mean that he should also share his MP allowance with Mr Sitoh?
Readers may send your contributions to this publication at writers@theindependent.sg.

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