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Tan Chuan-Jin alludes to Teo Chee Hean-Joel Tan encounter and says pleasing everyone is “impossible”

"As a policy maker, I wish it was easy to please everyone but very difficult. In fact. I think impossible. But we try to find the best balance," said Mr Tan

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Speaker of Parliament Tan Chuan-Jin appeared to allude to a viral Facebook post that detailed a conversation between Teo Chee Hean and his constituent as he asserted his belief that it is “impossible” for policymakers to please everyone.

Last Monday (7 Sept), local playwright Joel Tan revealed that he grilled Mr Teo, his MP, on a number of issues when the Senior Minister knocked on his door as part of his house visits.

Recounting the interaction in great detail, Mr Tan said that he questioned Mr Teo about his views on the court case involving Parti Liyani, his colleague Tan Wu Meng’s rebuke of fellow playwright Alfian Sa’at, as well as his stance on retaining Section 377A of the penal code.

The way Mr Tan described their encounter made Mr Teo seem uncomfortable with his constituent’s line of questioning. Mr Tan’s post quickly began trending and drew over 2,000 likes and nearly 1,000 shares within a week.

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Although Mr Teo did not respond to Mr Tan’s post, Tan Chuan-Jin seemed to make a somewhat cryptic reference to the post in a Facebook post of his own a week later.

In a Facebook post published on Monday evening (14 Sept), Mr Tan said that house visits help keep MPs engaged and are a “great way to just keep in touch with residents and also for them to surface concerns on local issues and also national ones.”

Revealing that he receives “so many many different views” on these house visits, Mr Tan expressed his belief that it is impossible to please everyone. He said: “As a policy maker, I wish it was easy to please everyone but very difficult. In fact. I think impossible. But we try to find the best balance.”

The Marine Parade GRC MP said that he tries to pick up problems and issues preemptively and shared an example of how he had to probe for more information from a senior citizen he met earlier that day whom he sensed may need help. He wrote:

“What is also important to me is to pick up problems and issues preemptively. For example, an old lady shared that she may want to see me at the MPS but seemed non-committal. Could sense that she wanted to say something more. We chatted and she finally said she may want to look for a job.
“Asked her why, if they were financially stable etc. Hmm. May be more than meets the eye here? In these cases, my social teams will follow up with visits and further chats to learn more about any underlying concerns. And we try and work out possible solutions. Or not, if the situation is under control.”

Seeming to allude to the viral post involving Senior Minister Teo, Mr Tan appeared to say that the constituent who posted about the encounter did so to “show up the government”. He wrote: “Someone recently flagged up about an MP who encountered a similar type situation and who posted about it to show up the Government? To each his own I guess.”

The ruling party politician added: “Of course there will be issues but that’s our job to find out more and to help address them 🙏🏻 Oh well…we do what we can! 💪 Grateful to my team and the work on this front over the past many years!”

Why House Visits?It’s a great way to just keep in touch with residents and also for them to surface concerns on local…

Posted by Tan Chuan-Jin on Monday, September 14, 2020

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