Ruling party member Victor Lye Thiam Fatt was recently seen handing out porridge to a bus driver who was fasting. A photo of his good deed made its way online but netizens have perceived the act as a “wayang” or performance instead of a genuine act of kindness.
Mr Lye is a non elected PAP representative/branch chairman in the opposition-held Aljunied GRC. One of the People’s Action Party’s (PAP) candidates for Aljunied GRC in the 2015 General Election, Mr Lye and his ruling party colleagues faced off against the Workers’ Party (WP) team and lost.
Following the election, Mr Lye seems to be one of the main members driving the ruling party’s activities in the ward. Both Mr Lye’s personal and public Facebook pages are flooded with his activities in Aljunied GRC, suggesting that the PAP has been maintaining an active base in the opposition-held constituency.
A photo of Mr Lye boarding an SBS Transit bus to hand out a couple containers of food to the bus driver first started circulating on the Hardware Zone forums, over the weekend. Hardware Zone is an online forum board, owned by Singapore Press Holdings.
The photo then made its way to Reddit. Interestingly, the majority of netizens on both online communities criticised Mr Lye instead of praising him:
This is not the first time Mr Lye’s activities and remarks have drawn flak. Earlier, several netizens opined that Mr Lye was praising himself when he recounted an exchange he had with a young resident at the opposition ward.
Revealing that the resident had asked him how much he was paid for doing community service as he made his rounds in Aljunied GRC, Mr Lye wrote:
“The answer is “not a cent”. I told him we as volunteers even spend our own money doing community work. He was surprised, but appreciated the truth. Seems he was told something different by others. He then asked me when I started volunteering. The answer is “since 1999″ when I wanted to help those who lost jobs in the Asian Financial Crisis.”
Mr Lye then shared that another resident asked him why the PAP Aljunied GRC team did not receive Non-Constituency Member of Parliament (NCMP) seats, even though they “lost by the smallest margin”:
“Later, another resident asked if the best losers in the elections are paid for their unelected seats in Parliament. [For background, Singapore has a Non-Constituency Member of Parliament (NCMP) scheme that ensures up to 9 seats for unelected opposition voices alongside the 89-seat Parliament. This will be increased to 12 at the next election. Plus, NCMPs will be given the same voting rights as elected MPs.]
“I answered, “yes”. Then, he laughed, “but actually, you guys in Aljunied GRC lost by the smallest margin (of less than one percent). Yet, opposition losers gets paid and sit in Parliament while you still walk the ground with no pay and no Parliament seat? Better you join opposition! Le siow ah!” (translated as “are you crazy?”)
“I decided to let him have the last laugh while I focused on resolving problems faced by a resident. Another day in Aljunied GRC…”
Netizens responding to Mr Lye’s post opined that he appeared “proud and arrogant” and that he may just be gunning for the high salaries elected politicians are paid here:
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