Singapore – A recent Singapore Matters article took a different angle on opposition parties, specifically The Workers’ Party (WP), conducting their Meet-the-People sessions (MPS) at void decks, by saying they “choose to play victim” when the government has made efforts in providing them with better venue.
Facebook page Singapore Matters uploaded an article on Tuesday (August 18) entitled, “The show goes on.” The content disclosed more information behind a recent post by Leader of the Opposition and WP chief, Pritam Singh showing his MPS session at a void deck the previous day.
In May 2011, the Ministry of National Development (MND) asked the Housing and Development Board to allow elected Members of Parliament (MP) to rent a section of void deck space at reasonable rates to create an MP’s office for their sessions. “The rental will be at a concessionary rate, similar to that levied for non-profit, social, communal uses,” read the MND press release. According to the statement, the rental opportunity was effective immediately as the safety, comfort, and privacy of the residents were of topmost priority.
The article noted the WP had no trouble raising funds needed for the construction, should financial capacity be the concern. The party raised half a million for their new headquarters back in 2013 through one fundraising event called Bricks in Blue, highlighted the article. Another example given was the near one million raised through an online crowdsourcing appeal to help with the lawsuit against WP town councillors accused of improper payments by their town council in 2018.
However, the WP tagged financial concerns as a reason they haven’t built an office for MPS at void decks. Furthermore, one would have to reinstate the space to its original conditions when no longer needed.
“How can it be that after more than 20 years, WP is ‘unable’ to build a single MP office for their residents,” asked the article while noting it was because the WP “chooses to play victim.”
The assumption that the incumbent People’s Action Party (PAP) MPs get to hold their MPS in air-conditioned Community Centres or Residents’ Committees was also debunked because the sessions are held in their branch offices “built with party funds” or at their PCF (PAP Community Foundation) kindergartens. Speaker of Parliament Tan Chuan-Jin, on Tuesday, confirmed this through a Facebook post showing a PCF childcare being converted to a makeshift MPS office space.
“As a postscript, some of you seem to be going on about the opposition in void decks. They have options and are free to conduct it in the manner they so wish, as we are. Just to be clear. All our MPS are held in our PCF premises,” said Mr Tan.
Physical MPS begins again! Every Monday, my volunteers convert our PCF childcare into a makeshift MPS office space and…