Didn't PM Lee just said Singapore too small for political paralysis? :
On 20 Aug 2011 PM Lee said: Singapore too small for political paralysis -
'We are too small to be able to afford impasse and gridlock, to have two
sides blocking one another so you can't move, you can't solve problems, you
can't go ahead. We have to work together,' he said, speaking at the Ang Mo
Kio-Hougang National Day dinner.
On 22 Aug 2011, Worker's Party Sylvia Lim, the elected Member of Parliament
for Aljunied GRC by voters of Aljunied GRC issued a Media Release on Use of
Public Sites at Aljunied GRC
Browse > Home / Statement / Press Release / Media Release on Use of Public
Sites at Aljunied GRC
Media Release on Use of Public Sites at Aljunied GRCThis release seeks to
enlighten the public about what transpired in the weeks after the May
General Election, which has led to the current controversy about use of
public spaces by residents of Aljunied GRC to organise events.
On 21 June 2011, the interim Secretary of Aljunied-Hougang Town Council (AHTC)
received an email from the Housing and Development Board (HDB) entitled:
“Sites Excluded from the Management of Aljunied-Hougang Town Council”. The
email attached a list of sites to be excluded from AHTC management,
including 26 sites commonly used for community activities which had
previously been managed by the former Aljunied Town Council. No background
nor rationale was given for the decision.
Upon further and repeated enquiries from AHTC, HDB revealed on 13 July 2011
that these sites had been leased to the People’s Association (PA), in 2
tranches – on 27 May 2011 and 13 June 2011. The AHTC had thus been informed
retrospectively of this decision, which to our knowledge has not been
A check on the sites, which were part of the common property managed by the
former Aljunied Town Council but now leased to PA, showed that many of them
are strategically located, being hard courts or amphitheatres highly
suitable for organising social activities. We were puzzled about the
intention behind the move, which occurred before the new management took
over the estate. We are left to conclude that the decision by the HDB to
shift management of these common properties from the Town Council to the PA
was precipitated by the victory of the Workers’ Party in Aljunied GRC in the
In order not to subject residents to unnecessary inconvenience and
confusion, I sought a meeting with the HDB for clarification, and on 13 July
2011 conveyed to the HDB AHTC’s willingness to discuss the matter further
with the PA, to explore joint use of the excluded sites. HDB then followed
up with the PA. In an email to me dated 15 Aug 2011, the PA indicated that
“booking by WP will not be allowed”, which we assume includes bookings for
activities organised by WP MPs for residents.
Effect of HDB’s Decision as Landowner
During the weeks in July / early August leading to the lunar Seventh Month
festivities, residents of Paya Lebar Division gave feedback that they were
informed by the PA grassroots organisations to apply for the use of the said
sites to the Paya Lebar Citizens Consultative Committee (CCC) instead of to
the Town Council as was the previous practice. We also received feedback
that those who had applied to the CCC for the permits were told verbally
that they could not invite the elected WP MP or they would risk their
applications being turned down in subsequent years.
Residents have told us that they are confused by the new requirements of the
CCC and annoyed by the intense politicking by the PA grassroots
organizations. They felt torn and in an emotional dilemma.
It appears to us that the unilateral decision by the HDB to lease these
sites to the PA and to have them excluded from common property under the
management of AHTC without any consultation with the AHTC or its elected
members is politically motivated and an abuse of power.
First, the HDB as part of the government machinery is abusing its power as
land owner of common property in HDB estates to help PA to achieve the
political objectives of a) preventing elected MPs from holding activities at
the excluded sites which are strategically located and convenient to
residents; and b) curtailing the ground presence of the elected MPs, by
warning the residents that their applications for events at those sites may
not be approved in subsequent years if WP MPs were invited.
Secondly, the PA, a statutory board funded by tax payers’ money and chaired
by the Prime Minister, appears to capitalize on its close connection with
the government to serve the political interests of the ruling party. The PA
is leveraging on HDB to enable PAP candidates who lost at the last elections
to re-emerge at community events as “advisors” to PA grassroots
organizations. The move to let PA control the sites previously managed by
the Town Council would give PAP candidates a ground advantage and permanent
presence, in advance preparation for the next elections.
The PM has just called for political harmony and national solidarity in
Singapore, and said that “we must have a harmonious political system where
we make important decisions in the best interests of Singapore and
Regrettably, there appears to be a dissonance between the language of
national unity employed by the Prime Minister and the actions of the HDB and
PA in Aljunied GRC.
WORKERS’ PARTY AND ALJUNIED-HOUGANG TOWN COUNCIL
Huh? Singaporeans are really confused and puzzled at what PM Lee had called
out on one hand while on the other hand, er, ................ best left
unsaid, all Singaporeans know what it means, let's give PM Lee some face and
not criticised him too much, after all, Singaporeans are known to be
gracious and sporting to ehm "sore" competitors perhaps?
Footnote: To PAP supporters, Don't blame us for featuring, we can't feature
anything if no grounds to feature - Admin