Tag Archive | "Bedok"

Low Thia Khiang: PAP not playing fair

Low Thia Khiang: PAP not playing fair

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The Worker’s Party chief says PAP sets up barriers to stop opposition parties from getting involved in grassroots activities.

Photos and text: Terence Lee

WORKER’S Party Secretary General Low Thia Khiang, speaking at Bedok stadium, whacked the PAP on Saturday night for making it tough for opposition parties to serve residents.

He was responding to criticism from Sengkang West PAP candidate Dr Lam Pin Min that opposition parties disappeared from contest grounds after the 2006 elections.

Low mentioned that because new constituencies are often created at every election, it is impossible for them to appear in a “previously non-existent ward.”

“We certainly would love to do more to reach out to the residents, but do you know we are kept out by barriers set by the PAP?” he said.

The first barrier he mentioned was that Town Councils in PAP wards have rejected applications by the opposition party to hold dialogue sessions and forums at the resident’s void decks.

Second barrier is that opposition parties cannot set up physical premises to launch activities in PAP constituencies. The PAP Community Foundation (PCF), which is a network of pre-schools, is able to rent property from the Housing Development Board (HDB) for cheap prices. As a result, they can sublet space to the PAP.

“That’s why you see that every constituency there is a PAP branch, which is usually next to PCF.”

“Sometimes, some foreign reporters who come to Singapore to interview me, and they wonder, why we conduct Meet-the-People’s sessions at the void deck. So much for a first world nation.” – Low Thia Khiang

The Worker’s Party has no branches. And since they have no access to PCF facilities, their only option would be to rent from the open market, which is too expensive.

Furthermore, opposition parties are handicapped in their own constituencies.

“Sometimes, some foreign reporters who come to Singapore to interview me, and they wonder, why we conduct Meet-the-People’s sessions at the void deck. So much for a first world nation.”

PAP MPs, on the other hand, get to do such sessions in a facility of their own.

Opposition MPs are also disallowed from using Community Centres to organise courses and activities for residents, while PAP MPs can do so. “I thought community club are meant for community, not for propelling the PAP’s interest!”

He added that in Hougang, where he was an MP, the defeated PAP candidate became the grassroots advisor through the People’s Association, a statuary board promoting social harmony. Government bodies worked through him instead of Low, and when his town council paid a sum to the HDB for lift upgrading, it was the PAP candidate who announced the initiative instead. This allows the defeated candidates to gain a foothold at the next elections.

So, while the government says that the political playing field is fair, Low firmly denied that is the case.

“When they ask me to play a game of soccer, they use a goalpost smaller than the ball!”

Manhunt on for full-time National Serviceman and maid involved in photo, blogger alleges

Manhunt on for full-time National Serviceman and maid involved in photo, blogger alleges

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By David Boey

This is the footpath off Bedok Rise used by the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) soldier, believed to be a full-time National Serviceman (NSF), and a woman carrying a fullpack, believed to be his domestic helper, who appeared in that iconic image. To the right of this footpath is the public housing estate which is home to an NSF who made headlines in 2007, Dave Teo. Photo and caption: DAVID BOEY

PLAINCLOTHES officers believed to be from the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) combed a housing estate in Bedok on Saturday (2 April’11) for the individuals in the infamous picture of a maid carrying a fullpack – but failed to find their targets.

The officers gathered along Bedok Rise, which is near the Tanah Merah MRT station, for a quick debrief yesterday evening and were observed by this blogger. The group stood out in the quiet estate because I have seen police surveillance teams in action and somehow sensed the group did not fit in with the streetscape.

One officer was overheard updating an unnamed party via mobilephone that there were x targets for the day and the maid at one premises was not in.

What gave the game away was an A4 size colour photocopy of two pictures in a local newspaper story that compared the real picture with a fake image of the anonymous soldier, believed to be a full-time National Serviceman (NSF), and a woman whom netizens believe is his domestic helper. Pictures in the 90C story were enlarged and printed in portrait format, possibly to serve as a handy reference for the officers. (By uncanny coincidence, I used the same picture as reference but saved an image of the newspaper article on my mobilephone. I felt it was more discrete as observers would think I was checking my SMS messages whenever I looked at the image on the phone.)

To read on, click here.

Do you think the SAF should have embarked on this manhunt? Click here to join the poll!

For a full-time National Serviceman’s views on the maid issue, click here.

To find out who is REALLY behind the photo, click here.