PA brazenly advertises perks to entice residents to join grassroots organisation

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Former Non Constituency Member of Parliament, Gerald Giam, shared a picture of door-hanger leaflet from the People’s Association (PA), advertising perks to entice residents to join the grassroots organisation. The advertisement from the PA’s Fengshan Crystal Residents’ Committee (RC) was targeted at residents living in Blocks 119 to 129 of Bedok North Road.

Mr Giam noted that the PA sees no need to be subtle about the perks its volunteers received.

Seen during house visits today. I suppose there's no need to be subtle anymore eh?

Posted by Gerald Giam 严燕松 on Thursday, 16 March 2017

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office and the Deputy Chairman of the People’s Association revealed in October 2016 that the People’s Association (PA) Grassroots Leaders and Advisers receive the following perks for the services they render.

  • Apply for special parking label to park at designated car parks up to 11 pm in the constituency they serve. (Minister did not say if these labels were issued at a cost, but said that they would get this concession only if they had first purchased a a HDB season parking coupon.
  • Apply for P1 registration for their children under Phase 2B in schools within the constituency they reside in.
  • Apply for BTO flats and ECs under a HDB scheme. (source: http://bit.ly/2cTSbve)

The Workers’ Party Chairman Sylvia Lim had earlier last year charged that the PA was not impartial. Ms Lim cited a personal incident to ask if PA had deviated from its objectives of “fostering cohesion and bonding, and <…>promoting group participation that transcends sectional loyalties”, to advancing the ruling party politically and undermining the work of Opposition MPs. (http://theindependent.sg/chan-chun-sing-asks-sylvia-lim-for-evidence-of-wrongdoing-by-peoples-association).

The opposition Member of Parliament (MP) had on one occasion, sought information from the Ministry of National Development on its plans for private-estate upgrading projects in her constituency. “The ministry referred me to the CCC (Citizens’ Consultative Committee). I then wrote several times to the CCC, but it seems that my letters do not even merit a reply,” she revealed.

The MP also pointed to the mobilisation of PA activists to campaign for the ruling People’s Action Party’s candidates during elections as another example of its partiality.

Replying to the opposition MP in Parliament, Minister Chan Chun Sing said that based on his personal experience, he has seen participants of PA activities supporting both the People’s Action Party (PAP) as well as the Opposition during the General Election.

“When I see my own residents, participants of my PA activities, supporting the Opposition, I can only ask myself: ‘How can I work harder to win them over?’” he said.

“The PA is a statutory board. It executes the directions for the Government of the day, as per any statutory board. The PA does not allow any political activity or canvassing on our premises or in our activities. And we certainly do not mobilise anyone for any political party,” Mr Chan explained.

“If Ms Lim has any such evidence of wrongdoing, you can let me know, and I guarantee you I will follow up. I will be the last person to ever allow the PA to be politicised,” Mr Chan reassured.