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“This is organised by the residents for the residents,” MP retorts

The following article is sent to us by a member of the public. In the interest of fairness, TOC will be happy to post any reply from the MP or the organizers.

by Richard Seah

Source: indianapublicmedia.org

My block of flats was blessed, or should I say cursed, tonight with the visit of the (I won't say "my" since I did not vote for him) Member of Parliament, Mr Inderjit Singh.

The occasion was the launch of polling for the Home Improvement Programme, which I support. And to mark this auspicious event, the Residents' Committee organised a "getai" or stage show with, as usual, very very LOUD music. The stage is just below my block of flats and from my apartment on the 12th floor, the noise level is deafening.

I called the police at 7.35 pm and was told that an officer would be sent down to investigate. Nothing happened.

I went downstairs and caught the attention of one busy looking official. I told him the noise was very loud and he said he would tell the people to turn down the volume. Nothing happened.

I called the police again. It was about 7.55 pm and I was again assured that some officers are on the way. Nope! I did not see any.

Meanwhile, a gentlemen smiled at me and invited me to view the exhibition. I invited him to come upstairs and hear how loud the noise is from my flat. He tried gesturing to the sound technicians to ask them to reduce the volume, but by that time, the MP had arrived and was about to begin his speech. So the sound level was left as it was.

I could not tolerate anymore. As the MP was leaving after his speech, I called out to him and pointed out that the noise was very very loud. He listened for a short while, surrounded by plenty of presumably RC officials, and told me that this was a one-off event.

I countered that it was not a reason to be inconsiderate towards residents, but he quickly lost interest in what I had to say. "Thank you for your feedback," he said and made an attempt to walk off. I managed to grab his attention a bit more... Then he gave the classic PAP line that shirks responsibility: "This is organised by the residents for the residents.”

Singing for Home Improvement (photo by Richard Seah)

Oh I see! It has nothing to do with him, it's not his fault, there is nothing he can do about it. He cannot even advise one of the many people surrounding him to show some consideration and turn down the volume. But wait... That's not all. The MP is suggesting that it was, in fact, MY fault. I, being a resident, am part of the group that organised this annoying event, doing it for other residents like me!

Wow! This, surely, is democracy. For the residents, by the residents! I must be thankful that I live in such a wonderfully democratic country. What an ungrateful complainer I am!

Next, some of the group of people that were surrounding the MP asked for my particulars, saying that since I lodged a complaint they needed to know who I was. I had no qualms about giving, but when I asked just for their names, not even their IC numbers and other details, they refused to give. One quickly walked away. The one who wrote down my particulars absolutely refused even after I asked several times. When we finished what we had to say to each other, he offered to shake my hand. Errrr... should I shake the hand of someone who would not tell me his name? Well, I guess people in general do practise double standards, not least those who surround politicians.

By 8:30 pm, the noise was still unbearable. I called the police a third time. I asked if they would do anything about the loud noise. This time, the policeman did not say that his officers will definitely come down to investigate. Instead, he said, "So far you are the only person who called?"

So naturally I asked if it meant the police are not going to do anything about it. "If more residents called we will surely take action,” he continued. I asked for his name, which he gave. I then asked if I can write a letter to the newspapers quoting him saying that since I was the only caller, the police would not take action. He denied having said that. I reminded that he said if more people called the police would take action. Can I quote him on that? No?

He tried to explain further... By then I had become like the MP. I lost interest in listening to what he had to say. I guess he and I do share some things in common.

It's 9:46 now as I finished writing this article. The noise is still loud!

PS: It is 9:56 by the time I finish editing this article. To be fair, the show and the noise finally ended.

>> Do you live in Richard's block? And if so, do you agree with his views?