The People’s Action Party (PAP) Member of Parliament for Tampines GRC, Ms Irene Ng, seems irked by the media coverage given to opposition MPs. In a comment posted on her Facebook page, she insinuated that the media attention given to opposition MPs’ Meet The People sessions was unwarranted. She said, “We [PAP Tampines GRC team] serve quietly and hope residents will judge us by our actions, and not just our words.” In just three hours, the comment drew over 30 responses, most of which were negative.
This same comment was posted on her Facebook public figure page, and the reactions were likewise. Many questioned Ms Ng’s judgment on not viewing the media coverage of Worker’s Party’s first Meet-the-People Session for Aljunied GRC as newsworthy. A member of public, Mr Kenneth Sandeep Satyamurty said, “Certainly as a former journalist yourself, you’d see the worthiness of the WP’s first MPS in Aljunied? This was the first MPS by an opposition party in a GRC, but you didn’t need me to spell that out for you, did you? I’m a Tampines voter and I’m disgusted by your ungracious remarks.”
Ms Ng however defended that her remarks are based on facts and is an “observation”. She also clarified that she was not lamenting about the media coverage.
Singapore 2011 General Elections saw the residents of Aljunied make an unprecedented move – they voted in an opposition party into parliament. The mainstream media has previously covered the PAP’s MPS after the elections as well. Both Tin Pei Ling’s first session with the residents of MacPherson on May 10, and BG Tan Chuan Jin’s first session with the residents of Kampong Ubi-Kembangan ward on May 18 were similarly filmed on video which was aired to the public.
Another member of the public, Ms Nancy Tang commented on the thread, “A mature individual will not even voice the matter at all. If you felt short change, by all means, be the first PAP to hold your session at the void deck. Once the media gets wind of it, they will give you the coverage that you so wished for. Then we shall see if the WP makes any comment.”
There were a few supporters who cheered Ms Ng on. A member of the public Ms Suhaimi Lazim said, “Having done voluntary work at MPS, I know how much hard work is put in for these sessions. So keep it up.”
Mr Joseph Teng, who is a resident of Tampines GRC and had previously voted for Ms Ng applauded her for her efforts and work behind the scenes. However, he maintained that this remark was uncalled for. “Like other Singaporeans we are matured enough to know what we are deciding but we prefer to make our own informed decision based on what we can see with our eyes rather than on media coverage. Having said that I think your comment above on the opposition is uncalled for. If you really want to serve the residents with quiet confidence, just do it quietly and let the resident be the judge … Respect your opponent and do not judge them just like our beloved George Yeo did even though he lost the election. Let the opposition do their job their way just like you do yours.”