As I look at my calendar entry for tonight's Seventh Month dinner in the Paya Lebar division of Aljunied GRC, I grow a little wistful. The last such dinner I was scheduled to attend took place last week, a few weeks after the organizers called to let me know that they could no longer have me show up at the event as they had originally hoped.
The organizers as in previous years had planned to hold the festivities on a hard court in the HDB estate, but this year were told by the Paya Lebar CCC (Citizens' Consultative Committee under the People's Association) that, as a condition for receiving CCC approval to use the venue, they may no longer invite their MP to the event. Future approvals will be withheld from errant organizers. The organizers were profusely apologetic.
It pains me that they felt so embarrassed to pass me the news. Regrettably, this is not the first time it has happened since I was elected. See photos of an invitation and retraction from another distraught organizer who applied to use a different venue in the same ward.
This is the month of many festivities including National Day, a day of our progressive nationhood. Many residents talk to me about the events they are organizing in the neighborhood: some of them wish to invite me to join them, others don't see the need to. That is all fine by me ... there is really no call to force our residents into a quandary over whom they may invite as guests to their own events.