Government feedback portal, REACH, had scheduled to hold a public forum on the controversial amendments to the elected presidency on 29 Sept but proceeded to cancel the event due to “poor response”
Minister of Home Affairs and Law K Shanmugan and Minister of State Chee Kong Tat was due to speak in the public forum which was supposed to be held at Furama City Centre, Grand Ballroom, between 6.30 to 9.00 pm.
TOC had registered to attend the event but was told that the event was cancelled just days after it sent a confirmation to attendees.
Another of one such attendee was Dr Tan Cheng Bock. Dr Tan, who tendered his resignation from the People’s Action Party (PAP) prior to the PE2011, was one of the most popular Members of Parliament from the PAP. His 88 percent victory in the 2001 parliamentary elections was the PAP’s best score in 31 years.
Dr Tan, who is a medical doctor, had been an MP for Ayer Rajah single-seat ward from 1980 to 2006. He has also been since 1991 a non-executive chairman of Chuan Hup investment holding company, whose issued and paid-up capital according to annual reports stands at US$152 million (S$189 million).
Dr Tan wrote on his Facebook page saying that he had assigned to attend the public forum last week, where he had planned to attend with a few friends and family. He said he was happy that he had received the confirmation letter.
He also attached his confirmation letter from REACH.
However, only a day before the public forum was due to be held, REACH sent another letter which said that the forum was cancelled with the reason of “poor response.” It also posted the cancellation notification on its Facebook page and added that it had not received any registration under Dr Tan’s name.
Dr Tan replied to the statement by saying that he had registered under his alias, “Adrian Tan.” He said that the registration also asked for NRIC number, mobile, address, and occupation which he supplied.
Dr Tan’ daughter, Tan Ming Li also responded to REACH’s post by posting on the original post. She said it was strange for REACH to say that it did not receive her father’s registration since Dr Tan had already supplied the registration form with his NRIC numbers, address, date of birth, email, mobile number, gender, and occupation.
She asked, “Given all the information you know, are you still implying that my father did not register for this event?”
Given the attention that the forum garnered so much attention, it is puzzling how poor attendance is to have REACH cancel the event last min after sending out the confirmation.
It is also puzzling why REACH required participants to submit personal particulars such as NRIC number, mobile, address, and occupation for the purpose of registration for the event as if the tedious registration process is meant to deter interested participants to the event.