A circulated private Facebook post about how a citizen responded to the walkabout session carried out by Indranee Rajah, minister at the Prime Minister Office, has spurred the minister to respond to the claims in her Facebook page.
The Facebook post wrote,
Something spectacular happened this morning (Sunday, July 2018) in Tiong Bahru Market and Food Centre.
MP for Tanjong Pagar GRC and Minister in PMG, Indranee Rajah, was making her rounds at the food center crowded with people having breakfast and lunch.
She approached a table occupied by a senior couple having their lunch with outstretched hands introducing herself as Minister and MP.
The gentleman sat firmly and told her off “I don’t care who you are and I don’t want to be disturbed when I am having my meal.”
Indranee then asked “Are you a Singaporean or a Malaysia,”
The gentleman replied “I am a born and bred true blue Singaporean and I am in deep thoughts about the second tranche of water price increase of 15 per cent and the 6.9 per cent of electricity tariffs increases starting today.”
Watched earnestly by the crowd, she clumsily hurried away.
Hats off to that senior gentleman.
Within a few hours of the Facebook post being circulated in social media, Ms Rajah posted a clarification on her Facebook page, acknowledging that she was at the Tiong Bahru market on Sunday and that different people have different reaction towards being asked about their nationality.
She wrote, “Different people have different reactions. Some are surprised. Many are warm. Some want to take photos. A number even offer to share their breakfast which is very kind.”
Mr Rajah further noted, “A very small number however prefer not to be engaged. For example this morning, I approached an older couple and introduced myself as MP for the area. The wife was friendly.”
She, however, disputed the events that transpired after her approach to the couple, saying that as “The husband said he preferred not to be disturbed, a decision which I respected and hence smiled and moved on.”
She then addressed the circulation about the above Facebook post and alleged conversation, by saying that there was no opportunity for her to have had the conversation with the couple.
“Somewhat oddly, a short while after my walk about, an online article appeared referring to this encounter and purporting to set out a whole conversation which allegedly took place after he said he did not want to be disturbed. Since I had moved on once he said he did not want to be disturbed, there was no opportunity for further conversation.” wrote Ms Rajah and added, “I have learned however not to be deterred by such online things.Being on the ground and reaching out to people is what all MPs must do.”