While I am heartened that Member of Parliament for Holland Bukit Timah, Mr Christopher De Souza (De Souza) has spoken up about videos of a man who has allegedly been living in a dumpster for the past two years, I wonder if actions such as the current processing of financial aid and De Souza speaking to the council to keep the man in question (Mr R) employed would have occurred if the video had not gone viral. Were these actions to help Mr R already underway or were they only taken after the video went viral?
I appreciate that the video clip of Mr R may not present the full facts and De Souza has every right to present the government's version of the story. However, the nagging worry at the back of my head that all of the extra efforts such as ensuring that Mr R remains employed and processing financial aid for him may not have happened but for the video makes me feel that however one sided the video may be, I am still really glad that it has gone viral.
Instead of asking people not to be negative and not to speculate, De Souza should be heartened that his constituents are such a caring lot!
In the grander scheme of things, what is a slight dent to the government's reputation if it means that an otherwise helpless man gets some much needed assistance? On a more cynical note, it is also an excellent way for De Souza to score some public points. Why then is he implying that the public should not have circulated the video?
De Souza further implies that he or members of his team have been "quietly working behind the scenes". But if they had been working quietly behind the scenes, how could a man have lived in a dumpster for over 2 years? It is not two months! It is two whole years! Whether or not Mr R rejected a flat is not really relevant here. At the end of the day, we have a situation where a man has lived in an unsafe, unhygienic and dirty environment for 24 months. Were the Holland Bukit Timah Town Council even aware that someone was living in a dumpster for 2 years? If not, is this negligence on the part of the town council not to have noticed?
De Souza ought to have thanked members of the public for caring about the plight of someone else instead of using it as an opportunity to defend his own actions.