A Facebook user recently shared a story about Sitoh Yih Pin being rude to migrant workers while he was serving as Member of Parliament (MP) for Potong Pasir SMC.
In the Facebook post on Tuesday (30 June), one netizen who goes by the name Ali Ncx said that he first met Mr Sitoh around May 2014 and had witnessed how Mr Sitoh wants to be helpful in solving resident’s woes and in reaching out to the locals.
Mr Ali described that he had also interacted with Mr Sitoh when he worked as a Town Council officer in 2014.
“Because of my position, I had to fix a lot of problems at the request of MP Sitoh. Sometimes he’s direct, sometimes he tells us to fix the problem in an angry tone, and sometimes he asks nicely. Dislodged brick, damaged pavement, too many mosquitoes etc, each time a problem is fixed, he’d look good to the people. He’d thank me. I honestly had no problem with this dynamic. Work is work.”
Citing his experience when deployed to assist the Meet-The-People session in July 2014, Mr Ali then said that he became troubled with the behaviour of Mr Sitoh who berated the migrant workers in that area.
“Around July 2014, I was deployed to assist the Meet-The-People session. MP Sitoh was berating the foreign workers in the area. He blamed them for the increase in pests and vectors, which I knew were unfair because 1) I had experience with this via National Environment Agency (NEA) work and 2) they’re just doing their work and earning very little money.
I worked with the foreign workers to improve the conditions but what bothered me was how the MP treated them.”
In light of this, Mr Ali said he contacted the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) to question on “how is an MP held accountable for being rude to people in public?” without mentioning the involved parties’ names but only giving his own contact details.
According to Mr Ali, he was then asked to do a transfer interview to another town council without any reasons given by the head office within two weeks after he contacted the PMO.
“I refused to transfer because I put my blood sweat and tears in the current community. I was then fired soon after, with no explanation,” he said, adding that he got depressed due to the dismissal and had taken a long time to recover from it.
Mr Ali went on to question the purpose of an MP, noting that so far he only see them as “well-paid social workers with deep pockets”. He felt that this “undermines actual social workers”.
“MP Sitoh is a great social worker, but he’s not our voice. He treats voters well and is well-respected by them, but he also bullies others. What’s the purpose of an MP? Representation or community care? So far I only see them as well-paid social workers with deep pockets. It undermines actual social workers. Why did the PMO refer my honest question back to the MP? I honestly don’t care anymore now.”
He also called for people who are in a position of power to respect everyone and not disregard the lowest employees.
“If you’re in a position of power, you should not disregard the lowest employees. You don’t know their struggles to get to where they are. You should respect all human beings,” he wrote.
Mr Sitoh, who is the People’s Action Party (PAP) incumbent in Potong Pasir SMC, will be contesting against Singapore People’s Party (SPP) chairman Jose Raymond in the coming General Election.