“The incumbents live in a different world and have a different concept of what care, compassion, connection and co-creation of soul and spirit of the community means,” said Progress Singapore Party (PSP) candidate for Nee Soon GRC Kala Manickam.
In a Facebook post on Wednesday (8 July) titled ‘Public Relations v Authenticity: Who really cares for you?’, Mdm Manickam addressed her People’s Action Party (PAP) opponent K Shanmugam’s assertion that Members of Parliament should be assessed on their performance regarding national-level policies and local municipal estate management.
She noted that her party agrees with this remark “in principle”.
She then addressed his statement that PSP gave only broad suggestions with no details.
“One, information is not always available on the public domain even upon request. Two, in the midst of this rushed, ill-timed GE, with little notice, insufficient airtime, how can he expect more?”
Mdm Manickam went on, “We do have the requisite expertise and experience in our team to understand the concepts and principles enough to ask the right questions and propose tenable alternatives in policymaking.”
On Mr Shanmugam’s comment that PSP candidates don’t know the ground or what they are talking about when they say that the precinct “has no soul and no Kampong spirit”, the 52-year old former SAF officer, said: “From our interactions with the Nee Soon residents, the message is consistent that they do not feel looked after, beyond the fancy events and [public relations] exercises on special occasions.”
Mdm Manickam then recounted a conversation she had with an elderly couple which “disturbed” her deeply and emotionally. She said that the Nee Soon residents, in their 70s, “barely has two meals of noodles or bread almost every day without stable meals”, and that the elderly woman would “pick vegetable that would be left at the stalls”.
Her husband, on the other hand, would “pick cartons to survive”, making about 5 cents per kilogram “even though he is not in good physical / mental condition” Mdm Manickam added that the few extra dollars he earns from selling cartons is “definitely not enough”, which means they “have to tap on their ‘coffin money; to barely survive”.
Mdm Manickam noted her astonishment at listening to their story, reflecting, “this cannot be right in a first world country”.
She continued, “Some netizens have also criticised it as a failure of a country that the elderly are forced to work even after the age of retirement,” adding that “enough research has been done to prove that this is not an exception.”
“The incumbents live in a different world and have a different concept of what care, compassion, connection and co-creation of soul and spirit of the community means,” slammed the PSP Nee Soon GRC candidate.
“That is what we have to offer when we are elected, give yourself a chance to see us in action,” she added.
“But you already know what to expect from the incumbents from the reality of what you have experienced so far. Remember, on 10th July, you are empowered to exercise your choice.”
Mdm Manickam and two of her fellow Nee Soon GRC teammates, Brad Bowyer and Damien Tay further addressed this issue in TOC’s live show on Tuesday (7 July) which you can watch here: