Celebrity chef and founder of Makansutra KF Seetoh took to his Facebook on Thursday (30 July) to pen an appreciation post for Workers’ Party (WP) chief Pritam Singh and activist Gilbert Goh for doing everything in their capabilities to help those in need.
Mr Seetoh started off his post by expressing his “deference and respect” for Mr Singh as the latter decided to donate 50 per cent of his salary as the Leader of Opposition (LO) to assist low-income residents, the Party’s community programmes, as well as charitable causes.
“I take a knee in deference and respect to LO Pritam Singh. First thing he did after getting a raise was donate almost half his salary to helping his community causes (about $100K, I understand),” Mr Seetoh wrote.
He added, “He knows you don’t need $1mn (million) to be a good politician. Some louts criticize him for the wayang..as if politicians need to be quiet about their deeds and plans.”
On top of the double allowance of an elected MP—around S$385,000 as Singapore’s first Leader of the Opposition—Mr Singh will also be granted access to confidential briefings on select matters pertaining to national security and invitations to state functions.
Although netizens have generally reacted to this announcement positively, it is noteworthy that CEO of Temasek and wife of the Prime Minister, Ho Ching has implied that Mr Singh may have had nefarious intents by making his intentions public.
Another PAP affiliate, Calvin Cheng who is also a former Nominated Member of Parliament has also waded into this establishment-created drama by implying that Mr Singh is trying to politicise his donation and family.
Support for activist Gilbert Goh
Apart from penning his respect for Mr Singh, the food guru also expressed his appreciation towards activist Gilbert Goh in his post.
Mr Seetoh said that Mr Goh went back to helping displaced and poor individuals in Singapore just one week after he lost in the recent General Election.
“A week after his loss, he went right back to what he had been doing for years – looking out for the displaced, poor and those off radar folks in our midst,” he said.
In GE2020, Mr Goh was part of People’s Voice (PV) team of five who contested at Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC. Unfortunately, PV lost in the election by securing only 12.18 per cent of the votes. This means that Mr Goh will not be refunded his election deposit.
Mr Seetoh explained in the post Mr Goh’s job scope as an activist, which includes gathering food and supplies and personally handing them out to those in need.
“He gathers his volunteers with food and supplies, donated by supporters and good hearted humans and identifies the poorer areas and blocks, then hits the road. He goes floor by floor, door by door and hands out the necessaries. Even to folks that sleep on the floor every night,” Mr Seetoh said.
He added, “I could only do the easy part, donate monies and get our #MakansutraGluttonsBay hawkers to pitch in with hundreds of hot food packs ever so often.”
The food enthusiast also said that he had personally followed Mr Goh to deliver the necessities to households, and finds it physically exhausting to climb four to five floors in the HDB blocks.
“I followed him at times for the run but after 4-5 floors, I punchek liao. He combs blocks upon blocks every week and if there are kids, he digs deeper into the goodie bags, gives and ask no questions other then if they need anything else.
“These acts of compassion and kindness are not the domain of the oppositions or ruling party, it’s only human to do so,” he added.
Mr Seetoh concluded by saying that Mr Goh is still “raising personal funds to pay up his election deposit loan fees”.