The National Environment Agency (NEA) announced on Sunday (9 Aug) that Meet-the-People sessions (MPS) can resume with precautionary measures in place – such as limiting overall crowd size to 50 or less – beginning from today (10 Aug).
Previously, MPS were largely conducted virtually due to Singapore’s circuit breaker measures which were implemented on 7 April to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission.
Given that the city-state is in phase two of its reopening, the NEA said that the move is aimed at facilitating interaction between Members of Parliament (MPs) and their constituents.
It added that the allowed crowd size will be determined based on the size of the location for each MPS, in which the crowd size includes MPs, activists, and residents, as well as those who are in the waiting area or in the queue.
Following this, the Workers’ Party (WP) Aljunied GRC MP Gerald Giam took to his Facebook earlier today to inform Bedok Reservoir-Punggol residents that he will be resuming MPS this coming Wednesday (12 Aug), adding that priority will be given to older residents as they are more vulnerable to the COVID-19.
“To protect them, we will be giving priority to older residents during MPS. We also encourage tech savvy residents (regardless of age) to continue contacting me via digital channels such as WhatsApp and email. Rest assured you will get the same level of service — from the comfort of your home!” he wrote.
Mr Giam also told The Straits Times (ST) yesterday that there will be about 15 volunteers in his team at each MPS, and that they will be taking safety measures such as using plastic shields.
“I am concerned that these residents may not have been getting the help they need, which is why I am looking forward to assisting them at our physical MPS,” he said.
Meanwhile, a spokesman from the People’s Action Party (PAP) noted that the Party’s branches will adhere to safety guidelines such as ensuring physical distancing, temperature taking, and implementing SafeEntry check-in.
“Wherever possible, MPS cases can continue to be addressed either via phone, online or email,” he told ST.
PAP West Coast GRC MP Foo Mee Har said that her team will take additional measures such as using nearby void deck areas for queue management as well as limiting the number of people in her branch to 30.
“For MPS location at Block 32 Teban Gardens, where the space is available, we will be conducting ‘outdoor’ MPS, a practice we started pre-circuit breaker in March this year,” she told ST.
Ms Foo added that her team will enforce strict safe distancing and use plastic shields, while those who are on stay-home notice, a quarantine order, or unwell will be asked to return home.
Additionally, PAP Tampines GRC MP Desmond Choo noted that his team will resume MPS for Tampines Changkat residents on 17 August onwards.