Members of the People’s Action Party (PAP) have started conducting their Meet-the-People sessions (MPS) this week after the National Environment Agency (NEA) announced the resumption of MPS as of 10 August with precautionary measures in place – such as limiting overall crowd size to 50 or less.
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.
Following the resumption of MPS, Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung took to his Facebook page on Wednesday (12 Aug) saying that “it is so good to see residents face-to-face” after several months of virtual MPS.
Stressing that residents’ safety is a “priority for all”, Mr Ong, who is a Member of Parliament (MP) for Sembawang GRC, said that mandatory temperature checks and strict safe distancing measures are being implemented to keep residents safe during face-to-face interactions.
At the same time, he noted that virtual MPS will be continued given that “it offers more flexibility for most”. Hence, he encouraged residents to continue using virtual MPS service in order to prevent crowds at the physical location.
Another PAP MP for Sembawang GRC, Vikram Nair, wrote on his Facebook post, encouraging residents to make use of the virtual MPS by expressing their issues and concerns via email.
Given the high number of COVID-19 cases, Mr Nair said that is a “little challenging” for them to deal with both virtual and physical sessions.
He concluded his post saying, “A big thank you to the team of volunteers who helped – a lot of adjustments had to be made to comply with the changing guidelines and the first session went smoothly even as we managed cases on two very different fronts.”
Marine Parade GRC MP Dr Tan See Leng, who resumed the MPS on Wednesday (12 Aug), said on his Facebook page that precautionary measures have been put in place to ensure everyone’s safety and well-being.
“This includes our volunteers ensuring all residents checking in via SafeEntry, having their temperature taken at the start, and also having enough sanitisers and wipes for those who need them,” Dr Tan wrote.
Sharing a photo of a volunteer who pasted the QR code on his t-shirt for residents to easily check-in, expressing his appreciation to the volunteers for “always going above and beyond”.
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.
“At Blk 32 Teban Gardens, where the space is available, we will conduct ‘outdoor’ MPS, just as we done prior to Circuit Breaker in March this year,” Ms Foo noted.
She added that her team will enforce strict safe distancing and use plastic shields, SafeEntry check-in with temperature screening, and health declarations while those who are on stay-home notice, a quarantine order, or unwell will be asked to return home.
Other MPs also said that they will resume their MPS in the coming days, with safe distancing precautionary measures put in place to ensure safety of residents and volunteers.
Meanwhile, Senior Minister Dr Amy Khor said that the MPS for Hong Kah North residents will only be held at Block 315, adding that it is “strictly by appointment”.
“As we continue to ensure safe distancing precautionary measures are put in place to protect all residents and helpers, I seek your understanding to make an appointment with us for our physical MPS and we will not be able to attend to direct walk-in cases,” Dr Khor asserted.
Similarly, Radin Mas residents will also need to make a prior appointment for the MPS via phone, WhatsApp, or email and the priority will be given to seniors, announced Radin Mas SMC MP Melvin Yong on his Facebook page last week.