The S$1 entry charge for the chit-chat session with Health Minister Gan Kim Yong last Saturday (12 Dec) was apparently meant to cover the cost of logistics, souvenirs, and food.
“We understand that are some questions over the need to charge residents $1 for the chit chat session. We would like to assure residents that the nominal fees went towards logistics, souvenirs and food,” said Chua Chu Kang (CCK) Community Centre on its Facebook page on Saturday.
It went on to say that it “does not make any profit” from organising such community events.
“These sessions provide an avenue to share on Government schemes and for residents to share their concerns on municipal and national issues,” the community centre added.
“We are thankful for the trust that residents have placed in us and will continue working towards building a better community for all in CCK.”
Notice of the event surfaced last Tuesday (8 Dec), sparking heavy criticisms from netizens for its S$1 entry charge per person.
Although it is a meager sum, many questioned the need for residents to fork out anything at all for such an event.
Even People’s Voice (PV) chief Lim Tean took to his Facebook to give his two cents on the dollar issue – pun not intended.
Mr Lim argued that residents should have the “absolute right to speak” with their Member of Parliament (MP) “without being charged”.
“It matters not whether it is $1 or $0.50. It is the principle that is important. PV MPs will never condone such a practice. It is outrageous!” he wrote.
“An MP owes his position to the constituents, and the idea that a resident has to pay in order to speak to the MP is an affront to democracy!”
Singapore People’s Party (SPP) chairman Jose Raymond also took to his Facebook to poke fun at the matter.
Sharing the notice of the event, Mr Raymond cheekily noted that he “won’t be charging for chit chat sessions anytime soon”.