The Workers’ Party (WP) Member of Parliament (MP) for Sengkang GRC Jamus Lim took to his Facebook on Monday (15 Feb) to share about an unusual request he got from a resident in which a young resident was conferred an Edusave award, but was “disappointed” that he was not present at the ceremony to distribute the award.
Assoc Prof Lim explained, “MPs from opposition wards are not simultaneously the grassroots advisers for their constituencies (who are the ones that actually give out these awards); so I had to explain that my absence was not for lack of interest or desire.”
In spite of that, he noted that he penned a brief letter to the young resident – who goes by the name Adyna – encouraging her to keep up the good work and continue striving to exceed her own prior success.
Assoc Prof Lim also also noted that his team held a brief ceremony at the end of the Meet-the-People Session where he handed her the letter.
“As someone who had previously received a most-improved-student award (for Introductory Economics, no less!), I truly understand the validation and encouragement one receives from such seemingly simple gestures,” he wrote in his post.
“I hope I was able to bring the same sense of optimism for the future for Adyna, and perhaps inspire her toward even greater academic excellence!“
In the comments section of his post, many netizens questioned why MPs from opposition wards are not invited to present the Edusave award to the recipients.
They asserted that elected MP(s) of a constituency should be the one handing out the award to students, adding that it’s a “crappy system” to have grassroot advisors to give out the award instead.
Others opined that it is the “biggest flaw” in the country’s political system given that elected MPs are not “accorded the proper respect in such public-funded constituency events”, as they call for a change to be made in the system.
One user pointed out that opposition MPs are not granted the same rights as the MPs from the ruling party.
“It’s a shambles that in opposition wards that grassroots advisors (normally defeated MPs) have government funding for programs while an elected MP doesn’t have access to these funds,” he wrote.
Some even suggested that this matter be brought to Parliament so as to “demand” the ruling party to make amendment to the current system.
One user mentioned that in the past, it is compulsory for recipients to attend the ceremony and shake hands with the PAP representative when receiving the award.
Another user suggested that opposition MPs conduct another ceremony to validate it. When more of such ceremonies are done, this will allow PAP to see how “illegitimate” their own ceremony is, the user noted.