Last week, the Workers’ Party (WP) Member of Parliament (MP) for Sengkang GRC Jamus Lim received an unusual request from a resident.
Sharing the story on his Facebook page on Monday (15 Feb), Assoc Prof Lim said that a young resident who had been conferred an Edusave award was “disappointed” that he was not present at the ceremony to distribute the award.
He 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.”
Nevertheless, Assoc Prof Lim said that he wrote 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.
He 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,” Assoc Prof Lim 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!“
His Facebook post received a lot of attention as many netizens lamented on the fact that elected MPs are denied the chance of handing out the award in their own constituency. Several people also questioned whether the award is given out of a political party’s pocket or from public funding.
One person noted their disappointed that there wasn’t a ceremony held this year to confer the award.
Another person wondered why a proper ceremony was not held in Sengkang, given that “other constituencies did hold award ceremonies and the awards were handed out by their respective constituencies’ MP”.
Meanwhile, one netizen from Aljunied GRC – which is also held by the WP – shared how her sons did not want to attend the ceremony this year because they were looking forward to meeting their MPs but learned that the MPs would not be giving out the award.