Looks like our Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong was not the only one who triggered Singaporeans at the recent South East CDC event.
Lim Biow Chuan, who was also there, did not look like he was trying to speak up for his fellow resident.
First things first, it is unclear what capacity Lim Biow Chuan was there as. He currently wears two hats; he is both the adviser to Mountbatten Grassroots Organisations under the People's Association, and a MP for Mountbatten SMC. As an adviser under PA, he may want to promote and defend our Government's policies. However, as a MP, he should speak up for his residents when they tell him about their concerns.
In this kind of event, what role should take precedence? It was no surprise that he chose to act less like a MP and more of a defender of PAP's policies.
When a resident asked if the Government can start a pension scheme to support elderly who are forced to do menial jobs, Lim Biow Chuan said things like: "the Government does take quite good care of you", "there are actually many, many schemes to help look after those who are poor", etc. He even said: "I personally think it is a good thing [for old people to work], because if not, then what do you expect [them] to do at home?"
A round of applause please, because he chose to defend the Government instead of speaking up for his resident. Btw, that's not all. He went on to say:
“My sense is always that we shouldn’t always look to the government to solve the issues of the elderly. It is every child’s responsibility to look after their parents, because your parents looked after you when you are young. To all those who are getting elderly, I hope that you don’t think that your children should not look after you. These are their responsibilities. And this is what filial piety is all about."
Loose translation: Eh, the Government is taking care of you already, don't complain. Don't ask for financial support. Want money? Ask your children give.
If we can't trust our own MP to help us, how do we trust the Government? How do we believe that they are trying their best to help those who are falling through the cracks?
In the words of an opposition politician, Jeannette Chong-Aruldoss: "Having been co-opted into the PA, PAP MPs cannot fully perform their role as your voice in Parliament. They cannot challenge Government policies, ask difficult questions or hold the Government to account for how they deploy public funds, without having regard to their obligations to the PA – which is on top of their obligations to the Party Whip...
We are short-changed. Instead being the People’s Voice, our PAP MPs defect from serving our cause to become the PA’s Voice. Bearing in mind that the PA are servants of the PAP Government, the PAP MPs end up as the PAP’s Voice".
Good luck to us Singaporeans.