My reply to Mr Charles Chong’s comments

My PAP opponent, Mr Charles Chong said in a press interview yesterday that:

a. Upgrading is necessary and is what residents want,

b. I do not understand the parking problems and that it cannot be solved by just promoting neighbourliness and tolerance.

I replied through telephone interviews with the press. However, as some of my statements were not fully reported, I am putting up a reply via this blog post.

a. What residents want

The vast majority of residents I have met in my walkabouts have raised national issues such as healthcare costs, living costs, need for checks and balances, foreign talent issues, crowded facilities and transportation issues. There were some who did ask about upgrading of various facilities. There are some upgrading requests that are necessary and which are under the charge of specific government agencies. These I will certainly also raise to the relevant agencies.

The PAP has always been using upgrading as a carrot in elections. There may be some specific funds they can tap on but will deprive an opposition MP access to. I was referring to these unfair upgrading advantages the PAP has, despite the fact that these are actually the people’s money.

When I further asked residents if they would sacrifice having an additional credible alternative voice in parliament versus the upgrading they have asked for that requires funds accessible only to the PAP, most would choose to have the alternative voice. After all, the residents of Hougang and Potong Pasir have rejected bigger upgrading carrots to their flats.

Hence, I made the statement that upgrading is not a key issue in Joo Chiat SMC versus the bigger goal of having a better representation for the residents in parliament on national issues. The PAP’s upgrading carrot cannot work in Joo Chiat.

b. The parking issue

Charles’ ability to problem solve the parking issue will not be greater than mine. This is because an MP, whether from the PAP or from the opposition cannot make decisions unilaterally on creating additional parking spaces or changing traffic direction of roads.

I will certainly be looking at feasible ways to create additional parking spaces. Proposals will be disscussed with the relevant national authorities after gathering all necessary feedback and studying the feasibility of proposed solutions. However, there is only so much anyone can do because of limited space in the area. Charles cannot create more space for parking than I can. We face the same constraints. Changing the direction of traffic may cause more problems, as evident by the problems in the Palm Road / Tay Lian Teck area after Palm Road was converted into a single way traffic some years ago. The problem remained unresolved today despite strong feedback from residents.

Neighbourliness and tolerance can help to minimise some problems. For example, many of the parking problems are due to events, such as those related to places of worship and community centre events. These are occasional or periodic events and some creative solutions can also be found by the community collaboratively. For example, those going to the community centre could be asked to park somewhere else with more space and be car-pooled into the area.


4 comments on “My reply to Mr Charles Chong’s comments

  1. As far as I am concerned, I am not impressed with Charles Chong’s talk of upgrading. He could not get the Joo Chiat SMC boundaries right. In his letter mailed to all JC voters he proudly mentioned the “Joo Chiat Heritage Town” which is not under his charge. His postcard and brochure used the images of heritage shops in old Joo Chiat. Heritage town is now under the Marine Parade GRC. What do you think of a candidate who cannot even get his electoral boundaries right? He may be talking about upgrading of an area not in the Joo Chiat SMC…

    • can’t blame Charles, because the boundary keeps changing even that their own PAP people also gets confused

      that’s why the common criticism about opposition only showing their faces during election is not true

      if a certain opposition covers his ground well, that particular area may be redrawn with certain parts add into another GRC just before election

      this is very confusing to everyone, to PAP people, to people living in a certain area

      my place is under Marine Parade GRC, but just only a short distance which I think should be part of Marine Parade is now under Joo Chiat, what I think should be in Joo Chiat suddenly becoming part of Mountbatten, just makes no sense except to them

  2. with the countdown getting nearer, the press has totally swing to the ruling party side, no use talking to them anymore, talk to your people and your supporters

    since yesterday, the views from the newspapers are totally for the ruling party, as contrast to the beginning when they still put up some dissenting views

    I can’t represent the rest, but after my place has been upgraded, I just wonder if upgrading is that great after all.

    After upgrading, the tiles in my bathroom has been changed to those ones that can cause you to slip and fall if the tiles are wet – this is very dangerous with Singapore becoming a big old folks home

    Yes, after upgraded, we have an additional spare room – but that spare room is not suitable for staying because during raining days, rain keeps falling into it. The spare room is fixed with a door and the this door lock is faulty which once traps me inside all alone by myself in that spare room that I have to shout fire to get the firemen and policemen to get me out. A lot of people were also trapped in that spare room. What I am saying is upgrading results in the old things been replaced by new but faulty materials which make a mockery of upgrading!

    The good things about upgrading are there is a lift that stops at every floor, there is a sort of long covered path that shelters people from rain.

    My view about upgrading is it doesn’t need to be on big scale – the main thing is this test of necessity.

    As Singapore has more and more old people, if you really want to upgrade, just upgrade the place to make it more old people-friendly, such as those tiles in wet markets and hawker centers should be changed to those types that will not be slippery when wet – a problem in my area which cause a lot of old folks to slip and fall. Upgrading does not need to be on grand scale. Too big projects tend to attract sleaze. Sometimes I’m very suspicious why certain parts of my place always have renovation going on when that particular area has been renovated not long ago – is it because some contractors who are PAP supporters begging the MPs to create some work for them ?

  3. Dear XY

    We visited Neptune Court, Mandarin gardens, Ocean Park, Lagoon View, Eastern Lagoon II, Crescendo Park and Fernwood Towers. Not every condos would let us in.

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