Indranee’s curious claims

Jentrified Citizen – Why do some politicians lie to the citizens and think they can get away with it when the truth is so blatantly obvious and the writing is on the wall? How much longer do they think they can keep lying before the bubble bursts? It would be so much better for them and the people if they spent their time fixing the warped political system rather than fixing the opposition.

Andrew Loh

“Senior Minister of State for Education Indranee Rajah said the priority system for children going through Primary One registration is not linked to the government.”TODAY, 13 May 2013.

The Senior Minister was responding to a suggestion by Non-constituency Member of Parliament (NCMP), Lina Chiam, to abolish the primary school registration priority scheme for community leaders which she says is linked with the government.

Ms Indranee added that community leaders who get priority include those serving the Residents’ Committee, Neighbourhood Committee, Citizen’s Consultative Committee, Community Club Management Committee and the Community Development Council.

Ms Indranee’s statement that this is not linked to the government is a curious one for several reasons.

All the organisations she mentioned fall under the purview of the People’s Association (PA). You can view them here on the PA website. The PA, in turn, falls under the purview of the Ministry for Culture…

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8 Responses to Indranee’s curious claims

  1. Derek Goh says:

    While the specific wording is not the best, I believe the scheme is set up to encourage and reward people who put in time and effort to serve the community in whatever way they can. It is non partisan in the case of community grassroots leaders under PA’s perview.

    PA comes under the direction of the government of the day. So if WP takes over in 2016, PA like everything else works to their tune.

    Let’s not muddle the water too much.

    • To claim the PA network is non partisan is denying the reality. Those familiar with how the system operates know this full well including the mastermind LKY who has admitted to the PA-PAP link. No one is muddying the already murky waters. Regardless of which party is in charge, the people will still want the PA network, which runs on public funds,
      to be depoliticised.

      • Derek Goh says:

        Am I reading you right?
        Yes, LKY created it, and Yes it serves the political party of the day. And you agree that Yes if the PAP was no longer in power the PA-PAP link would cease and become a PA-whoever-in-power link.
        You want the PA to stop its social cohesion programs because it is directed by the government of the day?

      • No you have misread what I wrote. The social community programs should continue just that the PA should not be polticised and used as a political party promotion tool.

      • Derek Goh says:

        I believe that you now see the folly of grasping at specific words. The intent gets warped and lost. Politics is all about self promotion. Even any election in any organization. Those in power will always skew things to their benefit. It is the reality of the world. The important question should be whether the specific action does more good or harm. I see many flawed activities that need immediate action but this is not one. It is skewed but it benefits the people. I also feel many Perm Secs and cabinet ministers are so overpaid that they have lost touch with the ground they serve but Indranee is not one. Let’s stay focused before our views get so generalised that they become marginalized. FYI I am 54, comfortably retired, no kids needing the 2B letter, never used that route, and I am sitting in my NC only because I want to contribute to my neighborhood. I also help out at neighborhood schools, non of which are my alma mata nor my kids’. Yes Indranee is my MP and because of this I see her heart and her action. I pray we have more like her in cabinet whatever their party affiliations. Am I skewed then in my views on this topic? I guess I must be, but am I wrong? I doubt it.

  2. Hi Derek. Firstly thanks for contributing your views. It is always nice to have a civil discussion over such national issues. Yes in poltics, there will always be some attempt to skew things in favour of the controlling party. However, in tiny Sngapore, the PAP has overdone this skewing to the extent that their influence and control covers a very wide spectrum from human rights suppression laws to the media and to the PA and CDCs. Why should we allow the PAP to use the PA for their own political gain when PA is public funded? Remember during elections, they use the PA to solicit support for them when the PA is supposed to be neutral. And recall what happened when WP won Aljunied GRC and PA was used by PAP hijack several community sites from the ward? Things like this goes way beyond skewing and are downright unethical and unjust. But at the same time, I do acknowledge that PA does some good community work and that there are indeed warm-hearted grassroots people like you who serve with no ulterior motives, But on the other hand there are many others who do serve with an agenda of business networking, MP connection and personal gains such as getting priority for flats and schools. So my point is that there is a good and bad side to the PA. It helps the community with its programmes and yet it is used as a tool for selfish gains by some people and by the PAP.

    • Derek Goh says:

      Let’s just say that PA and others do more good than bad. Beyond that, it is very difficult to get a consistently pure altruistic organisation anywhere in the world anytime in history? We have been too jaded by previous PAP governments, that is why we feel the “unjust” today. Honestly. I have said the following tag line since at least 2007: LKY built the house that GCT made our home which today feels like an IR. Do I fully agree with all the policies and methodologies of LKY and GCT when they were PM? No. But they always came across as doing whatever they did with the betterment of the populous in mind. Yes, the defining principles of what makes Singapore unique and us proud have changed significantly in the last few years. That said, we never know our limits until we have crossed them. The government of 2006 has crossed the line and we told them so at the GE. They didn’t react fast enough to address the core of their problems and we told them so again in the by-election. Let’s pray they truly understand what their predecessors’ founding principles were and hold them true hereon in. Are you sure WP or anyone else can do a better job? I am not. p.s. we can meet for coffee and discuss these further if you wish.

  3. As mentioned, there is good and bad to both PA and both are not mutually exclusive. What I hope to see is a change in the bad which is the overly polticised oart and more of the good. As for yiur views on LKY and GCT, sorry I hold different views about them. Perhaps they were better leaders in their younger years but they changed in a bad way with more power to the detriment of Singaporeans. Thanks for coffee invite. perhaps one day. Meantime, I only work and write and no lim kopi 😉

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