The hawker centre cleaning is small issue, The lying is a big issue. Parliamentary debate between Minister Vivian Balakrishnan and WP

Mandatory cleaning of hawker centres by town councils — MEWR Minister Vivian Balakrishnan

Published on Jul 9, 2013

Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Vivian Balakrishnan addresses the dispute over the cleaning of hawkers centres under the charge of Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council.


Comments from the net :

  • Wow… Dr Vivian delivered a perfect cross-examination. Lawyers can actually learn from it!  First, he closed all the gates with undisputed facts. Then asked a closed ended “Yes” or “No” question to which there is only one logical answer (which the witness repeatedly evaded). Finally, he put it to the witness that she was lying. Epic!
  • Excellent delivery with humility
  • For a robust parliamentary debate, I do want better parliamentarians. =)Now, if only Ms. Sylvia Lim had answered  Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan’s questions with a “Yes or No”  (as the Dr. had requested),  the dossier of contemporaneous file notes would not be distributed in parliament, and I won’t learn a new word!I also learned a new way of defining Lie” — “A pronouncement which is wrong in fact.

    Respect to Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan too, for withdrawing his parliamentary privileges for the statements he made, this means that he can be sued for defamation when he accused Ms. Sylvia Lim and Mr. Pritam Singh for lying. This 36 min segment is worth watching. =)

  • End of the day, I am glad our Minister for MEWR stood up for hawkers under the charge of AHPETC, hawkers who only seek to make a living. And to ensure a standard of cleanliness for consumers like you and me to safeguard public health and hygiene.
  • Minister Vivian clearly wins this debate. These are my takeaways : 1)   Will the PAP win over some swing voters because the WP has clearly fumbled here and has lost the parliamentary debate?  2) Is this what people calling for a 2 party system wants? Make no mistake – this is a feature of competitive politics. Just look at the YouTube videos of British parliamentary debates.   It’s just continuous debate by politicians over what may be rather trivial points.   Do not be idealistic and expect that parties will work together for ‘the good of the nation’. This is not what partisan, competitive politics is about.Here the WP and PAP spent 35 minutes debating on Spring Cleaning and Annual Cleaning. If you think it’s inane, try imagining a whole parliamentary session of such debates. For this is what you have to look forward to in a 2 party system.Don’t take my word for it. Check it out yourselves on Australian and British debates on YouTube.
  • I’m happy with a two party system in principle. I don’t think it’s the number of parties, it’s the quality and ethics of the parties involved and the policies involved. Imagine if you had two parties of PAP quality and principles just differing in views but both able to run Singapore well and safely. At the moment you don’t have that, nor in my opinion do you have the right second party anyway near ready to step up. I’m not anti opposition. I just don’t see a credible dependable opposition in Singapore. In Britain we’ve had flawed policies, corruption, dirty politics, going back on election pledges a regularity etc. so we swing between the two major parties. The British people have a country improving then crashing so they vote in the other side. Things improve and crash again so they swap teams. Both teams feel entitled to be in power so they sit there slinging mud at each other one to stay in, the other to get back in.
  • I was thinking the same thing (i.e. is this really what Singaporeans want?). I fear that our parliament is going to degenerate into another time-wasting forum for political point-scoring, as in too many other countries. Can we afford this? I don’t think so.
  • Why is it so difficult for WP to come out and say that their property manager did ask the hawkers for extra money, to admit that it was wrong and to apologise for that mistake? That would have put the matter to rest long ago. Why all the denial even up to today despite all the evidence before them?
  • It’s always a big issue if pap cost ‘poor workers’ money but if WP cost poor people 5 days income it’s a small thing. Sad.
  •  It was painful watching Sylvia dodge just answering the question. You aren’t calling the pap liars Sylvia, you’re calling the hawkers, voters, liars. I think they would have gotten over an apology, admission and cleaning a lot quicker than being accused of lying non stop.
  •  the cleaning is small issue. The lying is a big issue. WP should have known better to close the issue while it was still small.
  • now all the WP trolls would say the hawkers of AHPETC are members of PAP or PA or RC. As long as their mighty queen do not admit any faults, these WP soldiers would buy the story of a PAP systematic victimization of WP. Lets buy joss papers and sticks and pray to these WP MPs for they had risen to god-like status! Even facts and truth cannot hold them down!
  • Question of the day….
    Will WP attempt (yet again) to paint the perception of being victimised for its internal failings and accuse others of politicisation of issues?
    We’ll see whether LTK is indeed an ‘honourable man‘ (with the party under his control).

Related Article : 

  • Dossier which accompanied the responses by Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, to Supplementary Questioning for PQ1238 on the role of Town Councils in the maintenance and cleaning of hawker centres under their charge  –


Fabrications About The PAP



Secretary-General of The Workers’ Party Low Thia Khiang said he has no intention of conducting any further investigation into the dispute over the cleaning of two hawker centres under the Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council.

Source and Video link :  No further investigations into hawker centre cleaning dispute: Low Thia Khiang



  • Yesterday Low TK in parliament and on national TV said he would investigate the 来龙去脉 of the quotation for the scaffolding addressed to the Hawkers’ Association.
    Today, he chose to flip-flop, no more investigation, and let the whole event pass. Low TK forgoes the chance the make good the cover-up. I am sure Singaporeans will take a good note of this.
  • When you are called a liar publicly, on national TV, on front page of newspaper, your silence means you are guilty as charged.
    And in politics, once you lied to your people, the people who supported you, it is very difficult for them to swallow. Not only the lost of income, but now your denial means these hawkers lied. People would feel betrayed. And this bad feeling will be manifested, slowly but surely.
  • “Mr Low said he stood by the party’s earlier investigation , which showed that the claims that the WP town council had asked for additional money to clean the high areas of two hawker centres in Bedok North were “baseless”.
    He added that no further investigations would be carried out, despite calls from the Minister for them.”–
    As of yesterday, Mr Low had not spoken to Tai Vie Shun ..nor seen the evidences presented in dossier.
    Anyway, he doesn’t need to talk to Tai Vie Shun ..nor read the dossier. He is “the Chief”, he KNEW what happened.
  • So I gather most people think its ok for wp to lie? Neutrals are quick to say both are at fault. Really? I really wonder if this row is with a pap ward, what would the same people say? And it’s the most dumb mistake to cover up by the way, as it can be easily discovered. And most people would easily have forgiven and forgotten a young boy who didn’t know his job well. So Dr vivi is very nice to say they are untruthful Liao, if I m him, I will say they are dumb too! Ego trip gone to Mars, come back to earth please.
  • Some people have asked what the fuss is about regarding the town council hawker cleaning. The fuss is about this
    1) Are the WP MPs capable first world parliamentarians (their own benchmark)? One basic criteria is the ability to fact-check and being prepared for parliamentary debates
    2) Are the WP MPs capable of managing a town council?
    These are important questions. It’s not a fuss over nothing.


Fabrications About The PAP



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