I have seen government defenders constantly bombarded with the accusation that PM Lee is abetting Dr Intan, both MPs of Ang Mo Kio GRC of covering up the support for infamous Yang Yin as a grassroots leader. Many will be quite familiar as how the accusation goes, and what was the story behind.
I would have expected grassroots of Jalan Kayu to come out to counter those accusations because only them would have the sharper edge.
Anyway, the summary of the accusation is that Dr Intan had in essence supported a criminal in acquiring Permanent Residence in Singapore.
Maybe this may help some government defenders, who many had nothing to do with the PAP to understand how things work, and where did those accusation went wrong.
The 87 year old widow walked into the Jalan Kayu PAP branch one evening during their Meet-The-People session. She produced her IC to prove that she is indeed a citizen and resident of the constituency. After the registration and endless waiting she gets to be interviewed by the MP or her assistant. Procedural wise it makes no difference because ultimately it is the office of the MP who makes the representation to the relevant authorities.
This is about a story of an 87 year old lady living alone after her husband passed away, and in dire need of someone who can be around to care for her. She told the MP that Yang is her grandson from China and further probes shows that this Yang will not an economic burden to Singapore as his grandmother has over and above resources to ensure this is the case.
With all these facts, Dr Intan signed on the letter to ICA. With or without ding donging, the appeal was successful.
Critical point here is, the MP Dr Intan has in the first place no knowledge that a crime is in the making. No MP will, including all those sitting in the void decks of Aljunied GRC would treat those who come for help and assistance with a suspicion of criminal activities. No MP can also prevent their residents from committing crime. So the accusation of PM Lee and Dr Intan supporting a criminal into getting Permanent Residence status is arguing with the cart before the bull.
Yang Yin saw that the letter by the MP was indeed “powerful” and may have nourished a thought that if he could get close to the MP, it would be very useful in the future. So, upon getting the PR status (by whatever means unknown) he plots to join the Residents Committee under Peoples Association. To be fair, he may in fact be doing it out of gratefulness of being granted PR status. There is no rule to prevent PRs from serving in the community as this promotes harmony amongst residents.
Everyone who gets a card as a GRO member is casually known as grassroots leader. So I don’t see why Jalan Kayu cannot come out to defuse this and more so I don’t know what is the big fuss by the accusers over the use of the term grassroots leader.
Overheard on the overheard :
- Maybe due to legacy or prolong periods of entrenchment, we have to reinforce the following distinction…..
1) grassroot positions and office holders can be from political entities (PAP, WP, …..etc)
2) grassroot functions and activities must be non-partisan in terms serving and interacting with the constituents in words, communication, and displays.
- Point number 1, the elderly widow sponsored Mr Yang’s application as a Singapore Citizen through Dr Intan, and Dr Intan can reject the elderly widow but on very shaky ground.
Point number 2, upon getting his PR, although I am not familiar with hos he got his Grassroots Leader (GRL) status, he may go to the Community Center, filled a form and submit to be consider as a volunteer. The approving authority may or may not consult the serving Advisor /MP. And even if the Advisor/MP is consulted, there is little means accorded to do background check.
In short, all the naysayers, are in the words in Chinese looking for bone in an egg.