As expected, the largest turnout of PMD riders for an MPS session occurred last night, at Lam Pin Min's Sengkang West ward. Almost 300 food delivery riders and retailers turned up at the Anchorvale location of the MPS, with many having their family in tow. Lam Pin Min is of course the Senior Minister of State for Transport, and it was he who announced in Parliament that the ban on PMDs on footpath will kick in immediately.
The domino effect of this ban means that thousands of PMD riders lost their jobs overnight, while the government was forced to come up with an expensive $7 million grant to placate these riders. While those who turned out had hoped that they can have an open dialogue with the Minister of State, they left disappointed, as it seemed likely that the government would not budge on their knee-jerk decision.
The dialogue session was closed off to the media, but those in attendance were outraged that it appeared more a monologue by Lam Pin Min than a dialogue with the PMD riders. Lam Pin Min came armed with a speech, not once veering off his script that the ban was necessary. According to those who were there, he kept reiterating the stats of accidents that were caused by PMD that has been circulated in the media, and also kept repeating the Government's so called help in providing the $7 million grant.
There were also no microphones provided to the PMD riders to ask questions to Lam Pin Min regarding the issue, and no videos of the session were allowed. All this seem like an attempt by Lam Pin Min, and the PAP in general, to silence the PMD riders, and to keep repeating their stance that the decision had been made, and nothing will change. The PMD riders would have left the MPS last night feeling upset and disappointed that their voices are not heard, and never will be.
While this will be painted in the MSM as PAP MPs going out of their way to accommodate the PMD riders by meeting them and having a dialogue with them, the reality is that this was nothing more than a PR exercise, where the angry and unhappy PMD riders are gathered under one roof, and told in no uncertain terms that the government will never budge from their stand. This was never a dialogue, but a monologue from a PAP MP.