I returned from a short holiday with my family to see that my humble dialogue on CPF with my residents has been denounced as a sham even before it has taken place!
Let me put some things right.
1. I have no national constituency. My duty is to the residents in my constituency. I organise dialogues with my residents as one of several ways to gather feedback. These are usually on topical issues such as COE, the Budget etc. I even submitted a paper on the COE to the Ministry of Transport on the feedback received. Those who have attended these forums have said that they have found the sessions interesting and useful.
2. The CPF dialogue is therefore nothing out of the ordinary. It was an express invitation to my residents to attend and give their views on an important and topical issue. Registration closed when we hit our maximum number.
3. I received personal requests from a few non-residents to attend. However, my direct response to a request from a non-resident, Mr Malek appears to have been understood by some people as an “invitation to all Singaporeans”. This is odd. Surely, the polite and proper thing to do is to ask whether you can attend and only claim to be invited when you receive a positive response?
4. Some pointed out that my update where I said non-residents have signed up is an invitation to all non-residents to sign up. Odd again. That update states no more than the facts.
5. Some have alleged that I want to control the attendees so that the dialogue will be a “wayang”. That is an insult to residents of Thomson – Toa Payoh. They can think for themselves and have always been out-spoken and honest in their views.
6. Opposition politicians who want a platform to share their ideas should organise their own forums. If their ideas are really better, people will support it. That’s how things work.
I know some people are itching for the opportunity to run me down. That’s ok – that’s how they understand politics and they are welcome to take their best shot. I will go on serving my residents to the best of my ability. Ultimately, it is their opinion which matters.