For a long time, I have refrained from posting unless necessary. Pondered long and hard about this before deciding to post this. I hope friends will help to share this reflection as there is a pertinent issue which the future young leaders of Singapore need to understand this fundamental value system and review the workings of the people under them. Only then will we see a better Singapore that we can truly belong to. These are facts with no added imagination.

A good friend’s father passed away suddenly on the late night of 26 Aug 2016, Fri. Those who have experienced the unfortunate demise of a loved one would know that it is a race against time to secure a location and inform the undertaker for the wake to proceed smoothly and immediately once the dawn breaks.

Her family stays in Serangoon Avenue 4, under Aljunied GRC management. But due to current home improvement works, showflats occupied their block’s and vicinity blocks’ void decks. Her dad’s wake cannot take place at their house void deck or immediate adjacent blocks as a result. They have no choice but to apply for the multipurpose hall opposite their flat, across a main road which is managed by Marine Parade GRC.

They called Marine Parade Town Council of that area and was told that the venue for the 4 days which her family needs (27th, 28th, 29th, 30th Aug) IS AVAILABLE, but the booking is still subject to the approval of the senior officer who can only revert the following day by 730am (27th Aug– first day of the wake), leaving the family with very little time to confirm with the undertaker where to setup.

The next morning (27th Aug), lo and behold, she was told that her request is not approved because they are “not resident of that area”!!!! (Quite frankly, if it were me, I would have sworn with the most beautiful language in that the exasperated and ridiculous situation.) Their family has no time but to scramble to look for a farther venue within Aljunied GRC.

And the most mind boggling call event took place on the third day of the wake when she received a call from the same officer who rejected her booking as he wanted to update her about the fact that the request is not approved. Upon clarification, it turns out that what he meant by “not a resident of the area” was that her HDB estate does not belong to the Marine Parade GRC because her estate is from the Aljunied GRC.

What is the point of “updating” her on the third day into the wake when people are mourning? In the family’s moment of need and bereavement, no help or compassion was offered from MPGRC. In fact, the rejection of the booking led to a lot of stress and a mad rush.

Dear friends….i try to be as objective as possible in this. But there is obviously politics in play here. Or are we reading too much in this?

The reason for not approving it is simply unacceptable especially given that the venue is available. Just because their residence belongs to the Aljunied GRC (run by Worker’s Party), they are not allowed to use PAP run facilities? Am I assuming too much political play in this? I do not think so. Are we back to the whole game of “ïf you vote for me, then you will enjoy privileges?” tactics which the old regime is so fond of using?

Why is there the biased assumption that just because their residence is in Aljunied GRC, they voted for the Workers’ Party? We are all Singaporeans. Sure, Politics is a dirty game. But there are OB markers as to where games cannot be played. A bereaving moment qualifies!

Utterly disappointed, I hope the relevant party reflect on its discriminatory practices and have some compassion.
Connect, not divide.

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