Dear Editor,

I would like to share with A.S.S. on the sufferings of a single mum in S’pore and the struggles in raising our children without adequate social safety net just for their basic educational expenses and roof over heads.

I am currently waiting for my 3-room BTO in Woodlands which will be ready in 2018 but HDB is already threatening not to release the keys should I fail to adhere to a payment plan that was superimposed by them due to past arrears. I am being put up at a rental flat in Chinatown and paying higher rates due to location (even though its a 1 rm flat) and MSF has rejected my application last year for help for my growing kids, stating that my salary exceeded their ceiling criteria. All these are known to HDB which repeatedly impressed they are not a charity and insist that I reexplain my situation to MSF “to be fair to other applicants”. I do not know what they mean by that as HDB also knows I am using half of my $2000 odd salary to service loans that I took for my children as the CDC had in the past, rejected my application for financial assistance several times.

I sought out my MP over the failure to resolve this issue amicably with HDB and the subsequent letters faced rejection over and over again. Even my clan association which stepped in failed to get MOS Desmond Lee’s attention, despite initial “assurances they will be able to do so”. I then wrote to Mr Leon Pereira (whose party contested my area the other round) as a last resort as I want him to raise it in Parliament for airing but he said he “can’t do much” and his party colleagues lament the fact far too many residents in Jalan Besar are facing the same problems that they simply do not have the resources to help and neither can the incumbent MPs due to the presence of their Party Whip.

I thanked Mr Pereira for listening but am really hit by the reality of Mr LKY’s demise that the present PAP is unlike the past, which was much more effective in solving the predicaments of their residents. I remembered growing up in Ms Chan Choy Siong’s (Cheryl Chan’s aunt) constituency and whenever my mum approached her for help, she will never fail to take proactive steps in genuinely tackling the issues at hand by calling up the government servants and questioning their motives over not wanting to reasonably help her appellants. Ms Chan and so do her other party colleagues at that time, does not believe in writing useless petitions and waiting for their template replies. Nowadays when writing to your MPs, one usually gets a generic response asking to visit their MPSes and the grassroots then decide who gets to see the MP or not.

I feel that this tripartite thingy and the clan associations are all putting up Kulit Wayangs that they are listening as your highly paid ‘representatives’ but is in reality, toothless to convince their taskmasters to help you, forgetting that you are their paymaster! #waitingfor2020

Shanon Ong

A.S.S. Contributor

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