Denise Phua to Pritam Singh: PM Lee ‘graciously’ created a role for you

Yesterday, Denise Phua rebutted Pritam Singh in Parliament after he questioned the need for CDCs (Community Development Councils). The Workers’ Party leader asked if CDCs are relevant when other agencies can carry out their duties. He thinks that the Government is trying to make it look relevant when it is not.

If CDCs are unnecessary, why do their mayors continue to take home high salaries? From data in 2012, mayors are paid $600,000 annually. Isn’t that a ridiculous amount of money for people who are no longer relevant?

“Many Singaporeans are of the view that the salaries of mayors are outrageous, principally because they are not perceived to be commensurate with a mayor’s roles and functions today,” said Pritam Singh.

In response, Denise Phua said that PM Lee Hsien Loong had “graciously” carved out a “Leader of the Opposition” title for Pritam Singh, and asked why he did not refuse the role and salary: “Did Mr Singh not accept the role when asked… and try his best to be relevant too?”

This is a cheap shot and it sounds like she expects him to be grateful to them for what he has achieved. It is almost like she is telling him to keep quiet because he is also drawing a sum of money.

Throughout the debate, Denise Phua defended CDCs by saying that they help needy residents cope with rising costs of living. She told people not to jump to conclusions and look at what they are doing on the ground.

What do you think? Have you seen them in your neighbourhood? Have you benefited from their help?

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