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Straight Talk With Tan Kin Lian - Independence from PAP

There have been uproar about how an opposition party, elected to represent their constituents, were limited to the use of public spaces within their constituency.

Wrote Siew Kum Hong,

The Workers' Party's revelation has to be read to be believed, but in a nutshell, the HDB had the brazen nerve to lease some prime spots for grassroots events -- apparently previously by the PAP-controlled Aljunied Town Council -- to the People's Association. This was done quickly after the General Elections, on 27 May and 13 June, and apparently without any announcement or publication anywhere. On 15 August, the PA informed Sylvia Lim, Chairman of Aljunied-Hougang Town Council, that "bookings by WP will not be allowed".

…As for the PA, this drives the final nail through its pretense of being a true grassroots organisation -- as opposed to a state-funded para-political organisation used as a mobilisation vehicle by the ruling party. If it was truly non-political, it would not issue a blanket refusal to lease these areas to the Workers' Party.

Dharmendra Yadav wrote that such incident would require the President of Singapore to be involved.

Wrote Think Happiness,

What is the President of Singapore – who is above politics; who was deemed elected by the whole electorate; who is supposed to be the balance of power – doing about it?

He has been absolutely silent. No surprise there because apparently he cannot act, except with the advice of the ruling party.

Is this the kind of confidence the presidency is meant to espouse?

Presidential Candidate Tan Kin Lian has expressed disappointment about the incident as he felt that civil service should be non-partisan.

Wrote Mr Tan Kin Lian,

I am disappointed to learn in applying for the use of public spaces for an event, some civic or grassroots organisations were told that they were not allowed to invite their Member of Parliament as the Guest of Honor. I recall that in past years, it is usual for Members of Parliament to be invited in this capacity for these events. This is discriminatory and does not show respect for the Member of Parliament who has been duly elected by the voters in the constituency.

If this report is true, I wish to ask if there has been a recent change of policy in disallowing all elected Members of Parliament to be invited as guest of honors in similar functions that require the use of public spaces,, and if this new policy is being applied to all Members of Parliament, regardless of the political party that they are affiliated to?

I ask for the civil service to act in a non-partisan manner in discharging their public duty and to show respect for the Member of Parliament who has been duly elected by the voters in the constituency.

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