Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A PR Blitz Gone Bad

With a ”We'll agree to disagree” the PAP govt. beats a hasty retreat from a pr. blitz that has gone bad.

In an attempt to show its magnanimity, the PAP govt. announced in Sep. that some blocks of flat in the two opposition wards will get lift upgrading. But, alas, being so used to bulldozing its way, it wasn't able to capitalize on this image-enhancing opportunity effectively. It bypassed the two opposition mps and let its failed candidates to claim credit for procuring the upgrading plans.

Sylvia Lim and Low Thiang Kiang of the Workers' Party first took issue with the misstep which was subsequently picked up by many netizens.

This incident seems to show two things. One, despite its claim of having the best talents as its members, the PAP leaders are still stuck with the 3rd world mentality. The PAP govt. also forgets that it longer monopolizes the national narrative

Straits Times, 17 October 2009
Lift upgrading: We will agree to disagree

I REFER to Ms Sylvia Lim’s letter on Thursday, ‘WP rebuts ministry’s reply on lift upgrading’, in response to the Ministry of National Development’s (MND) earlier explanations on the Lift Upgrading Programme (LUP) in Hougang.

As we have pointed out, the LUP is carried out and funded by the Government, not the local Member of Parliament. The Government tasks the local adviser to grassroots organisations to work with all interested parties, including the MP, to implement the LUP. This is not a matter of protocol, but because of the need to implement government programmes through persons and agencies answerable to the Government. Opposition MPs do not answer to the Government, and implementing the LUP is not one of their constitutional or legal duties.

We do not expect the Workers’ Party to accept these basic facts, and we will agree to disagree. In the final analysis, the people of Singapore will decide. In the meantime, the interests of Hougang residents are best served by concrete actions, not words.

The MND and HDB will continue to work with the grassroots adviser and other stakeholders in Hougang to implement the LUP in the constituency.

Lim Yuin Chien
Press Secretary to the Minister for National Development