Singapore Democratic Chief (SDP) chief Chee Soon Juan took to his Facebook page on Friday (9 October) to decry the proposals made by People’s Action Party (PAP) in its 5-year masterplans during GE2020 is “a huge waste of financial and human resources” which were “made with little thought and care”.
Dr Chee started off his post by recounting that he has come forward with the concerns of Bukit Batok’s residents regarding the municipal matters over the past several weeks.
He vowed that he will continue to do this in the future, focusing on the PAP’s proposals made in its 5-year masterplan during this year general election.
“Why do I do this? The short answer is that residents have the right to seek transparency and accountability (get those in office to explain what they’re doing and why they’re doing it),” he noted.
Dr Chee went on to criticise that the PAP’s proposals is a huge waste of financial and human resources as they have discovered the items “that seem unnecessary, serve little function, or that residents don’t want or need” during the course of studying the PAP’s proposed projects.
He continued, “The PAP comes up with these fuzzy masterplans just days before the GE to entice voters who don’t have time to scrutinise them. These proposals were, obviously, made with little thought and care.”
“To be fair, some of these projects are good. Many, however, are decidedly dubious eg. building a playground next to an existing playground.
“The important point is that residents are the ones who end up paying for these structures both in their construction and, thereafter, maintenance.
“This must change,” the SDP chief noted.
Pressing the PAP to give explanation for tearing down and rebuilding or upgrading facilities that are still in good condition, Dr Chee also urged the PAP to assure the residents that “the structures don’t become white elephants”.
He also requested the PAP to reveal the cost to build and maintain the facilities and ensure that the facilities are completed in a timely and safe manner.
In his post, Dr Chee also noted that he will highlight specific projects in Bukit Batok that need explanation and transparency in the coming days and weeks.
“Residents have the right to know these things and need to be involved in the governance of their own estates and environment.
“Remaining disengaged and letting the authorities do as they please is not the way forward, not if we want a society where our views matter.
“The 5-year masterplans in GE 2020 were drawn up for constituencies across Singapore. The process of accounting must begin. It starts with Bukit Batok,” he wrote on his post.
Dr Chee has constantly voiced residents’ concerns on his Facebook page, hoping that the authorities will take action and do the necessary for the residents’ welfare.
Last month, Dr Chee has criticised Bukit Batok Member of Parliament (MP) Murali Pillai’s reluctance to build more sheltered walkways in the single-member constituency.
He expressed that it is “disappointing” that Mr Murali “continues to offer excuses and distractions rather than valid reasons”, despite “earnest and reasonable” requests from residents for a pavement from Block 187 to the bus-stop “for safety reasons”.
He also urged Jurong-Clementi Town Council (JCTC) to construct a pathway for pedestrians in an area surrounding several housing blocks in Bukit Batok as the lack of pavements has forced residents “to walk on the road or on the grass patch”.