Red for MND town council press release…?

due to a misleading phrase about Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East’s inability to collect S&CC money from households in the Opposition Workers Party controlled ward in a timely manner.

Tell me what would you think when you read this in the Ministry of National Development’s FY2013 Town Council Management Report: “Under S&CC arrears management, the sharp decline in the TC’s S&CC arrears situation is of grave public concern”.

Sharp decline in the TC’s S&CC arrears situation. I did a double take. Isn’t that good? Well no apparently as the following four words “of grave public concern” show.

Then alamak! I get it. The news release writer had meant “sharp deterioration in the TC’s S&SCC situation”. Why didn’t anyone correct him or her?

It reminds me of a misunderstanding I just had with one my mother’s helpers.

Yesterday was raining heavily and as I had many purchases that mustn’t get wet, I called ahead hoping one of the helpers would come down to the car porch and take up the shopping as I live in a crumbling 50 year old condo which has no sheltered parking.

The phone rang endlessly but no one picked it up. Tried again and again and then gave up.

Stormed up to the flat annoyed yet fearful. What if something like Nightmare on Elm Street had happened to all three?

I needn’t have worried. All three were fast asleep.

One helper on hearing me shut the front door came out from mum’s room blinking away her afternoon nap.

After I checked the landline and found that it hadn’t been switched off I asked: “Why didn’t you answer the phone when I called?”

She muttered something that made me close to ballistic.

“If you heard the phone ringing why didn’t you answer?” I demanded between clenched teeth.

She repeated what she said earlier.

“Why didn’t you answer phone? Phone!!”

She looked confused. And damn it! She repeated once more what she first said.

I told myself to keep calm. I thought of Gandhi. Mahatma. When you are in the right etc etc..

It was only at dinner that I realised what the most recent addition to the household (2nd helper was hired only in July; Picky Siti has been with us for 7 years) had said.

“I here! I here!”, meaning she was in mum’s aircon room. Not “I hear! I hear!”

Which brings me back to the MND’s press release. It’s OK for a newly arrived Myanmar FDW to cause confusion with her mangling of English. Not for an official release writer.

This brings now to the MND’s Town Council specifics about those arrears.

Aljunied’s S&CC arrears rate rose from 2.6% in FY10 to 8.4% in FY11 and FY12, after Aljunied merged with Hougang. These rates were significantly above the national norm of about 3%.

In December 2012, the TC committed to improve the TC’s arrears situation. However, its S&CC arrears rate had further increased to 29.4% as at end Apr 2013.

What effect does MND hope to have on discerning Singaporean voters with these revelations?

Would this seeming inability to collect what is due to the AHPETC make them shake their heads and vow never should this brand of incompetency be allowed to run our country?

Or would the revelations make some among the discerning voters think one or all of the following:

1) There must be a concentration of poor people in AHPETC

2) There must be a concentration of canny skivvers in AHPETC who are able to keep delaying paying what they owe

3) Those who want to be successful should move far away from AHPETC for poverty and dishonest skivving could be as infectious as SARS

4) Those running AHPETC must have hearts of gold to hold back from driving those unable to pay to the wall. Thus demonstrating a caring spirit that others only mouth.

I wonder which of these my dear regular readers will pick? 🙄

If the last then I fear for the future of the PAP.

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19 thoughts on “Red for MND town council press release…?

  1. Nothing Uncle VTO 2016 Sinkee except you stupidly n dishonestly attributed the remark to someone who didn’t make it. I allow your remark to stand but have deleted your attribution. Geddit? 🙄

  2. Pingback: PAP administration scores own goal? | Thoughts of a Cynical Investor

  3. eh…you have ‘3 helpers’ sleeping in yr house? How did you manage to be able to employ 3 maids for one household, huh?

    Or, they are FT employees (blue collar, yes, I understand)? Then why they slipping, I mean sleeping, in pte condo, huh?

    Eh, legal or not? Maybe shd omit fr yr post. Don’t pray pray, huh…unless you are TC or grassroot or PA top member, of course. Then, please disregard my thot here.

    Still, must commend tt you very kind to let the 3 nap in the afternoon. I think we shd treat workers that generously. Good on you. Geddit?

  4. 2ndsight. The 3 taking their nap include my mother, geddit? We have only two helpers. But we could have up to four I believe, if we can afford it — ie two for mum and two for me. But frankly we can’t afford it. The food bill for each is abt $600 pm, $120 for levy and about $50 for utilities etc. N I am not even factoring in their monthly pay, night duty allowance, bonus and NWC.

    Actually my mum has more than two helpers: me, other family members and many friends and relatives but we don’t get paid and we don’t attract levy.

    Naps for FDW: why not, esp when they have to get up at 415am to change my mother?

  5. Auntie Lucia

    You are very kind to 2secondsight who is more like hindsight after the fact looking at his/her blog on very presumptive comment and definitely go thru your blog to review either age or circumstances..

    2secondsight, just based on your comments, you definitely have tinge of green lenses in your comments or even in your blog.

    I will state that as i am rate and taxpayer, i am partial to 2 and 3 although I would add 3(b), management and execution is not their strong suit.
    However, for those who blindly oppose at most ttimes or all times the such as 2secondsight, it more likely reason 4. Having most likely never lived and worked at utopias which they expect

    Have a great week
    .

  6. Uncle Wang, u r very kind to me… re 2secondsight: aiyah, they r all likedat… I can give a right n left hook too, when I am put into fighting mood but I try not to be in such a mood as being angry not only adds wrinkles but could poison the blood 🙄

  7. Hi, Lucia again.
    Thx for clarifying. I was just a’passing by yr blog for the first time.
    I re-read the part tt moved me to write. Without any prior knowledge of what you might hv revealed elsewhere before, the reasonable impression a first-time visitor will understand your text to mean that you are talking about ‘3’ helpers. See,
    – you started with ‘one of the helpers’,
    – followed by ‘happened to all three?’
    – and finally, ‘All three were fast asleep.’

    Regardless, my intent was one of concern, ‘Eh, legal or not? Maybe shd omit fr yr post. Don’t pray pray, huh…unless you are TC or grassroot or PA top member, of course. Then, please disregard my thot here.’

    Yr clarification is therefore appreciated. Unfortunately, yr later comment in response appears to add to Wang’s insinuation, ‘re 2secondsight: aiyah, they r all likedat’. I dunno ‘like what’ but I assume it isn’t complimentary.

    Well, that’s fine with me as that is yr prerogative to treat yr first-time visitor to yr blog the way you like it….I shall be hurrying along now. Adious.

    Now, to Wang’s quick-of-the-mark assertions.
    – Out of the 10 or so sentences, 5 were in the form of questions – plus a commendation to the blogger. Pls do see my above explanation for my motivation to comment here as a first-time visitor. I hope you understand better now – even if you have shot fr the hip the way you appear to accuse me of. 🙂

    – You read my blog? Thanks, dude. I’m always keen to learn how to improve. So, pray tell, which of the posts gave you the impressions you made here? How many did you read? One, two?

    – Well, yeah, I can agree that some of the commentaries I made were ‘hindsight after the fact’, no, not ‘more like’. They were INDEED hindsight after the fact…yeah, in the same way as your auntielucia’s post here, right here, this very one about MND. What do you think?…for some ‘predictive reads’ (I’m not so presumptive as to describe as ‘foresight’ but just ‘predictive’), please if you have time, read my series on the coming GE (general election), under ‘Tea Leaves’ which TRE editor urged me to write on. Then, tell me how I can improve (why not, it’s free advice!)…and also it’d be nice to revisit yr blanket assertion of ‘hindsight’ posts – after you find the time to read, of course, i.e. if you bother to read. No coercion, dude

    – As for the rest of yr ‘green lenses’, 1,2,3 3b…I’m sorry tt, perhaps, I’m not part of the ‘in’ group’ here and don’t understand what you are saying. I did google ‘green lenses’ to try to understand what that may mean. But it turned up zilch. See, I am an amateur lingo-phile of sort. Learning a new word or two each day thrills me.

    But I don’t think I’d be staying here no more to understand further. It is quite enough for a first-time, casual visitor who’s shown interest to try to participate in a conversation…As it is. life is already hard on us in SG tt we can do with ‘more benefit of the doubt’ for fellow citizens instead of a platform tt reeks of judgement. Give yourself a pat on the back, mate!

    Shalom and peace be with you both.

  8. Nina, welcome to my blog… I didn’t know you linked to me from yours. Belated thanks!

    I really like your suggestions on why AHPECTC has so much less $. The truth will out.

    Just like to say, one of my closest relatives has lived in Hougang St 21 for more years than I can remember (with a PAP kindergarten downstairs) and the environs is always spick and span.

    In the past year, they put in one extra lift to go from floor to floor (instead of alternate floors as with the other 2 lifts) but for some strange reason the 11th floor — the only floor) where my elderly relative lives is still not accessible by the new lift. Fundamental design problem with the block, I’ve been told 🙄

  9. Look uncle/auntie 2ndsight, 3rdsight or whatever. I am letting you have your say this one time. Next time you want to quarrel with Uncle Wang, you just do it in your own space, K? Still, I should be honoured that you have turned down TRE but given me so much of your words!

    Green lenses: jealousy la! So obvious mah. As for being able to foresee, doesn’t you blog name suggest you have paranormal abilities. Just kidding!

    I don’t know why you brought in stuff about PAP, grassroots whatever into your comment. Don’t jump to conclusions. If you were truly afraid for my breaking the law, then just say so lah: One person isn’t supposed to have 3 maids. Pure and simple…

    Anyway, I will err on the side of generosity and accept that you were saying stuff out of concern for moi! So, blessings and have a gr8 life, this weekend and every day!

  10. Aunt Lucia

    My apologies for causing your blog to be inundated with such innuendoes.
    Have a great week. Carpe diem

  11. Thank you Auntie Lucia! My estate in Hougang is very clean too! Sorry to hear that your relative does not have lift access at his floor. My parents’ block at the Tiong Bahru area has the same prob too. The lift doesn’t go to the highest floor! Sometimes I think it’s more “lack of technological know-how” than “fundamental design problem”. Hopefully one day they can figure out a way to do it. Cheers!

  12. Uncle Wang! No need to seize the day lah! So aggressive meh. I think embracing or hugging the day would be better.

    Seriously tho, no need to apologise. I can give as good as I had been given. Don’t u know aunties of a certain age r v good at standing up for themselves and occasionally for others!

    U have a good week too! >:D

  13. Hi Nina, guess u are right about technology. A friend who lives in a HUDC off Marymount Road (forgotten estate’s name, sign of MCI) was told for years that his particular block couldn’t have a lift that covered every floor due to design. But lo and behold, a couple of years ago, they managed to put in a lift that covered all floors. And what’s better, the lift opened into the balcony of every unit, just like lifts in upmarket condos open into individual private lift lobbies!

  14. Maybe it’s a result of his life-long goodness in supporting the needy thru his volunteer work with The Breadline Group — long be4 social responsibility or social enterprise became hip, hip, hurray!

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