20130902 Look at issues objectively, not personally Fw: 20130801 johnny reply to Re: 20130628 ‘Grassroots leaders’ continue slumber despite feedback

From: pipakh
Sent: Monday, September 02, 2013 10:43 AM
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Subject: 20130902 Look at issues objectively, not personally Fw: 20130801 johnny reply to Re: 20130628 ‘Grassroots leaders’ continue slumber despite feedback

Mr Johnny Lim
Constituency Director
Pasir Ris West Constituency Office

Dear Johnny

I have reread your response dated 28 June to my blog article “’Grassroots leaders’ continue slumber” on the same day. (both enclosed)

You started off by stating that “I see your point in the email”. However, you subsequently claim that my feedback is untrue and is an injustice to grassroots leaders as well as dedicating your entire reply in defence of ‘grassroots leaders! You did not see my point.

RCs (grassroots leaders) have already failed residents due to their political affiliation as well as being government-led. The point I have been highlighting to the government is our grassroots indifferent attitude and this is evident if you would just take a walk in the estate. If obvious issues have been blatantly neglected, are less obvious ones expected to be addressed?

I had already highlighted some instances in an earlier email. The photos below are those which you have seen and, unfortunately, have provided ridiculous excuses.

This is considered taking feedback seriously?


‘Grassroots leaders’ are really making a laughing stock of themselves by assuming all the above and thousands more examples are none of their business. Mind you, GROs are funded by taxpayers.

It is even more incredible that as a constituency director, you continue to insist that the above is “not the job of the grassroots leaders”. Is this how the blame game is played in organisations under the PA? The PA should clarify and put a stop to this ongoing circus once and for all, for the benefit of Singapore. I believe the PA has not endorsed such a behavior where grassroots leaders have been allowed to turn a blind eye to issues which are easily resolved with a phone call.

Should your C C sign have fallen, would you/senior management not bat an eyelid for a year/forever and insist that it is the job of the maintenance department? If not, why are you offering excuses for ‘grassroots leaders’?

Let’s take a look at another issue.

I have written to PM Lee and Mr Lee Kuan Yew on the issue of flag and have assumed wrongly that the message would filter down to RCs and taken seriously. I am wrong.

An RC could put up thousands of flags but when it comes to the habitual few residents in the examples above, their eyesight has always failed them.

From your logic, I suppose the flag issue is also none of our ‘grassroots leaders’ business.

In the example you provided about how involved grassroots leaders were on the dengue issue ie. handing our repellent and flyers, etc you conveniently failed to mention there are thousands of uncovered bamboo pole sockets in our estate. These are all potential breeding grounds for mosquitoes, an issue which grassroots leaders ‘somehow could not see’ for decades.

There are always exceptions but the majority of our ‘grassroots leaders’ have really lost the respect of residents because they are self-serving. I have suggested to the government to remove all grassroots incentives/privileges. This will enable all to see those who really ‘sacrifice’.

Whether I am “so free to go around taking such photos” to provide feedback, it is not for you to judge if they are less beneficial than what our ‘grassroots leaders’ have been doing. You should not try to impose the conventional feedback method on anyone.

FYI on Town Council issues, I first spoke to a TC manager 14 years ago, wrote to the press and have corresponded with the government for many years. I have decided to set up a blog because the relevant authorities prefer to take a laid back approach and refuse to implement a common sense maintenance regime. Not forgetting, this is also due to the total silence of our RC members/’grassroots leaders’. Please speak to MP Sapari, TC Chairman, on the issues and suggestions highlighted by me.

Or if you want to see for yourself more instances, you could visit this blog http://feedbacktomndsingapore.wordpress.com/ to better understand how detrimental RCs’ silence has been to residents.

Please take note that I do not respond to comments on the blog. It is a desperate attempt to convince the government that rules cannot be blatantly flouted without any accountability and a proper maintenance system has to be implemented. Until such time, I will continue to update the blog regularly. I would really like to cease and will do so the moment my objective has been met. There is nothing in it for me (just my small contribution) and I have already made known that my feedback is done “without fear or favour”.

I joined an RC more than a decade ago and do understand the mentality of its members. Most of them are simply event organisers for a political party and each will wait out for his turn to assume a leadership role/receive award. They are gradually ‘promoted’ to CCs/CCCs within a ‘pseudo corporate system’. Many have questionable conversational skills and if they are able to support government policies, this has not been evident.

RCs are heaven sent and if the government had really wanted to understand most of the issues affecting ordinary Singaporeans, it would have already been able to do so without wasting a year on Our Singapore Conversation.

So what is your point of RCs knowing “at least 40% of the residents” when views from the ground are not taken into consideration in our policies? I could also tell you that more residents know me than your RC members because I am friendly with everybody i.e. whether you are a cleaner, clerical assistant or a cabinet minister, the status is totally irrelevant to me. But this is not a popularity contest.

Being a civil servant, it is not as if you have any choice to work outside the system. From my experience in the RSAF and as a trader in the SGX, there exists a strong resistant to change from within government organisations.

The rest of your email is incoherent and speculative. As a Director, you should learn not to take criticisms too personally as I have criticised others even more harshly. Take advice from our PM and learn to be “flame proof”.

The government and the public have different approaches to improving the system. We should agree to disagree.


Phillip Ang

Please remember to remove the message classification.

From: Johnny LIM (PA)
Sent: Friday, June 28, 2013 4:37 PM
To: phillip ang
Subject: RE: 20130628 ‘Grassroots leaders’ continue slumber despite feedback

Message Classification: Restricted

Hi Philip

I see your point in the email. But what you had stated in the email is untrue and injustice to the grassroots leaders, especially my group of dedicated ones in Pasir Ris West. I dare put my head down that most of my volunteers serve the community in their own ways and definitely committed. The posters or banners that you have shown here is not the job of the Grassroots Leaders. It is the job of the RC Manager or Administrator which PA or the CC has engaged for them. Even the banners is the job of full time caretaker and not the Grassroots Leaders. And in this very case, it is the fault of mine that my RC Managers or my caretaker have failed to execute their duties well to ensure such issues in the notice boards.

But staff that work alongside these volunteers, I need to tell you that this does not have anything to do with the Grassroots Leaders. The real main job of our Grassroots Leaders, or our local volunteers, which they usually call themselves make an effort and their time to serve their community.

In the recent dengue outbreak in Pasir Ris, the volunteers have worked alongside the NEA to house visit the blocks of the dengue cluster to talk to the residents, hand out dengue prevention flyer and mosquito repellent. This has been going for the past 3 weeks in the evenings and weekends. They could jolly well washed their hands and stayed at home, lest been affected. But yet they risk getting bitten and do their visits.

In the recent haze situation, the Grassroots Leaders and the Adviser has distributed over 1500 masks to the vulnerable groups and low income families, thru our local distribution centre in the CC or thru block visits. We went out in the haze to give out flyers and asked everyone whether they have the masks. Our CCC Chairman has also quickly placed order for surgical masks as some residents whom are affected by the haze could not wear N95 masks, provided by the government, due to health reasons.

Who knows which units has seniors or the vulnerable group? Pls ask yourself that. Do yourself knows? I can tell you that each of my RC would safely know at least 40% of the residents in the area that they are serving in. I am not surprise to tell you that my Grassroots Leaders would know most of the Seniors or residents who need help. These Grassroots Leaders that you are mentioning here are all residents and neighbours that are staying near you.

Do you think the improvements in the infrastructure of the town is solely the work of the Government only? It is by the feedback of the Grassroots Leaders (Be mindful, they are also ordinary residents like you) that some improvements are been done. One good improvement is the recent new road at White Sands area. It is thru the feedback and suggestions that the Grassroots Leaders gathered and put up to LTA for consideration.

I am around with the Grassroots Leaders whenever they are walking around doing their community service. And many at times, they are leaving their wives and children at home to do their community work. I too have family but both the Grassroots Leaders and myself also think of this, if we don’t do, who will.

Now I want to ask you. Since you so free to go around taking such photos, I challenge you to follow my Grassroots Leaders and myself for a period of time to see how they work before you really comment this. I am writing this in my own accord and I do not represent PA in this case. I am happy to put myself forth to say please do not badmouthed my Grassroots Leaders just because you do not need or had not receive any help from us. It could be that you do not need it.

Pls put yourself in people’s shoes before you come out such email. Have you been doing anything for the society beside been so critical of things that are going around you?

These are words of my own.

Thank you.



Johnny LIM| Constituency Director | Pasir Ris West Constituency Office
Pasir Ris Elias Community Club | No. 93, Pasir Ris Drive 3, Singapore 519498 | DID: 6585 2574 | FAX: 6525 2539 | HP: 9785 8764

Website • www.PA.gov.sg | Facebook • www.Facebook.com/PAFrenz | Mobile Portal • www.OurCommunity.sg
Privileged/Confidential information may be contained in this message. If you are not the intended recipient, please notify the sender immediately.

From: phillip ang [mailto:pipakh@singnet.com.sg]
Sent: Friday, 28 June, 2013 1:51 PM
To: MOF Peter ONG (MOF); PMO Swee Say LIM (PMO); zainal_sapari@prpg-grc.sg; PMO Hsien Loong LEE (PMO)
Cc: cue_liew@yahoo.com; inderjit@singnet.com.sg; jaya kumar; jjauto@singnet.com.sg; Johnny LIM (PA); ken_dxb@hotmail.com; lchertan@singnet.com.sg; PMO Kuan Yew LEE (PMO); news@newstoday.com.sg; newseditor@channelnewsasia.com; ngys@yahoo.com; nicole.rebecca.seah@gmail.com; ongqyqy@gmail.com; RAVI; REDBEAN; SPH GAO; muihoong@sph.com.sg; ST NEWS; stlocal@sph.com.sg; THEREALSINGAPORE; TOC; TRE; zblocal@sph.com.sg; STANLEY
Subject: 20130628 ‘Grassroots leaders’ continue slumber despite feedback

(Contrary to the government’s claim, it has not been taking feedback seriously. Not meaningful to continue providing feedback in conventional manner.

Will provide feedback on blog instead. FYI only.)

3 months ago, highlighted ‘grassroots leaders’ not maintaining public funded structures such as this notice board. (below)


5 March – 2013 still enrolling for 2011 classes? RC cannot even maintain notice board, what kind of difference

does the RC expect a new manager to make?

Even 2011/2012 intake still open? clearly NO ONE has been maintaining this board for years!

3 months later, the ‘difference’ was evident – the INDIFFERENT attitude persists!

Only remove the overdue notices but shift RC sign from middle shift to left, job done! lol

OK, other examples reflective of grassroots attitude.

March 2013

a 4 year old banner still not removed, waiting for weather to make it totally disappear. torn banner also same, similar ones in different locations.

Highlighted numerous examples already but no meaningful changes.

government wants Singaporeans to highlight all individual instances. has been working on the basis of feedback only.

so feedback providers after a while get tired, all give up. less work to do??

all structures never been maintained as far as I have observed.

months later, still the same. even simple thing like hanging banner must go for course meh?

Many places to hang dengue banner die die must use ‘overlapping’ technique to show busyness or what?

Hundreds of banners are hung in such a manner confirm no one in charge of all these public funded structures.

very often, grassroots leaders really got no time?

There are a thousand and one places for Passion card banner but grassroots leaders insist on this ‘perfect’ spot!

When you advertise Passion Card beside rubbish dump, there will be some kind of association you know?

Hopefully PA can sort out all these small issues. if cannot, big issues really cannot expect much.

Just some food for thought for the government.

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