20140317 Politicised RCs do not serve residents, most members are hypocrites

With reference to “Residents’ Committees are key connectors: PM Lee”, I find it strange that PM Lee continues to be divorced from the reality of heartlanders.

Most RC members are self-serving as the removal of government incentives will confirm this. Even if the number of RC members increases ten times, it really makes no difference to residents.

I attended numerous RC meetings years ago and real issues were never highlighted. The RC chairmanship is rotated among buddies and members are silent as they would not want to jeopardise their membership. Presently, an RC chairman may likely be unknown to residents and most of us view them as hypocrites.

In my 25 years of HDB living, no RC member ever visited my unit. When they came, it was the MP entourage and, of course, just prior to an election. Look around the estate, uninspected void decks, dog poo, cluttered corridors, high rise littering, irregular estate maintenance, etc. these are all yesteryear’s issues of blatant neglect.

PM Lee said that “RCs have helped to tackle community issues such as littering and noise pollution…” Last year, the NEA had to install 880 surveillance cameras costing millions of tax dollars to nab 73 residents who littered from their apartments. This is just the tip of the iceberg, a chronic issue which the NEA finally decided to take action. Did RCs help? If credit is to be given, the only person who deserves it is tampon litterbug catcher Tin Pei Ling. Hopefully, RC members have been inspired to be as proactive.

RC members do not believe in government policies. Take for example the population white paper, CPF issues, immigration policies, etc which none has spoken up. The government will never receive any feedback because there is no discussion.

PM Lee hinted that foreigners will be roped into an RC because “RCs need a pool of dedicated leaders and new volunteers, including those who come from more varied backgrounds, to match an increasingly diverse resident profile”. The requirement for foreigners resulted from the flawed immigration policy. As a result, the government is now tweaking the profile of RC members.

“The RC Council, which is organising this year’s convention, was formed in October 2012 to guide various RCs in effectively engaging residents.” Again, all these are not a ground up approach but directions from the top ie. PA. RCs are controlled by the government.

The objective of an RC is not merely to organise tuition for residents, walking groups or organise festive celebration events.

RCs were introduced to “promote neighbourliness, racial harmony and community cohesion”. link Question:
– How is neighbourliness promoted through silence and zero interaction with residents? Are posters on void deck notice boards expected to do the trick?
– Can racial harmony be promoted with a one day event using tax dollars reported in the mainstream and again through ‘silent interaction’?
– Can community cohesion be promoted by organising activities which exclude the poor?

RCs are a misnomer because their members are not elected by residents, self serving, do not consult residents and take instructions from a political party. RCs are funded by tax payers and politics should have no place in them.

The fact is RCs mirror the PAP in its non consultative approach and are in fact an extension of the PAP. RC/grassroots members usually serve for decades with the expectation of a public service award.

The current set up of RCs encourages leeching which is detrimental to residents. Those who do not wish to continue being hypocrites should seriously consider resigning. Only residents who sincerely feel the need to return to society should become members.

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