Singapore GE2020: Newly-elected MPs begin meet-the-people sessions over phone and Internet

SINGAPORE – Newly-elected Members of Parliament have begun their duties, with several notifying residents via Facebook posts of the resumption of meet-the-people sessions (MPS).

These sessions will mostly take place virtually for now due to social distancing rules in place to curb the spread of Covid-19.

Sembawang GRC MP Mariam Jaafar said the MPS for her Woodlands ward, which takes place every Monday, will continue to be done electronically over e-mail or phone calls.

In a post on Monday (July 13), the first-time MP added that there will be a skeletal team on the ground at Block 852 Woodlands Street 83 to attend to residents who do not use e-mail.

“We are working on enhancing the MPS arrangements while adhering to safe distancing guidelines.

“I, for one, am looking forward to seeing you over video and face to face in the near future,” she said, adding that her GRC team is discussing changes to the MPS, which they will announce soon.

The changes would allow residents to visit another MP’s session if they are unable to make it for their own MP’s session.

Added Ms Mariam: “This way you don’t have to wait a week for urgent appeals, although you can also e-mail your appeals to your own MP any time of the week. Default should still be to go to the MPS of your own MP, but this is one way we use the Power of the Team to serve residents better.”

Besides Ms Mariam, the Sembawang GRC team comprises Education Minister Ong Ye Kung, Mr Vikram Nair, Dr Lim Wee Kiak and Ms Poh Li San.

In a post on Monday, Ms Poh – another first-time MP – said her team intends to resume face-to-face MPS in her Sembawang ward from July 29 onwards, with the necessary social distancing measures in place.

Other newly-elected PAP MPs, such as Tanjong Pagar GRC’s Mr Alvin Tan and Marymount SMC’s Ms Gan Siow Huang, will also conduct virtual MPS and help residents over WhatsApp, e-mail or over the phone. Re-elected MPs such as Potong Pasir SMC’s Mr Sitoh Yih Pin and Tampines GRC’s Mr Desmond Choo will do so as well.

Mr Gerald Giam, a first-time MP with the Workers’ Party’s Aljunied GRC team, said in a Facebook post on Monday that he welcomes feedback from residents and can be contacted via a WhatsApp link on his social media page.

He is taking over former party chief Low Thia Khiang’s Bedok Reservoir-Punggol division in the GRC.

Separately, Returning Officer Tan Meng Dui declared in a notice in the Government Gazette on Monday that all 93 candidates elected in the recent polls are MPs of their respective electoral divisions.

Singapore GE2020: Get full election coverage on our dedicated site here.

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