It all began when a Sengkang GRC resident, frustrated with the appalling state of cleanliness in her estate, posted photos and asked what happened to the estate. Others followed with more photos. The story was soon picked up by a Facebook page called Gong Simi Singapore which asked if the Sengkang Town Council was sleeping.
The series of photos seemed to have spurred WP Jamus Lim into action as he was seen some days later walking alone in hot Sengkang with his shirt soaked with sweat. The supporter who spotted him from afar took a photo of him.
Netizens were sceptical that the man in the photo was Jamus Lim. But apparently Jamus walking in the hot sun is newsworthy enough for Mothership to ask if he was the man in the photo. Jamus has since confirmed that he was indeed the person in the photo. Supporters were full of praise.
But not everyone was impressed.
That’s his role and responsibility. No need to make a big issue out of this.
It’s a PR exericse, an example of working ‘loud and smart’ with the ‘accidental’ photo and ‘accidental’ post.
Sad to say, such PR stunts work well with supporters.
Jamus walking alone in the hot sun is hailed a ‘model’ MP to his supporters. But when a PAP MP spent whole days doing real work, checking on residents who had to do mandatory COVID-19 testing, chatting with them, and got his shirt all wet with sweat, it means nothing to opposition supporters.
The drama doesn’t end with the sweat shirt.
What followed is a post by Jamus to show how clean Sengkang is. 4 photos taken in 4 different locations with clean background during a walkabout by the 4 MPs to ‘check if things are in order’. According to Jamus Lim, the cleaning contractor had been changed recently. That seemed to be the explanation he wanted to give for the state of untidiness and smell.
The post attracted more than 3,000 likes and heaps of praise from supporters.
But Sengkang residents are not buying it, not when they actually live in Sengkang and have to put up with the smell and the rubbish. A resident we spoke to who lives at Blk 332C Anchorvale Link spoke of his frustration with rubbish uncleared for more than one week. This includes bulky sofa. The cleanliness here is in a horrible state now, he said.
Cleanliness nosedived over the last 9 months and not just recently!
This resident even offered to take them on a walk to show them the blind spots.
Residents’ complaint of dirty estate does not seem to be an isolated one.
Please Jamus and team, come and take a look.
Gone are the days of clean and tidy pavements, uncluttered rubbish chute areas, rubbish bins, and lifts smelling of disinfectant.
Daily smelly affair
Politics is about improving the lives of people and not improving the image of politicians.
In light of the pandemic, and how clusters had formed in HDB blocks, such as in Blk 506 Hougang Avenue 8, one would have thought that hygiene and cleanliness will be top in priority, notwithstanding that town councils may feel a manpower squeeze. We are heartened by posts by many PAP MPs showing their cleaners hard at work keeping lifts, playgrounds and the living environment clean and safe for residents during this pandemic.
The issue is not that litter can be found in the estates. If you care to walk around, you will find litter in every estate. The issue is that rubbish has been allowed to pile up for days without being collected. These include bulky items, food waste, snail infestation on side walls and even fecal matter. These complaints do not just come from one location. They come from different locations.
The response of the WP team at Sengkang GRC to residents’ outcry of dirty estate is to rubbish (pun intended) residents’ cry with a photo post to convey that the estate is actually very clean. They are more concerned with people’s perception of them than the actual state of the estate under their management.