The alternative news in 1 day? (part 49) – Grassroots leader/PAP branch chairman?

I refer to the articles “Grassroots leader hits back at WP MP’s claims” and CNY fair dispute: Town council ‘not picking fight'” (Straits Times, Feb 4).

It states that “A grassroots leader in Aljunied GRC has accused the Workers’ Party-run town council vice-chairman Pritam Singh of blaming a recent slate of controversies in the ward on politics in the grassroots, to “cover up his sorry record”.

Mr Victor Lye, who chairs the Bedok Reservoir-Punggol Citizens Consultative Committee (CCC), said yesterday in a forum letter to The Straits Times that Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council (AHPETC) “has repeatedly sacrificed the welfare of hawkers and shopkeepers in Aljunied for its selfish interests”.

Mr Lye is also the People’s Action Party (PAP) branch chairman.”

How the headline should have been?

Can you imagine how different the perception of readers may be, if the headline of the story was “PAP branch chairman/grassroots leader  hits back at WP MP’s claims”?

Isn’t there an inherent conflict of interest for the chairman of the CCC to be also the PAP branch chairman?

Contrast between NEA and AHPETC’s actions?

With regard to “AHPETC allegedly told Kovan shopkeepers organising a trade fair with the PA that they would be fined a day, backdated for a week for encroaching onto town council common property” – perhaps we should contrast the actions of the NEA and AHPETC since both were acting in the interests of public safety.

Whereas  NEA actually issued summons to stallholders to attend court and raided the stalls to interrupt the fair during Chinese New year, all that the AHPETC did was to issue notices and did not fine or interrupt the fair.

Also, since “the merchants’ association and PA grassroots leaders say the issues, which allegedly also involve a dustbin encroaching onto the council’s common property, were rectified on the day AHPETC notified the merchants” – what then is the problem?

The root of these problems?

Arguably, most of these “politicising” problems may not have occurred if some of the facilities were not transferred to the PA after the last general elections.

So, who is responsible for the root of the problems?

As I have written extensively on the issues raised, I shall reiterate my detailed analysis of the issues by directing you to the links of my articles as follows:


” blaming a recent slate of controversies in the ward on politics in the grassroots, to “cover up his sorry record”

– “The alternative news in 1 day? (part 47) – “Fixing” my town council?” (Feb 1)

Highlights of the Debate on the MND Town Council Review Report” (May 27)

Charging higher S & CC?

“the managing agent was charging residents a higher fee than other town councils”

– “NEA vs AHPETC: Who to believe?” (Jun 3)

“AIM debate in Parliament: (Round 6) – AHPE vs HBP?” (May 30)

AIM debate in Parliament: (Round 5) – Holland-Bukit also 46% higher than Tampines?” (May 19)

MND responds to Workers’ Party” (May 15)

Conflict of interest? 

“awarded the managing agent contract to a firm owned by WP supporters”

– “AIM debate in Parliament: (Round 4) – Revisiting conflicts of interest?” (May 18)

Leong Sze Hian


About the Author

Leong Sze Hian has served as the president of 4 professional bodies, honorary consul of 2 countries, an alumnus of Harvard University, authored 4 books, quoted over 1500 times in the media , has been a radio talkshow host, a newspaper daily columnist, Wharton Fellow, SEACeM Fellow, columnist for theonlinecitizen and Malaysiakini, executive producer of Ilo Ilo (40 international awards), Hotel Mumbai (associate producer), invited to speak more than 200 times in about 40 countries, CIFA advisory board member, founding advisor to the Financial Planning Associations of 2 countries. He has 3 Masters, 2 Bachelors degrees and 13 professional  qualifications.