[About this blog] Inspired by local soccer player Mike Lim during my rookie reporter days at Singapore Polytechnic, I set up this blog in August 2002. I feel that blogging is a novel platform to document interesting facets of my life and my thoughts on certain issues. [Email blogger] ephraim@singnet.com.sg

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

[Weekly dosage]
I have been missing my weekly Meet the People Sessions (MPS) for two weeks in a row but will be back again today.

It is important to take such sessions seriously, I must agree.

Week after week, many residents are helped during MPS. Volunteers help to write petition letters to the various ministries on a wide spectrum of issues. This experience sheds light on what the ground feeling is.

Another contributing factor on why MPS is important is because, issues raised up during MPS will help iron out the creases in policies and can be feedback on how to sharpen policies made.

I've been paying attention to Parliament debates and many of what the MPs raise are pertinent issues that MPS volunteers write about.

Some are on housing. I had an encounter with en-bloc voting. Usual variations of such cases include some residents not agreeing to move out, feeling that the valuation amount is not right because of reasons like high floor and good view. This was reported in The Straits Times recently.

Another is the queuing to buy HDB flats. Most appeal about the long wait and queues. Some feel that it causes them to queue aimlessly. Fortunately, that problem has been raised and solved. You can now do it at a click of the mouse.

There was once a case of a child being adopted. The adopted parent had come to seek help on the long wait to get the legal framework done. Issues pertaining to the benefits of the adopted child was also raised. This was also mentioned in Parliament recently. I believe MCYS will be looking into the issue.

Transport is also another category. Once, a resident had come to ask for assistance to write to the LTA to open a LRT station in Punggol citing long walks to the station as an issue. The resident also added that there was a lack of bus services in that area. I saw a report about this issue in the newspapers as well. I believe LTA has responded to the matter.

So it seems that no matter how big or small the problem, it is important to let it out. The people that help out lend a listening ear or sometimes even a shoulder to cry on. But of course, some of these cases really tug at your heartstrings.

MPS is an important tool for the older ones who do not have the capability of the internet and email age.


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