I appreciate Dr Lily Neo. I perceive her as an extraordinary PAP MP who works with a heart, caring for the needy and less fortunate. Who could forget Dr Balakrishnan's famously callous remark: “How much do you want? Do you want three meals in a hawker centre, food court or restaurant?“ to Dr Lily Neo’s calls for the government to increase public assistance to the poorest of the poor. Or Mrs Yu-Foo Yee Shoon gunning her with: “How far you want to cover? You want to cover up to 30 per cent, 40 per cent or 50 per cent (of the population)?”
The other MP who speaks a little different from standard PAP suck-up drivel and fights for the underdog is Ms Denise Phua. It's reported that she's helping Rochor residents affected by the North-South Expressway get higher compensation for the demolition of their homes "after a tense hour during which more than 200 residents aired their grievances at the launch of an exhibition of the new flats they are being offered in Kallang." ST Nov 19.
I sincerely hope that Ms Phua will not get a: "How much you want to pay them for their flats? 30 per cent, 40 per cent or 50 percent more?" from the minister of the "Singapore-is-Shangrila-&-Happier-than-Bhutan" fame, when she asks for more compensation for the Rochor residents.
It is more than money that the Rochor residents lose. They get uprooted. Their lives get disrupted. They lose their way of life. They lose the convenience they now have. They lose their freedom of choice, to be where they want to be, to stay put.
"I hope they understand that their sacrifice is for the greater good," said Ms Phua in Straits Times.
I hope so too. But greater good for what and for who? For more economic activity and better GDP so that ministers (or is it Gerard Ee now?) can justify their million dollar salary and bonuses?
Sacrifice for greater good? While we are at it, how about knocking some houses off the numbered avenues in Bukit Timah to lessen the jam in Bukit Timah/Dunearn Road and PIE? Or make Oxley Rise a more public road?
It is sad that common Singaporeans like Rochor residents serve as sacrificial lambs while gloriously rich and powerful gluttons are served lamb chops!