Workers’ Party says it has asked to meet existing town councils to discuss handover in Sengkang GRC

Workers’ Party says it has asked to meet existing town councils to discuss handover in Sengkang GRC

WP, Sengkang GRC walkabout on Jul 7, 2020 (11)
The Workers' Party's (WP) MP-elects for Sengkang GRC, He Ting Ru and Jamus Lim, interacting with residents during a walkabout at Rivervale Plaza on Jul 7, 2020. (Photo: Marcus Mark Ramos)

SINGAPORE: The Workers' Party's (WP) Sengkang GRC team has requested a meeting next week with representatives of the existing town councils to discuss matters relating to the handover, team leader He Ting Ru said on Sunday (Jul 19).

In an update on Facebook, Ms He said the team requested last week for copies of the agreements for the managing agent services and town council management software "to be provided to us as soon as possible".

While the process is ongoing, the jurisdiction for Anchorvale still falls under Ang Mo Kio Town Council (AMKTC), and Punggol East and Sengkang Central fall under Pasir Ris-Punggol Town Council (PRPTC), she said.

Sengkang GRC is a newly formed ward of more than 120,000 voters.

It is made up of the former Punggol East SMC, part of Sengkang West SMC and the Sengkang Central division of Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC. Sengkang West was managed together with Ang Mo Kio GRC.

The team of Ms He, economist Jamus Lim, equity research analyst Louis Chua, and social activist Raeesah Khan, beat a People's Action Party (PAP) team that included labour chief Ng Chee Meng, two other political office holders - Dr Lam Pin Min and Mr Amrin Amin - as well as first-time candidate Raymond Lye to win the GRC in the General Election.

READ: Workers’ Party wins new Sengkang GRC with 52.13% of votes

The Sengkang MPs-elect have informed the Ministry of National Development (MND) that they intend to run Sengkang Town Council on its own without merging it with any other constituency, said Ms He, adding that she will be the chair of the new town council.

Ms He said her team wrote to AMKTC and PRPTC on Jul 11 for a preliminary meeting to discuss the handover.

On Jul 15, the team also "specifically requested for copies of the contracts for managing agent services and use of TC management software to be provided to us as soon as possible".

Ms He said PRPTC, which they understand to be coordinating the handover with AMKTC, suggested a virtual meeting on Jul 16.

During that virtual meeting, the Sengkang GRC team again requested for copies of the agreements. They also requested a physical meeting next week to further discuss the handover and get a briefing on operational matters relating to both town councils, said Ms He.

READ: GE2020: Workers' Party says it's reaching out to existing town councils for handover in Sengkang GRC

Further updates on the progress of the handover will be provided in the coming weeks, she added.

"We understand that some Sengkang residents have been calling the Aljunied-Hougang TC to report estate matters," said Ms He.

"Please continue to report estate matters and make your S&CC payments to the existing TCs until further notice."

Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information Janil Puthucheary said the Pasir Ris-Punggol and Ang Mo Kio town councils are ready to carry out a "smooth handover" as soon as the Sengkang town council is ready, as it is in the interest of the residents.

There is an established process prescribed by MND for such handovers and that the town councils will facilitate this to make it as smooth as possible, he said in a Facebook post later on Sunday. 

Dr Janil added that his team and the Pasir Ris-Punggol and Ang Mo Kio chairmen designates have been ready to proceed since last week. 

"Our initial contact had been through individuals who were not the elected SKTC members, and we had requested that the discussion should be with the SKTC Chairman and duly appointed team. 

"I am happy that the matter has been sorted out at the teleconference meeting we had on Jul 17 arranged by AHTC, and attended by Ms He, Mr Chua, Ms Sylvia Lim, Mr Png Eng Huat and a member of AHTC staff," he added.

Dr Janil, who is part of the Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC team, said Ms He sent them an email on Jul 18, confirming the point of contact for the process. 

"We have replied to confirm that we will provide her with the requested material on Jul 20. The SKTC team were not ready to receive the briefing that we offered at the meeting on Jul 17, but look forward to discussing the issues at the in-person meeting on the Jul 23," he added. 

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Source: CNA/kv

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