Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Meeting with the MP

The RC member in this case was kicking up a fuss yet again. The town council officer told the caregiver that as a result the cats would be rounded up either yesterday or today so the caregiver took half a day off work yesterday to rush to her town council to see what could be done. No one however was able to help because her officer was not around. The GM was not around and no one knew when he'd be back. With the other two caregivers they did not know what else to do.

They did manage to speak to a rather junior officer who told them he did not have much power on this issue. He did tell them that the RC had voted to have the cats removed. The caregivers explained that the RC had voted based on misinformation - according to the RC member who called the caregiver, they had asked specifically if the cats would be killed and if that was the case they did NOT want them to be removed. However the TC officer present had assured them they would be 'adopted'.

The officer also told them that the TC needs to work with the RC and the RC is the representative of the residents. The caregiver said that they should perhaps consult the actual residents like herself - and apparently he told her, there was no need to. They had spoken with the RC and they were deemed to be representative.

They decided to see the MP again and asked if I could go down with them as they had told the MP the last time they'd like to ask me to sit in as well. While they were waiting, whom should they see but the RC chairperson, the complainant AND the town council officer all going in together to see the MP.

She happened to meet one of the RC members there and he told her quietly he did not want the cats removed. He said that he would sign a letter if she wrote one - but he told her not to bring up his name to the MP typically.

The MP said that the complainant had come in waving around HDB regulations and information about MND. He said that he had told the complainant he was very aware of this because he used to be at the AVA himself.

He told the caregivers that the TC officer told him that there was some kind of resolution that necessitated the removal of cats whenever there was one complaint. He said that he had told the town council this was the old resolution. He said he would try and buy some time before the next town council meeting.

He asked if the cats could be removed in the interim. I explained the vacuum effect and he agreed that it made sense. I also said that from what the complainant said, the cats had been removed in the past because of the complainant - but he continued to complain.

He asked the caregiver to work with the TC and the RC. We emphasised that all the caregivers WANTED to work with the TC and the RC, that the caregiver had offered the complainant a car cover and repellent, but that the complainant was the one refusing to work with them.

He told the caregivers he would try and hold off the town council till the next meeting - which was rather odd. One would think an MP would have more clout than that really.

The MP then wrote two letters which he passed to the caregiver to hand to the RC and the TC. The caregiver thought to have a look at the letters and opened one, and was scolded by an RC member who was rather aggressive. I asked if it was possible to have a copy of the letters and he said that it was not their policy to give copies. I said I was aware other RCs did. He asked rather rudely why a copy was needed. I told him that people in TCs and RCs change - having a copy of the letter would make it easier. I said there had been a case where the officer changed and the new officer could not find the letter. He said that the officer had been there for a number of years - which doesn't make sense to me because even if she had been there a number of years doesn't mean she would not leave at some point. He said to look for him if there was an issue (assuming of course that HE doesn't leave either).

As we were leaving, we saw a woman in one of the cubicles yelling at this rather aggressive RC member and I heard something about the police. He quickly walked away and I saw that the woman was immediately ushered into see the MP instead of the helper at the session she had been speaking to up to that point.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Was the cat Boy2 found in Woodland?
Any idea why the complainant need not display or have Road Tax disc and Season Parking Disc? Why should public fund be used to support such ***hole?

31/7/07 9:43 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

No - Boy was never found. And no idea why he is exempt from the rules the rest of us have to follow. Or perhaps none of us have to display the discs?

31/7/07 9:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If only the caregiver can publish the complainant's name so that we can tell him nicely that he is not welcome to our estate!
Amazing that such pain in the a** exist! and he even got be an RC member!Surely he ought to be kicked out! Can't the caregiver get some support from residents to vote him out?! and why is the RC chairman so afraid of him? Is he really politically connected?
If i were the caregiver, I would voice my concern the the PM as this is definitely bullying by abusing his position as RC member.

31/7/07 10:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

seems that the moral of the story with TCs and RCs and even the MP continues to be - whoever yells the loudest gets their way.

rather sad and disappointing, really. u wld think that a system of accountable civil servants and representatives wld be able to resolve issues logically and fairly and stand their ground against bullies.

31/7/07 2:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why not everyone just write letters to forum page, not all will get selected but I am sure with a lot of letters one or two will get across... Bring up the issue not of cats but of how RC member acts like gangster and like higher class Singaporean. Let's see what the govt will say to that... I am sure some action will be taken when dirty linen is washed in public.

31/7/07 2:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are few ppl who want to be on the RC committee. The ones who sign up have self-interest - they get special privileges. Just like parents who volunteer in schools - at least they do not make decisions in the running of the school. Would I sign up? Certainly not, i don't have a kid hoping to get into that school. Same as RC, you get into the committee because you want benefits - so you spend a few hrs each week pretending you are looking into residents' interest. How are they qualified to decide on some of the issues?

31/7/07 4:50 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Anonymous - I agree. In a way, there was an article a while ago about some MPs saying that Singaporeans are becoming a whiny lot - but the system reinforces this. If I whine and make a lot of noise, then I get attention. If I'm polite and reasonable I get ignored. It's almost like raising a child - if you give it to the child who keeps throwing a tantrum, the child learns to throw tantrums!

31/7/07 4:55 PM  
Blogger VeganCatsg said...

I certainly agreed that the caregiver should write to the press about this unaccepable behaviour of a resident and furthermore a RC member and how the service providers kow-tow to such unreasonable person.

31/7/07 6:23 PM  
Blogger Surferket said...

Re the last para, it pays to be more aggressive. You guys are given the push around precisely because you are behaving like domesticated cats. If I were there I'd shout back at the rude officer and threaten to complain him.
The one who shouts the loudest gets the job done re the RC complaint who got the cats removed.


31/7/07 8:59 PM  
Blogger Surferket said...

Care giver should write into the press with the RC member's name, as well as the fact that he's not displaying his car park season ticket and road tax label.
Name him, shame him.
If you want to talk softly make sure everyone knows you are carrying a big stick.Otherwise, you are just a paper cat.
You'll keep getting ushed around until you learn to fight back with the gloves off.
If the TC refuse to co-operate then you go to the higher authority.
TCs don't understand that RCs are just lapdogs.

31/7/07 9:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I will be writing at least 3 letters worded differently and send out each day. Why? Cos I expect the Forum page to send me the classic reply "due to the overwhelming...." I encourage all to do the same. Seriously it would help if we know where at least is the area that this RC is in. Dont need names just the area.

What some say are correct, caregivers are pushed around cos we dont fight back, we just accept. And shouting back is not the way to do it... be smart, they shout? Record it down, send it to stomp or write it down like a report and send it to various ministers. Yes they might ignore you, the press secretary might screen and throw the letter away. However when enough letters are sent all over the place, people will take notice. I would say send letters to the press such as New Paper, Chinese papers etc. Sometimes tabloid papers that juice up minor stuff do help in this case.

When the RC and TC know that you mean business, then they will sit down with you and talk as equals. Frankly presently they treat caregivers as an nuisance and no RC member should ever ever shout at a resident. No matter what your reasons to be and RC member, you serve your community and not become an Government endorsed gangster..


31/7/07 9:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Something just came to my mind. Remember our pro cat NMP? Mr Siew? Perhaps it is time to bring this to his notice? It helps by having someone in the govt on your side, what he says definetely has more clout than that of us "trouble makers"

31/7/07 11:48 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Anonymous - certainly the caregiver can bring it up to Mr Siew, but an NMP isn't part of the government really and doesn't say run a town council.

suferkat - I think the caregiver is thinking of writing to the press.

1/8/07 12:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

True an NMP is not part of the government however do note they definetely have more access than us to the higher level govt officials. He might have no clout but then the people he speak to might have. For all you know, he brings up the topic to another NMP who is friendly with a minister or mp who then looks further into the topic. The people he has meals with might be fellow NMPs of which one I know is a favourite of the ruling party. She has some influence in the arts circles too.

As I said before, dont harp on the cat issue, it is like a horse flogged till death. Also it will turn most people off as it is regarded as some "stupid" animal issue. Rather talk about how RC member acts like he is a more elite Singaporean and how RC members shouts down at resident for opening package. This are serious issues as the govt profess all the time that there should be no corruption and any thought that being in the civil service be it ministry or RC level, you think you are a higher class Singaporean. I would say really no harm in bringing it up to Mr Siew and see how it goes from there.

1/8/07 11:13 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Actually Anonymous, that's exactly what the resident brought up to her MP and he didn't want to really hear it. However when we went back and spoke about cat management, he was surprisingly more interested in that.

We're meeting one of the MPs who has been tasked to overlook AVA tonight.

1/8/07 11:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1/8/07 4:52 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Hi Anonymous that's potentially defamatory because you mentioned the area so I had to take that off. I do sympathise that yor RC members aren't very sympathetic though.

1/8/07 4:57 PM  

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