MP rejects letter of apology

There are many things happening in Singapore recently that I did not really touch on in my blog.. But I read in The Online Citizen today that MP Lim Hwee Hua apparently declined to accept the written apology made by the 17-year-old boy who threw a chair at the door after a disappointing Meet-The-People session..

For the still uninitiated, this situation happened recently at a Meet-The-People session with MP Cynthia Phua (standing in for MP Lim Hwee Hua) of Aljunied GRC. The boy and his mother had made a 2nd visit to the session, in an attempt to get proper aid. The mother earns only $400 a month working as a part-time cleaner; and the boy is intellectually challenged. The father disappeared in 2004, leaving them with no extra maintenance money. Early this year, she fell from a chair and broke her wrist, making things worse. HDB then wanted to repossess their flat, as they were unable to pay the dues, and give them a rental unit; but the mother was unable to fork out the money. So backed with such misfortune, the mother went to the MTP session to ask the MP to sign a letter of appeal to HDB.

Though Mdm Phua did eventually sign the letter, the boy felt that she was condescending, and scolded them for not working, not giving the mother the chance to explain why her son was not working. Frustrated and feeling insulted, the boy vented it by picking up a foldable aluminum chair and threw it against a glass door. The door didn’t break but the police appeared at their flat later that night to arrest the boy. He was released on bail at 1am that night. Much as the act is not right, is it serious enough to warrant an arrest? Was the MP in any danger? She was in the room while he was venting on the door, so unless she’s standing right behind the door, it’s not possible. And I don’t think the MP will be gracious enough to walk them to the door.

The boy later handwrote an apology letter to Mrs Lim Hwee Hua, which she promptly declined to accept. Last told The New Paper that she “made it very clear to (the mother) that this is unacceptable behavīor. It is not justifiable in any circumstance. There is no excuse to be violent.” WTF! The gracious thing would have to be accepting it on behalf of Mdm Phua and find out what can be done to help them get back on their feet..

Violence is definitely not acceptable, but there’s always 2 sides to every coin. If our MPs cannot look past themselves and seriously look into the real reason why people behave as they do behave, then maybe we can really progress as a country. I think our ministers need a serious lesson in empathy, an another in opening their eyes to look at the real situation, not one they conjure up in their elite brains.