PM Lee ‘cheered’ by social worker’s letter following CPF protest

Nurul Azliah Aripin
Nurul Azliah Aripin
Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong delivers a speech during the 20th International Conference on the Future of Asia in Tokyo on May 22, 2014

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Tuesday said he felt “cheered” after reading an email by a Singaporean social worker expressing gratitude for government policies that have helped her family and people in her work.

In the image of the letter that the prime minister posted on his Facebook page, the unnamed social worker said she was prompted to share her thoughts and feelings in light of the “recent contention” with Singapore activists and bloggers such as Roy Ngerng, who was recently sued by Lee over alleged defamatory statements.

“I would like to thank you and your ministers for doing so much for Singapore. As a citizen, I could live comfortably and afford my own HDB flat right across the road from my parents, even though my earnings as a social worker is much lower than my fellow graduate friends,” said the unnamed social worker.

The writer also said that in her work at a voluntary welfare organization she has seen how healthcare policies such as Medisave, MediShield and Medifund have helped people.

She also commended the government’s recent efforts regarding sheltered walkways and transport fares.

The social worker concluded the letter by assuring Lee that “not all Singaporeans think like Roy Ngerng and the other activists who are overly self-righteous in the ways they challenge the government”.

Lee said in his Facebook post that he shared the email with his cabinet colleagues. That, he said, prompted Sim Ann, the Minister of State for the Ministry of Communications and Information as well as the Ministry of Education, to recount her experience upon meeting a student Kuek Jia Yao.

In a recent letter Kuek wrote to The Straits Times, he said that Singaporeans who voiced “attention grabbing, unsubstantiated criticism” are not “deserving of any scrutiny”.

In a Facebook post on Monday, Sim wrote that she agreed with him, saying, “I think that robust and meaningful debate must be built on facts and real experiences.”

Lee’s Facebook post garnered over 5,500 Likes and over 500 shares after four hours of being published. It also comes three days after a protest against the Central Provident Fund (CPF) system drew almost 3,000 people at Hong Lim Park.

According to the event organiser, the protest aimed to call for more “transparency” and “accountability” in the system. Speakers at the event included Ngerng, his lawyer M Ravi, and former presidential candidate Tan Kin Lian.