PAP MP for Nee Soon GRC, Lee Bee Wah, complained in Parliament slamming government civil servants for only knowing how to guard their own turf. The PAP MP said that civil servants are inefficient and that they can’t even get “small projects” done:
“These are only small projects and we meet so many obstacles … Can’t our civil servants be more result-oriented and objective-driven, instead of just guarding your own turf?”
PAP MP Lee Bee Wah cited an example of a project where a “gap” was left in a sheltered link way that resulted from HDB’s conflict with other government agencies on infrastructure requirements.
Another PAP MP, Joan Pereira, from Tanjong Pagar GRC, sang along and also complained that civil servants are not “caring” enough for elderly:
“Seniors used to joke that the answers to their queries at Government departments always start with ‘www’… Making adjustments to accommodate our seniors is a signature of a caring society.”
PAP MP Louis Ng from Nee Soon GRC, joined in and called the civil servants heartless for obediently following government protocols:
“The public service has lost its heart. People have been turned away because public servants were doing things strictly by the book… A resident was slapped with letters demanding mortgage and tax payments while struggling to provide for her late sister’s two children. I asked the HDB (Housing and Development Board) why they did that. The answer was that they didn’t know the letter was sent as it was computer generated … Our aim seems to be to process each case as fast as possible and to follow the book as strictly as possible. In our pursuit to automate most things, we now have a system without a heart.”