Due to widespread dissatisfaction with the government, a pet project launched by PAP MP Rahayu Mahzam and Minister Ong Ye Kung have been shot down by their constituents in Bukit Batok. The two PAP MPs launched a “Share an umbrella” project at Toh Guan estate, where PAP grassroots leaders would put up free umbrellas for residents to use and return.
In less than a month, all umbrellas at the deposit rack disappeared as residents refuse to return the government’s umbrellas. State media TodayOnline slammed the residents as “ungracious”, and even suggested putting up police cameras to monitor the umbrella stands. Minister Ong Ye Kung said that he had “hoped the project would bring to light the importance of us being considerate and kind to others”, but did not comment on the act of civil disobedience by his constituents in Sembawang GRC.
The anti-social act however is more political than spontaneous as other government projects also see similar “disheartening” outcomes. One such example is the “Return the tray” campaign, an idea launched by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. The government enforced a S$1 deposit on food trays to be returned at several new coffeeshops around Singapore. The social campaign however failed miserably with Singaporeans putting utensils on the table and returning only the tray to get their S$1 deposit. Others rather make multiple trips to pick up their food without using a tray, simply refusing to follow the government’s direction.
The Singapore ruling party currently has one of the worst public approval since Independence, due to lavish government projects like Terminal 5, worsening quality of life, the controversial President Halimah Yacob, public transport woes and increasing taxes.