According to a press release by the Ministry of National Development (MND) on Monday (June 25), MPs and Ministers pay only S$365 annually, or a dollar a day for parking. One in five PAP grassroots leaders are also entitled to similar privilege under a “special HDB parking label”, while some pay only S$22 a month. The revelation sparked outrage as many pointed out that this is more than 3 times cheaper than the new parking fees for teachers at S$100/month and the standard HDB season parking rate.
Defending the heavily-subsidised parking fees for MPs, the MND said the millionaire Ministers and MPs – who live in luxurious private estates and landed bungalows – do not spend a full day parking in HDB estates:
“The MPs are not charged the full fee since they do not park overnight or full day at their constituencies.”
The MND added a lip service saying that they will “update and review” the parking rate to “keep pace with prevailing HDB parking rate”.
The ruling party PAP grassroots arm, People’s Association (PA), told state media Straits Times that one in five PAP grassroots leaders pay an undisclosed amount for a “special HDB parking label”. The PA responded to media queries and revealed that some “non-HDB dwellers” pay only S$22 a month. The PA openly revealed it’s corruption and preferential treatment for PAP candidates:
“Only those appointed to serve in the citizens consultative committees and community centre/club management committees and their sub-committees can get this special parking label. These make up about 20 per cent of all grassroots volunteers. The same rule applies to grassroots advisers who are not elected MPs. These tend to be potential People’s Action Party election candidates in non-PAP wards. Our grassroots volunteers regularly help out in house visits, especially to the old and vulnerable who need assistance, as well as in organising community activities and dialogues to strengthen neighbourly ties.”
Members of the public in recent months have been frustrated at a new government policy to monetise parking for teachers, resulting in many calling for the government to similarly charge MPs and PAP grassroots leaders for parking. The Singapore Education Minister lied on state media blaming the Auditor General for flagging the parking fees issue, when the latter did not do so.