But the problem with RCs is implicitly underlined in the very title of the following article:
ST Jan 22, 2007
RCs can be the eyes and ears of Govt
PEOPLE'S Association corporate communications director Ooi Hui Mei says in her letter that it is a misperception that residents' committees (RCs) are party- political. ('RCs invite residents to join in building community ties'; ST, Jan 17).
After having seen how RCs function for decades, could Singaporeans have come to a wrong conclusion?
Some years back, I attended a number of RC meetings as an observer. I found that many of the issues raised were not the real concerns of residents. They had more to do with ongoing projects or events that offered photo opportunities with MPs or good press coverage
RCs are a heaven-sent as they can be the eyes and ears of the Government - giving feedback on areas which need improvement, identifying problems of the elderly and the like.
Despite having been around for almost three decades, the Government has yet to fully capitalise on RCs whose extensive reach into the heartland may just render the Feedback Unit redundant.
Besides a few guidelines pertaining to racial harmony and grants from the Government to address concerns of those less well-off, RCs should be unshackled from politics.
Phillip Ang Keng Hong
It's pretty sad that no one even thinks that RCs could possibly be a "mouth for the people".
No wonder I have nothing to do with RCs.