Saturday, April 18, 2009

Of Dr Ong Seh Hong, Ren Chi Charity Scandal, NEA and the Geylang Serai Indian Rojak Mass Food Poisoning Incident


Dr Ong Seh Hong is the PAP politician in the media limelight lately.

Firstly, in the ongoing Charity Scandal involving Ren Ci and Reverend Ming Yi, it was disclosed that Dr Ong had borrowed a loan amounting $60,000 from Ren Chi Charity. Some of the online community netizens were quick to ride on this latest link in the charity scandal which has created a storm of debates on this little island revolving charity accountability, the principles of Buddhism and monkhood and now evolving a Member of Parliament. The netizens were having a field day speculating on the possible causal links of Dr Ong Seh Hong and the scandal.

However, Dr Ong has given a full and somewhat satisfactory reply to the mass media, the salient points being that he borrowed the money in order to pay for his corporate housing loan while still being an employee at the Government Investment Company of Singapore (GIC) and he was not a Member of Parliament then. Dr Ong has to clear the corporate housing loan first before he could join Ren Ci Charity as Ren Ci Charity has offered him a position in its medical management. Dr Ong has since cleared the loan.

The second incident which also impacted Dr Ong lately was the recent mass food poisoning in the Geylang Serai Temporary Hawker Centre. The hawker centre was in Kampong Ubi, a constituency of which Dr Ong Seh Hong was the Advisor to. Dr Ong Seh Hong was Advisor to Marine Parade GRC and Marine Parade Grassroots Organizations and specifically he is Advisor to Kampong Ubi Grassroots Organizations.

In the aftermath of the Indian Rojak mass food poisoning, many online netizens were quick to pass the buck to the National Environment Agency (NEA) for not ensuring a hygienic condition in the Geylang temporary food market which resulted in the capture of some 122 rats.

In today’s Straits Times, the Chief Executive of National Environment Agency, Mr Andrew Tan, has given a comprehensive reply to the enquiries which surrounded this incident. He acknowledged that the agency is tightening up its process to ensure that the Hawker Centre hygienic grading decals are issued promptly and timely after the routine assessment. In his reply, Mr Andrew has also provided a point which many Singaporeans may not known, the fact that when a hawker centre in a constituency is undergoing upgrading under the NEA’s Hawker Centres’ Upgrading Programme (HUP), the constituency Citizens’ Consultative Committee (CCC) can request for a temporary hawker centre to be set up in the constituency, as in the case for the Geylang Serai temporary hawker centre. However, this temporary hawker centre will not come under the purview of the NEA’s HUP and the management and the upkeeping of the hygiene conditions in the temporary hawker centre will come under the jurisdiction of the CCC. In the case of the Geylang Serai temporary hawker centre, the Kampong Ubi CCC has the task of ensuring a hygienic condition in the centre and NEA will move in when necessary to enforce the hygiene conditions. In the report, it was understood that NEA has already learnt of the rodent problem in the market in February and has assisted the CCC to step up its efforts against the rodents, however the elimination of the rodents was a uphill task.

As usual, online netizens reacted swiftly in the aftermath of these two incidents (Geylang Serai food poisoning and the Ren Ci Charity Scandal) before the full facts of the cases are being borne out.

3 comments :

tiger's said...

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fr said...

I'm not too bothered by online rantings - anything they think can tarnish the Government's image they will make a big deal out of it.

camarlan4 said...

Singapore is a very nice city.there is big deal by the government for it.
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