Running town councils a vital duty for MPs

The assertion by Ms Hazel Poa, who has since resigned from the National Solidarity Party, that "MPs are lawmakers first and should focus on issues that affect Singaporeans' lives - not the running of town councils", is a misrepresentation ("MPs should focus on laws, not town councils: NSP"; Monday).

The fundamental reason people elect an MP is his fortitude to best represent the constituency in Parliament.

Voters want someone capable of acting as a bridge between the community and the Government, by ensuring that their concerns are heard in Parliament.

While elected MPs have the prerogative to influence and enact new laws, the responsibility of running their town council is by no means a secondary duty - it is a fundamental one.

If MPs cannot manage the house that they are elected to represent, how can they enact laws that will have an impact on a country?

Moreover, whatever the reasons one may use in prioritising MPs' responsibilities, the overriding concern must be accountability.

When accountability is in question, the priority is to get it right.

Chow Kok Fai

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 21, 2015, with the headline 'Running town councils a vital duty for MPs'. Print Edition | Subscribe