Hawker representative in cleaning dispute says he is a PAP member

Ceiling exhaust pipes are seen at Kaki Bukit hawker centre at Block 511 Bedok North Street 3. A second representative of the markets involved in the long-running hawker centre cleaning dispute has confirmed that he is a People's Action Party (PAP) me
Ceiling exhaust pipes are seen at Kaki Bukit hawker centre at Block 511 Bedok North Street 3. A second representative of the markets involved in the long-running hawker centre cleaning dispute has confirmed that he is a People's Action Party (PAP) member. -- ST FILE PHOTO: AZIZ HUSSIN

A second representative of the markets involved in the long-running hawker centre cleaning dispute has confirmed that he is a People's Action Party (PAP) member.

Mr Jonathan Oh, 52, who corresponded several times with the Workers' Party-run town council on behalf of the Block 511 hawkers, told The Straits Times on Wednesday that he has been serving in the Kaki Bukit ward as a PAP member for over 20 years.

"Yes, I am a member of the PAP. As a member, I see my role as helping out in the community and attending to residents' needs, as a volunteer. I also run an electronics shop next to the 511 market."

This comes a week after it emerged online that Mr Ng Kok Khim, honorary adviser and former chairman of the Block 538 Hawkers' Association, is a PAP member, as well as a member of the Citizens' Consultative Committee for Kaki Bukit division.

Mr Oh is also People's Association (PA) area sub-committee chairman for Kaki Bukit.

It is in that capacity that he got involved in the hawker dispute, he said.

"I am the Area Subcommittee chairman under PA for the area. It is a volunteer role, to help out with the needs of merchants in the area.

"That was why I became the initial point of contact. But the arrangement was not ideal as I am not a hawker. So a group of hawkers took over the correspondence. I believe their intention is to establish a Hawker Association to handle such matters in future."

Another hawker at Block 511, Mr Winson Tan, said that he knew of Mr Oh's PAP affiliation but does not believe it was an issue.

"It doesnt' matter if you are a PAP member or a WP member.

"As long as you serve the members of the public, it doesn't matter. And his store is over there (Kaki Bukit). So he wouldn't want to harm the community."