Some MPs switch to online Meet-the-People Sessions due to spike in Covid-19 cases

East Coast GRC MP Tan Kiat How, who looks after the Kampong Chai Chee (KCC) ward, will instead work with his residents through online channels.
East Coast GRC MP Tan Kiat How, who looks after the Kampong Chai Chee (KCC) ward, will instead work with his residents through online channels.PHOTO: TAN KIAT HOW/FACEBOOK

SINGAPORE - Meet-the-People Sessions (MPS) in some areas here will be done virtually instead of in person, in the light of the spike in locally transmitted Covid-19 cases.

In a Facebook post, Mr Alvin Tan, MP for Moulmein-Cairnhill in Tanjong Pagar GRC, on Sunday (May 2) said that he and his team are "pausing" their physical MPS until further notice.

"We are tightening our safety management measures due to the recent rise in community cases," said Mr Tan, who is Minister of State for Trade and Industry as well as for Culture, Community and Youth.

Residents can contact his team via e-mail, WhatsApp or phone, he added.

Similarly, East Coast GRC MP Tan Kiat How, who looks after the Kampong Chai Chee (KCC) ward, posted on Facebook on Sunday that he will also be suspending physical MPS, and will work with his residents through online channels.

Said the MP, who is Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office and the Ministry of National Development: "Due to the recent rise in Covid-19 community cases, the KCC PAP branch will suspend physical Meet-the-People Sessions (MPS) with immediate effect, till the situation stabilises."

Several MPs made similar posts on their social media accounts as well, including Tampines GRC MP Koh Poh Koon, Marine Parade GRC MP Tan Chuan-Jin, East Coast GRC MP Jessica Tan and Nee Soon GRC MP Louis Ng. 

Others told The Straits Times that they were in the midst of discussing with their teams how they should adjust their MPS. 

In a statement issued on Sunday, the People's Action Party has advised branches to adjust their MPS, with phone and virtual consultations as the primary mode.

"The health and safety of our residents and volunteers is paramount. These measures, though inconvenient, are a reassurance of that," the party said.

Some MPs also announced that they will be stopping house visits. Chua Chu Kang GRC MP Zhulkarnain Abdul Rahim said on Facebook on Sunday that he and his team in the Keat Hong ward will be postponing their house visits this month.

Not all constituencies are suspending physical MPS. ST understands that some MPs will still be conducting these in-person, but with tighter measures in place, such as meeting residents by appointment, and only conducting one-on-one sessions.

Singapore has tightened measures due to a spike in cases in the community and the emergence of new clusters over the past week.

On Sunday, it reported 14 new Covid-19 community cases.