WP’s Hougang MP Png Eng Huat has fired back at PAP Minister Tan Chuan-Jin for his rebuttal about “politicizing“.
In the post, Mr Tan had accused Mr Png of “politicizing” the issue of clearance for him and his “entourage of grassroots leaders and members with shopping bags in tow“.
Mr Png was back at the Tuas checkpoint after a JB Durian Trip, in which he remarked -amidst the shock and dismay of the long waiting passengers – that the “chaos, anger and confusion at the Tuas Immigration check point certainly made us forget how bad the durians were yesterday, and how bad the system needs to change.”
Mr Tan felt it right to hit back by saying Mr Png’s learned post was “aimed at stirring hate and anger, not only to be directed at me, which I can understand politically, but also at my residents and volunteers (who organised as well as helped guide each bus), as well as our officers who secure our borders.”
He also tried to defend himself by claiming he was there on an “official visit to the (Malaysian) Deputy Home Affairs Minister’s Hari Raya Open House”.He added that: “Mr Png seems to accept that it’s reasonable that our office holders get facilitated, if so, then surely the others in that bus need to be cleared as well so that the bus can leave and not add to the vehicular queues there.”
Mr Tan also apparently went to take the effort of asking ICA to check the CCTV recording of Mr Png’s group, and revealed that the latter only took “30 mins” to pass the customs.
Mr Png has since posted that he has responded to TODAY with the following:
The post wasn’t about me. It wasn’t about the Minister either. It’s about the treatment of grassroots leaders travelling with the Minister. I understand that is a judgment call for ICA to make, according to its statement.
I wasn’t even interested in my own wait time but since ICA and Minister Tan seem to suggest that the wait time to clear custom on the night of 17 July was “all of 30 mins” only, why was there a need to accord the people travelling with the Minister expedited clearance then?
The system must be seen to be fair. The issue is not about Minister Tan. The expedited clearance for him comes with the position he is holding and for security reason. My volunteers worked very hard too. Some buses were missing a few passengers as they were still queuing and the buses did not leave the checkpoint until way past 11pm. I am sure some of the PA buses experienced that too. I have no doubt our officers worked very hard to secure our borders too. In fact, I believe they worked a lot harder because the Minister was there.
I cannot control how people feel. I am also on the receiving end of hate and anger for bringing this issue out in the open. I don’t have an issue with Minister Tan, personally or politically. I have an issue with inequality.