PA disinvites Dr Tan Cheng Bock from Istana CNY party
In a Facebook post that went viral two hours ago, former presidential election candidate Tan Cheng Bock, who ran in the 2011 General Elections, wrote about getting “un-invited” to the Istana’s Chinese New Year Garden Party (held on Feb 9, Sunday) this year.
The former MP shared that he was informed by Minister Lim Swee Say, deputy chairman of People’s Association (PA) via “phone and email” that there was an “error” in the party invitation. He first received the party invitation on Dec 27 last year, and had told them he would be attending the event with his wife.
“There was a change in ‘policy’ to invite only those ex-advisers to grassroots organisations, from the immediate past GE (2011). I did not fit into this category as I stood down in 2006,” wrote Dr Tan.
Dr Tan also added that he “had always been invited to attend the CNY garden party” and “never failed to go”.
“I get to meet grassroots leaders and old colleagues and we exchange warm New Year greetings,” he wrote, “The warm reception usually given (to) me by those grassroots leaders at the function, were overwhelming, more so, after the presidential election.”
Dr Tan ended his post talking about how he would “miss meeting all these friends again” this Sunday.
Dr Tan’s Facebook post has garnered over 1,300 likes and more than 630 shares at press time.
Picture: Screenshot of Tan Cheng Bock and Lim Swee Say's Facebook page
UPDATE: In a Facebook post, Minister Lim Swee Say expressed surprise at Dr Tan's statement and explained that the invitation list is constantly reviewed and refreshed "to enable a wider base of invitees to attend the reception."
"The most recent review was conducted a few months ago, instead of inviting all ex-advisers to grassroots organisations repeatedly for 20, 30 years or even longer, we decided to limit the list to only ex-advisers who stood down in the immediate past pass general election," he said. "It is most unfortunate that PA made the mistake of using the old list instead of the updated list. We are sorry for the error, and this is why I phoned Mr Tan and the other affected invitees personally to explain the mistake, and followed up with personal emails to apologise again."
"I was heartened that Mr Tan very graciously accepted my explanation over the phone. So I am surprised that he now brings this up publicly as an issue."
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