MP Gerald Giam

Mr Gerald Giam Yean Song asked the Minister for Culture, Community and Youth (a) whether the appointments of grassroot adviser (GRA) cease from the day the Writ of Election is issued to the day after the results of the General Election are announced; and (b) if not, whether GRAs can continue writing appeal letters to Government agencies on behalf of residents during this period.

The Minister for Culture, Community and Youth (Mr Edwin Tong Chun Fai): Sir, Grassroots Advisers, or GRAs, are appointed by the People’s Association (PA), a Statutory Board which is under the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY). They help the PA with its mission to foster social cohesion and also connect with and engage people on Government policies and schemes.

 The term of a GRA’s appointment is determined by PA and is not tied to the term of Parliament. As with all Government agencies which continue to function after a Writ of Election is issued, GRAs continue to discharge their responsibilities. In this period of time, Government agencies also continue to receive and will duly consider appeals made by members of the public, or those made on their behalf.

Mr Speaker: Mr Gerald Giam.

Mr Gerald Giam Yean Song (Aljunied): Can I clarify with the Minister whether he means, when he says members of public, does that include the Members of Parliament as well or the former Members of Parliament who are now members of public after the Writ of Election is issued?

Mr Edwin Tong Chun Fai: Sir, as the Member knows, after the Writ of Elections is issued, Members of Parliament vacate their offices, and so, they are no longer Members of Parliament. So, to that extent, they are not Members of Parliament. Therefore, the appeal, if any is filed by that person, it will be treated as a request made on behalf of another member of public. I hope that clarifies.

Minister for Culture, Community and Youth
21 March 2023

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