Cleaning saga: Many issues need more attention

SINGAPORE - Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Environment and Water Resources Minister Vivian Balakrishnan have called on Workers' Party (WP) chief Low Thia Khiang to clear any doubts about his fellow MPs' integrity.

I fully agree with PM Lee's call that those who are elected to Parliament must display integrity and honesty so that they can gain the trust of their constituents.

But I hope this row between the ruling party and the WP does not lead to politics of hate or deter people from entering politics. The opposition and the ruling party must work hand in hand to improve the lives of all our citizens, many of whom are struggling to survive in our stressful environment.

There are many bread and butter issues which need more attention. We have road rage and accidents taking place every now and then, the cost of living and medical expenses are skyrocketing, and suicides have gone up by 30 per cent.

I have had dealings with several MPs - both from the opposition and the People's Action Party. And while some of them have been helpful, others clearly lack empathy and come across as arrogant.

MPs must stay in touch with the citizens who elected them or they will lose support. And ministers must go beyond empathy and help to bring support measures to those who are struggling to cope.