Former Workers’ Party NCMP Gerald Giam saw a door hanger that had been placed on the gate of a resident’s home during one of his regular house visits around the Fengshan GRC in the East.
He took a photo of it and uploaded on to Facebook on March 16 with the following caption:
In this era of The New New Normal, the door hanger was left hanging on the resident’s door as it is presumably promotional material from the Residents’ Committee (RC), providing a snapshot of the perks of becoming a Residents’ Committee Volunteer.
An RC volunteer is a grassroots person and RCs were established to “promote neighbourliness, racial harmony and community cohesiveness amongst residents within their respective RC zones in Housing and Development Board estates”.
Essentially, people serving as grassroots leaders are the lubricant between the people and the authorities.
They serve to disseminate information and give feedback on behalf of the people regarding government policies and the needs of the residents.
Murmurings about what benefits RC volunteers receive and why do they deserve them have been going on for quite a while.
However, it was not until February 2015 that information about this issue was more easily retrieved and publicised on a Gov.sg platform.
The rationale is that the benefits given to RC volunteers serves as a form of “recognition to facilitate their community work “, and “to better enable them to continue with their community service”.
It’s not so easy to gain all these benefits, however.
Some of them require a few years of continuous volunteering.
For example, only eligible leaders with two years of continuous and active service can apply for Primary One registration for their children under Phase 2B in schools within the constituencies they reside in, which essentially allows a better chance of entering their primary school of choice.
Applying for HDB BTO flats and Executive Condominiums under the MND Grassroots Organisation Scheme would require up to three years of service as a volunteer.
The special parking label is given to those who already have a valid HDB monthly parking label and is meant to facilitate grassroots leaders who need to drive for events or to meet residents.
Grassroots leaders not living in the HDB estates can also get a concession as they are not expected to park overnight or most of the day.