I happened to come across this banner in Hougang that says 'Eric Low's Dialogue Session'... and hence I decided to go and listen for myself. He has been out of action for quite some time.
The dialogue session was held on 14th Sep, at one of the PCF in Hougang. I went with two other friends. We reached there at about 8pm and Eric Low was already there, right at the back of the room, interacting with some people (I have no idea were those people from RC or Hougang residents)
The room which can fill about 30 pax looked quite full with a lot of them looking like PCF teachers and some members from RC too. Well, don't ask me how I know, their dressing and conversation tells me so. Therefore, probably only about 10-15 people are genuine residents of Hougang.
My friend who was seated near to the aisle, looked at his watch and commented that...its 8.20 already and the session has not started. By the way, it was suppose to start at 8pm. I happened to notice the lady next to him, she overheard that and was like looking out for the right opportunity to walk to the back to inform Mr. Eric Low. Hmm.... so this one has to be RC member too. True enough, when I looked away, she stood up, walked to the back and seconds later Eric Low started the session.
He addressed the crowd in 3 different languages; Mandarin, Malay and English. He spoke fluent English and Malay. As for Mandarin it was pretty bad. In his addressing speech, he mentioned that the purpose of this session was due to overwhelming response from residents who wanted to see him but could not find him because he had stopped operating his MPS session since GE 2006. With that, he said that since he is not appointed MP for Hougang, he is not obligated to hold any MPS session. However, he did give credit to Mr. Low Thia Khiang (MP for Hougang SMC) for holding his weekly MPS session.
Eric Low also pointed out that its not his own intention to run in Hougang, its the political party which he belongs to, PAP, that makes the decision. Then as if he realised that he made a mistake, he quickly followed by saying...he loves Hougang residents and had some plans install for them. He emphasizes a lot on how much he had done, and how many residents had benefited from his proposal. This addressing speech ended at about 8.50pm (the banner says that the dialogue session is from 8-9pm) This makes me wonder.... so that's it? The residents are here to listen to addressing speeches?
Just before 9pm, Mrs Lim Hwee Hua, Minister of State, came. She was invited by Eric Low to share on the recent spate of events on the CPF changes, housing, employment, etc. Eric Low pointed out that since he is not appointed MP hence a lot of things he is not involved and is not aware of and so is not the best person to address the residents' concern and therefore he had invited Mrs Lim. She touched on these sensitive issues in one language, English.
She took about another 15 mins or so to explain. Next it was Q & A session. Hmm...only two fellow stood up and ask questions irrelevant to the topic covered by Mrs. Lim. Eric Low then told them that these are personal problems and he will see to them personally after the session.
I am reading a book on body language by Allan Pease and I decided to practise it on the spot. During Mrs. Lim's explaination, I kept looking at Eric Low, observing his body language. Tight lips which means that he is keeping a secret, slouching on his chair reflected his attitude and he was yawning, not once but multiple times. At times, he rested his chin on his left hand and he seemed to be looking into space.... as per what I can see, I could be wrong.
On the other hand, Mrs. Lim Hwee Hua portrayed a very right attitude with good sitting posture and confident look.
The whole session ended at about 9.30pm with loads of refreshments being served to us. Hmm... so Mr. Eric Low did just the addressing speech.