As per previous years, I volunteered my time to be a bus leader for a 1 day temple trip organized by HGCC (Hougang Constituency Committee).
The trip which took place yesterday was not new to me and as usual apart from the 1st year, I was assigned a new member to be my partner :) Should I be saying, thank you for the trust in me to be able to lead the new member? Haha!
My partner this year was Pritam who just joined WP. Very new member but not new to politics I must say. Despite knowing that he would have difficulty communicating with the bus full of residents, Pritam volunteered his time. Very commendable indeed.
This year, we were assigned to a rather outspoken bus driver from bus 7. Due to his personality, we shared a fair bit during the journey.
At 8am before we set off for the 1st location, I went up to him to ensure that he has no problem getting to the places that was in the itinerary.
His reply was, 'Don't worry, I'm a Singapore citizen, born and bred in Singapore not PR or foreigners, I know my way.'
Hmmm I guess he was referring to the recent experiences that commuters had with SPR bus drivers.
Next, as the bus was moving off to the 1st location, Ah Wang, the bus driver asked me,' You all do this every year?'
I nodded my head and told him that if he meant bus leaders, yes, we volunteer as long as our schedule permits. I carry on to explain that if he is referring to the 1 day trip, yes, as far as I can remember, it's an annual event.
Ah Wang's reply made me smile and I cannot help but agree with him.
He said,'When WP organizes event, no one knows but when the PAP organizes one, it's reported all over the place.'
Along the journey, through my conversation with the residents I realised that most of them had been staying in Hougang for the past 20-30 years. A handful of them was from SengKang whom we applaud to welcome them :)
Ah Wang was sort of shouting at the top of his voice while driving so that the residents can hear him. He was full of praise for these residents! He praised them for not succumbing to the upgrading temptation that was offered in the last election and many more.
I do not know how many of them heard him. All I can remember was my conversation with Ah Wang. He was telling me how tough life can be if he loses his job. He is constantly afraid that his job would be replaced by foreigners.
If we happen to see any foreigners working along the journey, Ah Wang will start his grumbling again :)
I can feel his fear, really.