Cow Beh Cow Bu

Black-Faced Over Free BBQ: PA Burns Bridges with Singaporeans while PM Builds Bridges with Aussies

What a feast!

And what a roasting the People’s Association is receiving because it allegedly denied the public entry to the makan table.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong rubbed shoulders and shared steaks with Australian PM Tony Abbott at Bishan Park on Sunday, as part of the 50 Bridges programme.

That was a nice gesture on Australia’s part, as a way to celebrate Singapore’s 50th birthday and 50 years of good relations amongst both nations.

The magnitude – 10,000 beef and lamb steaks on the grill, across 22 locations in Singapore.

Some people who heard about the cookout thought that it would be a no-ticket-required event.

They turned up, only to be turned away.

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The aroma of grilled meat soon turned into the stench of suspicion.

And now the PA is being grilled as to whether it withheld tickets from the public, so that only its own members could attend the feast.

According to the Australian organiser of 50 Bridges, the PA was tasked with giving out tickets to the free barbeques, and making the event known to the public.redwire singapore australia singapore buffet pa 2

But some like Richard Toh say they were told that the events was a “grassroots members only” event, when he asked officials at Bishan Park.

“Same same ticket only thing at Bishan Pk at 7.30pm. Asked 3 separate Teck Gee T shirt wearing “officials” and they said no tickets available as they are given to “Grassroots members only”. Thanks to our Oz friends for the great and generous idea but no thanks to our local PA people. PA….I expect a apology for your screw up. PA, you should clearly state its for your selected members AND NOT OPEN TO PUBLIC.”

Some netizens have cried foul, saying that there was no announcement about the event by Community Clubs and Residents’ Committees.

Lee Liak Peng says:

“My neighbourhood CC just confirm ‘all time slots taken up’. Apparently, here, the tickets also given to grassroots volunteers aka RC members. Like what the others posted.

Jonathan Goh also complained that there was no publicity done by the PA:

“Isn’t this a walk in event? Why must it be ticketed,the CC near me didn’t even publicise anything about this event.”

For netizen Karen WanQian, the delectable buffet left a sour taste in her mouth:

“Very embarrassed. I reg and org still encourage me to bring more neighbour. I turned up with family but they said they did not have my name. Not a person who attend such neighbourhood event but tot take this opportunity to open up and hope to make new friends in new neighbourhood.

On the Australian front, organisers simply made it a free for all, as this netizen, NickyHamster Goh, points out:

“3 locations were managed by the Aussies themselves. True free for all, eat and buddy up, truly heart-warming events. Well done! The rest were thrown into the sluggish red tape bound administration of the PA and their opaque ticketing system. A fantastic initiative undermined by the ruthlessly mechanical PA machine rejecting all non invitees

Ironically, the PA claims that its mission is “bringing people together through our events, activities and courses.”

So, with 10,000 steaks at stake, where did all the tickets go?

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