In a situation whereby grassroots platforms are sinisterly converted into "recruitment and training grounds" for "potential" politicians, drawn along partisan lines, we need to perhaps pose the question of its legality. Besides that, can we read a trace of undue pressure or unnecessary harrassement?
It is a well-known fact that the PAP government has a symbiotic relationship with NTUC. Seemingly, grassroots are not spared from its web of infiltration.
I REFER to the letter "Choosing grassroot advisers:Forget politics" (ST, Feb 14) and the article "Aye to apolitical GROs" (ST, Feb 10).
In Singapore, joining a grassroots organisation (GRO) seems to be a sure way for one to be involved in politics, despite the belief that GROS are supposed to be independent on politics.
I volunteered in a GRO with the intention of serving the community, especially the lower strata of society, and getting engaged in activities which I have an interest in.
After serving in the GRO for a few years up till now, I have been approached a number of times by other grassroots members requesting me to be a member of the political party.
I do not see the need to be involved politically because my main purpose is to achieve the aims I mentioned above.
Getting involved in the political party does not seem to advance these aims in any way.
Moreover, getting affliated to the political party was not something I anticipated when I first joined the GRO.
Even if I want to be part of a political party eventually, I am still not ready to do so.
I hope the ambiguous line between GROs and political parties can be better defined.
Volunteers in GROs should not be put in a difficult position to decide whether to join a political party just because they want to serve the community.
With a politically-charged system where prospective grassroots leaders are "screened" on their backgrounds, those who are viewed as "undesirable" (for example, ex-offenders) but are sincere about contributing their share for the community are deprived of the opportunities to prove their worth.
Instead, there may be people who join the GROs to work for their own vested interests through politics without any real intention of contributing to society.
I hope the grassroots organisations can be autonomous and apolitical gradually so that volunteers can concentrate on serving the community.
Yee Kai Ling (Miss)