Precautions were taken, says Murali in response to Chee's criticism of Bukit Batok dinner
Another online row has surfaced between Bukit Batok MP Murali Pillai and Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) chief Chee Soon Juan, this time over a club dinner for seniors held in the single seat ward earlier this month.
Dr Chee, who is expected to contest the ward in the next general election, said in a Facebook post on Sunday that participants of the dinner were not practising social distancing and the event could have put people at risk of contracting the coronavirus.
In November last year, Dr Chee - who lost a by-election for the ward to Mr Murali in 2016 - had raised the issue of faulty fire hose reels in a Bukit Batok housing block that could not be used by firemen during a serious blaze.
On Sunday evening, Mr Murali said extra precautionary measures were in place during the dinner on March 7.
He shared on Facebook a list of measures the Bukit Batok Active Ageing Club (AAC) said it had undertaken before the dinner to celebrate its eighth anniversary, such as mandatory temperature checks and advising those who were unwell to see a doctor and stay home.
"Mr Murali apparently learnt nothing from the surge of new infections coming from people who attended the dinner function at Safra Jurong in Feb. The MOH had said the organisers of the event had been 'socially irresponsible'," said Dr Chee, referring to a Feb 15 dinner that has become the largest Covid-19 cluster here.
The Government has rolled out various social distancing measures, including deferring or cancelling all ticketed events with 250 participants or more. The dinner was held before these measures kicked in.
Said Mr Murali: "In reviewing the reasonableness of AAC's decision to proceed with the scaled-down dinner, it would be unfair to take into account facts that happened subsequently as these matters would not be within their knowledge at that material time."
The MP also said that before the dinner he had spoken to club chairman Ong Chai, who explained to him the additional steps that would be taken.
In a Facebook post, Dr Chee referred to how SDP had cancelled its 40th anniversary dinner on Feb 8.
Said Dr Chee: "His response is disappointing. He is pushing the responsibility to others. The MP is in charge of all public activities in his ward. Mr Murali could have, and should have, given instructions to stop the event."