Blog Archive

Tuesday, 18 November 2014


The PAP government has ordered its supporters in Aljunied GRC, Punggol East and Hougang not to pay Service and Conservancy Charges.  At the same time, Workers Party is rewarding those who voted for them in the last GE with waiver for S&CC.

No, none of these were true. What is true is the Workers Party has once again found itself being red flagged in the latest Town Council Management Report (TCMR) released by the Ministry of National Development for poor Arrears Management and Corporate Governance.

The government released more information that the Workers Party town council in fact had stopped submitting Arrears Report months ago, therefore suggesting that the state of bad debts could be worse than expected. The juiciest part of the story is a hefty $3.3 million surpluses accumulated previously by the PAP is now down to a deficit of over $700K making a loss of about $4 million on the operating balance sheet in just two years.

Who's side are you with?  Are you one of those who say that the PAP government is at it again, bullying and intimidating opposition parties by unfair tactics or are you one calling the WP an incompetent squanderer?

Those supporting the opposition party dug up "adverse opinions" issued by auditors of People's Association to defend Workers Party entanglement with its accounts. If a government related statutory board cannot get itself straight with its accounts, what moral rights has the PAP to tell WP what is proper and what is not?

Another point that opposition supporters are alleging is that the PAP government has been unfairly subsidizing PAP run town councils that enables them to write off bad debts from their Arrears account. How this work according to them is through estate upgrading projects, maintenance works undertaken by town councils were suspended for the period and such savings on expenditure were then invested and interest and profits earned were then used to cover for bad debts written off.

On the other hand, PAP supporters are not letting go of what they view as a nice piece of meat.  "Where Did the $4 Million Dollars Go?" It was revealed that prior to the watershed general election in 2011, the Hougang Town Council of Workers Party under Mr Low Thia Khiang was running on a deficit and its independent auditors had questioned its operating viability.  At about the same time, there was a squabble going on with residents of the just privatized HUDC precinct over "sinking funds" due to be transfer over to them from the town council.

Aljunied GRC has a operating surplus of $3.3 million at the time when Workers Party took over the town council.  In a short 2 years, not only the surpluses were gone but the AHPETC under Workers Party had recorded a deficit of over $700,000-00. They are not just incompetent to run the town councils, but also squanders who have no moral obligation and accountability towards the people of Aljunied GRC, Punggol East as well as Houngang.

I have decided to put my personal opinions in red to differentiate them from the rest of the commentaries.

For opposition supporters using PA auditor's "adverse opinion" to justify WP's accounts which remains questionable and suspicious is akin to putting a wrong to justify another wrong. as the sayings go...."two wrongs don't make a right" even though on the part of PA auditors did not suspect the PA of any wrong doings nor deemed the procedural discrepancy illegal. 

Citizens may for reasons do not heart the PAP, but that should not be reason for shielding or encouraging the opposition in doing wrong.  I must qualify that this is a general statement that does not presume the WP had done wrong in this particular instance.

The reasoning that PAP town councils could accumulate surpluses and write off arrears through government funded estate upgrading projects did not convince me sufficiently. Simply, the Workers Party was already given accumulated surpluses without having gone through upgrading, and if the formula they presumed PAP town councils were working,they should have also have invested the $3.3 million to generate interest in order to write off bad debts. Why didn't they?

Where People's Association applies, I believed they owe Singaporeans the duty to present its accounts as according to prescribed standard. As observed by certain alternative sites, they had over the years ignored qualifications made by independent auditors and had even replaced full disclosure with consolidated statements in their annual reporting. 

Citizens would like to see political leaders doing the right thing, making themselves models of upright characters for citizens to emulate and to fall inline with.

A question was raised recently......what happens when a town council goes bankrupt?  If the AHPETC indeed goes bankrupt, does it means that Lee Kuan Yew's prophetic statement that those who voted the PAP out of Aljunied GRC will live to regret and needs repentance badly?

Can we change the laws now where it is not provided to punish those who ruins the town council? It will be unthinkable without another uproar of PAP bullying opposition, and WP MPs will certainly put up their most vigorous "Against" vote.

As of now only an election can stop a certain political party and its politicians from ruining a town council or to perpetuate it, and we are not talking about an entire country yet.

Is that why MND minister Khaw Boon Wan is not for depoliticizing town councils, insisting that town councils are political animals.  He said : "town council is not public services". He is both right and wrong.

Friday, 14 November 2014


It is interesting how we sometimes can change perceptions after second, or even a third and fourth thought if necessary, 

On first contact with the pictures
and the post title "Simulation exercise involving real foreign workers dehumanizing : says rights group", my first thought seemed to resonate with the writer who was suggesting that the police, and indeed later on Mr Khaw the MND minister for lacking in sensitivity in the deployment of foreign workers in an exercise depicting a riot that could broke put in foreign workers dormitories across the island.

The police responded that the foreign workers had volunteered themselves in this exercise, and according to reports they are actually from an organized group known as "foreign workers ambassadors".  Recalling, I remembered the group was initially formed years ago to tackle littering in public places.  Not much was reported about the group thereafter till this incident.

My second thought to this has somehow diluted the effects of strong condemnation by migrant workers groups.  The police as well as the organizers of this exercise cannot be that inhuman.  What would be most inhuman is when the authorities, the broader community left the foreign workers disengaged, and pull the trigger when they become naughty.  In other words, don't talk to them not inter-relate with them, keep them alone like chickens in cages to lay eggs and sell them away for slaughter when they don't produce anymore.  

But the police cannot be let off without taking some blame.  Their response to the public was grossly under-represented. They have said that the exercise was to test or demonstrate their response towards such incidents and in reality you don't need real foreign workers to co-stage the show in order to arrive at similar outcome. They had not in their public response elaborated the more important side of the exercise which is, 1. To continue informal engagement with the foreign workers community who are alien to our way of life, our laws, and our social expectations.  2. Such exercise can drive home a mental image in the foreign workers community that sad and unbecoming outcomes can be avoided.

While the condemnations by migrant workers groups were well meaning, and what they have been doing for transient workers were highly commendable, there are areas and roles they cannot and probably will not be part but are equally well meaning and beneficial to the foreign workers community.

These experiences in Singapore prepares them to be mentally and emotionally richer than their fellow citizens when they return to their home countries.

Singapore wants to treat foreign workers as fellow human beings and not chickens in cages waiting to be fed, produced, and slaughtered.