Worker’s Party MP in Aljunied GRC Pritam Singh had the gall to say this in Parliament
“I fully believe when I do my house visits this Saturday, some of these questions (on AHPETC’s lapses) will come up. Likewise, they will come up for my fellow WP MPs. We will answer all of them. Why? Because of a duty to the residents. We will answer to them. Well, minister (Shanmugam), if you were a resident, I’ll answer your question. Thank you.” Source
Well Mr Singh, I’m a resident of Aljunied, will you answer to me? Why has the WP mismanaged and turned the finances of Aljunied from a surplus into a deficit? Based on how he and the rest of the WP MPs have carried themselves in Parliament, I seriously doubt they will ever give a satisfactory answer.
When this saga first broke out, WP chairman Sylvia Lim claimed the WP will address this issue in Parliament and in the meantime “look beyond the headlines and the summaries” and pore through the details of the AGO’s report to “have a better understanding of the issues”. Source
Well Ms Lim, in Parliament, your colleague Mr Singh refused to address this issue and instead pushed it to his residents like myself, I have no choice but to heed your advice to read the AGO report itself.
Going through the entire report, I read of lapses, lack of oversight, poor internal controls, poor compliance to regulations, conflicts of interests and mismanagement of sinking funds.
Millions of dollars are channeled to FMSS, a WP-linked organisation due to fees higher than other PAP estates. They then claim FMSS was the only one who answered the tender. I find that hard to believe. Nearly 40% of Singaporeans voted for the opposition, you tell me none of them want to work with the WP? Or has the WP set the tender criteria so strict that no one else felt it was a reasonable to submit a bid. It reminds me of the Brompton bikes case.
Others like to cite the AIM example. Need I say an MND report has exonerated any wrongdoings on the part of the PAP. Even if we put that aside for a second, what is $140 000 compared to the $6 400 000 of allegedly corrupted funds by the WP?
WP MP Png Heng Huat then went on the offensive claiming that government ministries also had lapses. Excuse me MP of Hougang, the topic of they day in Parliament is about the failures of the Aljunied administration and not about the ministerial oversights. You are going off-tangent here. Anti-government bloggers like to complain that the PAP likes to side-track issues. I don’t hear any similar comments on the WP this time. Why the double-standard this time?
Besides, those mistakes were committed by civil servants, not by PAP people. The mistakes such as conflicts of interests are directly related to YOUR party. In the end, we have to take things in context. No one can run a perfect country and ensure there are ZERO lapses. The lapses you cite have to be seen in the context of running a multi-billion dollar civil service and economy. The WP has made so many mistakes just by running a GRC a fraction the size of Singapore, imagine if they scale up?
Some have questioned the political motivations behind the AGO. The fact that MP Png’s “evidence” of ministerial failures themselves come from the AGO proves its impartiality. Anti-government bloggers, please check your facts before you accuse a government agency.
Bottom line: If the WP “A” team cannot even manage a GRC properly, I shudder to think what will happen if they win even more areas in the next election. I don’t even dare imagine the day they run Singapore.
Finally, I will still wish you all a Happy Chinese New Year! After all, this may be the last time I have the opportunity to do so.