Sunday, 29 November 2015

Workers Party of Singapore - Bernard Chen Misleads Singaporeans

Since suffering a crushing defeat at the 11 September 2015 General Elections, the Workers' Party of Singapore (WP) has re-looked their strategy. One weakness that they could not overcome during GE2015 was their lack of presence in the area they contested. Voters saw them as opportunists who only showed up a few months before the GE while, in contrast, the PAP was working the ground since day 1.

In an apparent effort to portray that he was "working the ground", WP candidate for MacPherson Bernard Chen took to social media. Bernard Chen was however less than truthful and posted an old photo of himself visiting the Geylang East Home for the Aged on his Facebook. To a casual observer, one would have assumed that he had visited the home recently. 

wp bernard chen misleads sinagporeans

Unfortunately for Bernard Chen, his ruse was called out by the home themselves. They posted a comment stating that it was an old photo taken before the GE and that the home has not seen his since that brief visit my him.

wp bernard chen lies

One might call this a simple mistake on the part of Bernard Chen. However, the way the post was crafted and the timing of it hints at a more deceitful intent. We wonder whether a WP candidate who can be so deceitful over something so simple, can be entrusted to be honest with the lives of Singaporeans.

AHPETC Court of Appeals Rules in Favor of the Government

In the latest chapter of the long-running Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol-East Town Council (AHPETC) saga, the Court of Appeals on Friday (27 November 2015) made the following findings:

1.  AHPETC did not disclose related party transactions in its financial statement.  It could not produce any evidence to show that the Town Councillors had considered the full extent of the related party interests.

2.   There were lapses in the procurement of services from FMSS.

3.   Key officers of AHPETC were acting in clear conflict of interest when they approved payment to FMSS - a company in which they themselves were Directors and Shareholders.

4.    AHPETC had not taken any steps to recover amounts due as a result of wrong payments made.

5.   AHPETC did not have a system to monitor its S&CC charges accurately.  As a result, there was no assurance that it was able to monitor and manage arrears properly.  It did not have a proper system to ensure that documents were properly accounted for and safeguarded.

6.   AHPETC had various lapses in internal controls.

7.   AHPETC continues to be in non-compliance by failing to pay into sinking fund.  There is no basis at all for AHPETC to fail to make the transfers.  AHPETC should do so within 3 months, if necessary by increasing FMCC charges or by liquidating its investments.

8.    The Court also held that they ought to appoint Independent Accountants (IAs) to assist in identifying the outstanding non-compliance by AHPETC.  These Accountants will also look at whether payments were made wrongfully and should be recovered.

In a surprising move, Chairman of the Aljunied-Hougang Town Council (AHTC) Pritam Singh said AHTC "fully accepts and respects" the Court of Appeal’s judgment, and will comply with "all the orders made by the court". He said AHTC will also work with MND to facilitate the prompt transfer of the outstanding grants to AHTC. Pritam added, "The Town Council acknowledges its role as a guardian of public funds. We assure the Ministry of National Development (MND) that government grants or grants-in-aid are used solely for the upkeep of the town and in the interests of all residents."

Hopefully, with the IAs appointed and a proper forensic audit performed, we can finally get to the truth of the matter.

AHPETC court of appeals ruling

Monday, 16 November 2015

Post GE2015 The AHPETC Saga Continues

Post Singapore General Election 2015, the issue at AHPETC continues. Zaobao yesterday published a forum letter in which the writer complained about poor estate management by the Worker's Party led Town Council.

Apparently, all is not well in Aljunied ...

ZB carried a letter (“Unsatisfactory management by WP town council”) by Hougang resident Chen Fuming, who said that the Aljunied-Hougang Town Council’s management of the estate was not up to standard. He cited several examples: a fallen tree was covered up with clutter turning it into a potential mosquitoe-breeding ground; choked drainage pipes on the ground floors of HDB flats were realigned instead of being cleared; rubbish chutes in HDB flats were not properly cleaned; and only three HDB blocks had been repainted under a maintenance and repainting project launched in October 2013. Chen also highlighted a particular multi-storey carpark which he claimed was poorly maintained, and said that residents should be refunded a year’s worth of S&CC if it was proven so.

residents complaints about ahpetc