The court case between the Aljunied Hougang Punggol East Town Council (AHPETC) and the National Environment Agency (NEA) is being used by the Worker's Party to highlighted the uneasy peace between the Town Councils (which are political entities) and the various government agencies tasked to enforce the established laws of the land.
Naturally, the opposition is claiming that the government agencies are being used by the People's Action Party (PAP) to fix them. What the opposition and their supporters do not realize is that, using the 2011 election results as the basis, almost half of the civil servants working in these agencies are also "anti-government." If this were the case, unless the opposition is now asserting that only pro-government citizens are employed as civil servants, then in reality there is no way that PAP can use government agencies to do their bidding without a scandal. Since we have not heard of any scandals, I believe that we can conclude the following about AHPETC in regards to the Trade Fair court case ....
NO LOGIC. How can AHPETC claim that they did not know they needed a permit to hold a trade fair? Every Town Council needs one. AHPETC knew they needed a permit and deliberately did not get one. If any Tom, Dick or Harry can hold a trade fair without a permit, there will be no control and anyone can hold fairs and collect money.
NO INTEGRITY. AHPETC is obviously desperate for the money. Auditors have pointed out a discrepancy of more than $20 million in their accounts. AHPETC thus calculated that it is better to break the law and collect the rental so as to keep the Town Council running.
NO SHAME. NEA offered AHPETC a composition fine of $1,000 to compound the offence. Instead, AHPETC wanted to politicize the case by going to court. In doing so, AHPETC is wasting tens of thousands of their residents’ S&C money for their own political agenda. So who is the victim here?
PAP is a Victim of their Own System
In the end, the PAP here is much a victim of the system as the AHPETC. It is reasonable to assume that the PAP knows that being seen as a "bully" is counter-productive to their re-election plans. As such, isn't it in the PAP's best interest not to fine the opposition in this case? Unfortunately, the law is the law, and the government agencies (headed and run by civil servants) tasked to enforce the law decided that there was an offence and proceeded to do their jobs.
If the PAP were corrupt as the opposition claims, the PAP would have stopped the NEA from taking actions and, in the process, deny the Worker's Party one more opportunity to portray them negatively.
In the AHPETC-NEA court case, it is the PAP that is being fixed by the Worker's Party.