As the initial dust from the Parliamentary Debate on the AGO's Special Report on AHPETC settles, one thing is clear. The Workers Party of Singapore are a group of artful dodgers.
Dodge #1: Sylvia Lim has spent much time trying to convince the House that AHPETC’s payments were generally approved and issued in order. The Worker's Party has claimed that it is not unusual for representatives from a Town Council’s managing agent to hold positions in the Town Council. They are talking about processes in order to dodge a question of substance. The problem is ownership of the Managing Agent (MA). The same people who own the MA issue invoices for work done for AHPETC, and are the same people at AHPETC verifying that the work has been done and issuing cheques to pay the MA. This is an unlawful structure that no other TC has, and no PAP-owned TC will ever approve. Why have they done so?
Dodge #2: Sylvia Lim repeatedly highlighted that no company except FMSS responded to AHPETC’s open tenders. This dodges the fact that the AHPETC had consented to pay FMSS far higher rates for town management services than the rest of Singapore. Why did they do so?
Dodge #3: When pressed for answers, Pritam Singh they will give answers if residents ask. He is trying to dodge his responsibility to Parliament.
Dodge #4: Low Thia Khiang has tried to distract the public by calling for the de-politicisation of the TC handover process. This is a smokescreen designed to divert attention away from the important questions of why the AHPETC entered into an unlawful structure with an MA owned by his friends and supporters; and why the AHPETC is paying much higher rates for town management services than the rest of Singapore to a company owned by his friends and supporters. None of these have anything to do with the TC handover process.
Dodge #5: The biggest and boldest dodge of all – WP’s gamble is that that supporting the debate motion, they can get away with paying lip service to transparency and avoid answering any real questions. Supporting the motion is not being transparent; giving real answers to serious questions is. And they have given none.
Singaporeans must really vote wisely at GE 2016.