Friday, 10 July 2015

AHPETC Saga - Low Thia Khiang's Silence is worrying

Sylvia Lim Should Step-Down ….  

As a political observer, I cannot help but wonder what went wrong with AHPETC. A successful AHPETC would have been a big boost to the credibility of opposition parties in Singapore.

ahpetc sylvia lim resignation

The Worker’s Party (WP) cannot be so daft as not to know that their every action would be under intense scrutiny. So why would otherwise intelligent people like Low Thia Khiang, Sylvia Lim and Chen Show Mao create a system that is essentially illegal. Surely, they would know that it would only be a matter of time before the truth is unveiled.

I dare say that the WP won the Aljunied GRC primarily because of Low Thia Khiang. Having successfully held on to the Single Member Constituency of Hougang since 1991, and having personal built the de facto opposition party to the dominant People’s Action Party, residents of Aljunied felt they could trust Mr Low. So when Low Thia Khiang introduced his “A Team” and urged residents to make them co-drivers, residents of Aljunied voted WP believing that Mr Low and his team would deliver.

Sadly, that trust has been misplaced.

Since Sylvia Lim assumed the role of Chairman of AHPETC, things have not been as promised by Low Thia Khiang. AHPETC is in a mess. Not only financially, but also legally. Specifically …

a. statement of accounts are not only overdue, but submitted with qualifiers by AHPETC’s own auditors making the contents suspect for accuracy
b. despite promises to get AHPETC in order, nothing significant has been done 
c. there have been overpayment for services and management fees with the General Manager of AHPETC earning 3 times the salary of GMs of other Town Councils 
d. lucrative contracts have been awarded to the GM’s own company
e. government S&CC grants (in the millions) have not been properly accounted for 
f. legal requirements to transfer S&CC collected to the sinking fund has not been done
g. transfer of sinking fund to Florence Regency took place late and after threats of legal actions
h. summons to attend Court to refund residents’ S&CC fees collected
i. …. and the list goes on

Given Low Thia Khiang’s track record of managing Hougang as an MP without incident, one can safely assume that AHPETC’s financial and legal troubles is caused by Sylvia Lim – the Chairman of AHPETC. In my mind, Sylvia Lim has proven herself to be incompetent and she should step-down for the sake of all opposition parties. In fact, I would even call on Low Thia Khiang to do the right thing and push for Sylvia Lim to step-down. Residents of Aljunied voted for Sylvia Lim on the basis of Low Thia Khiang’s endorsement. It is therefore the right thing for Low Thia Khiang to take responsibility for his mistake. 

WP’s manifesto says that they are for rational, responsible and respectable politics. Let’s see if WP takes responsibility for the debacle that AHPETC has become. How the WP deals with AHPETC will demonstrate how respectable the WP and its leaders are.

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