Pritam Singh - Saint or Sinner?
Abraham Lincoln once said, "you can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time."
In a recent tea session hosted by Pritam Singh for residents of Eunos, Pritam was asked if AHPETC was bankrupt. Unable to refuse to answer his resident (as he had stated in Parliament that he would only answer to his residents), Pritam replied that "AHPETC was not bankrupt, but had an operating deficit caused by once-off big ticket expenditure like lift installation." Pritam then went on to say that "if AHPETC had done what MND had said they did, then he would be in jail already." Pritam told the resident that they should not being the media as they were biased in their reporting about the Workers' Party (WP).
Once again, keeping in tune with the WP's approach to problems, Pritam lied by omission. What he failed to tell the resident is that firstly, once-off expenditure for lift installation would come from the sinking fund and not AHPETC's operating fund. Secondly, AHPETC's cash flow problem is due to their overpayment for services to their friends and their friends' companies. In one account, AHPETC's General Manager Ms How Weng Fun is understood to earn a monthly salary of $25,000 when GMs of other Town Councils earn only $9,000. And thirdly, the Court (which the Workers' Party has accepted as independent) has found that Ms Sylvia Lim, the Chairman of AHPETC, had lied to Parliament. It was only by the kindness of PM Lee Hsien Loong that he did not pursue the matter to have Sylvia Lim kicked out of Parliament.
At the end of the day, Pritam Singh knows that there is little that can be done to him for lying to his constituents. He knows that he cannot do the same in Parliament and hence his now famous statement that "he does not need to answer to Parliament and that he will only answer to his residents."
We acknowledge that there is a need for an opposition voice in Parliament. It is however important that the opposition voice be one of credibility, integrity and with heart for Singapore. Mr Pritam Singh, you are not that voice!