Whether in Parliament, or in their walkabouts, the answer has been the same – the PAP didn’t handover properly – they withheld access to information. They didn’t help us as much as we wanted. Low Thia Khiang said: “No one wants to work for me!” Sylvia Lim said attempts to get information from MND and the former managing agent “did not yield answers.
But the AGO report said that the WP town council had in fact commissioned a report in the early days when they took over from the PAP team. A footnote in the AGO report said:
“Aljunied-Hougang Town Council (AHTC) engaged Mazars LLP (Mazars) in July 2011 to carry out a special audit of the financial statements for the period 1 April 2011 to 31 July 2011, prepared for handover of precincts of Aljunied Town Council to AHTC, Ang Mo Kio Town Council and Pasir Ris-Punggol Town Council. Mazars issued a clean audit opinion on all the financial statements.”
So actually, there are NO HANDOVER ISSUES! AHTC’s own accountants gave the previous PAP team a clean bill of health. So it’s time that the AHPETC stop using the excuse of handover issues, and start answering some questions.
1. From Surplus to Deficit: How? The town council lost $4 million in 3 years. From a surplus of S$3.3 million to a deficit of more than S$700,000.
2. Money to friends: Why? The AHPETC pays 50% more to its managing agent than neighbouring town councils eg Tampines Town Council. Why?
3. Bullying the small guy: Who? Were the hawkers made to pay for the cleaning of their ceilings? Did the town council call the police on the shopkeepers who complained that there too many trade fairs held by the council?
So far, there have been no answers. These questions are dismissed as “baseless”, or blamed on “handover issues.” The AGO report shows the questions are not baseless. And the AGO footnote shows there are no handover issues.
Unless the AHPETC thinks they can behave outside the law, they really need to start giving some answers.
This commentary was written by Bumiputra and first published on Singapore General Elections 2016.
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