Goh Meng Seng: If AHPETC is Clean, then Why Scared of PwC Audit?

Posted on May 6 2015 - 4:50pm by Benita Aw

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Former National Solidarity Party Chief Goh Meng Seng has urged the Workers’ Party to accept independent auditors appointed by the courts to audit AHPETC’s finances, as requested by the Ministry of National Development.

He said in a Facebook post that if AHPETC’s finances are truly clean, the WP shouldn’t worry which auditor goes over its books.

AHPETC is currently in a tussle with the MND over the appointment of accountants to audit its books.

The MND wants accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers to conduct the audit, but AHPETC has rejected that, saying PwC could be biased against the town council.

Here are Meng Seng’s comments in full:

“Something I really don’t understand. Sylvia Lim has once challenged PAP government to send in CPIB or CAD to investigate AHPETC if they think there is any wrong doing in AHPETC or FMSS. This would mean that a full investigation will be carried out.

PAP government decided to just send in an independent auditor Price Water House to monitor the transactions as a gatekeeper in disbursement of funds from MND to AHPETC but Sylvia Lim declared that she will fight vigorously against such move. Her legal team has cited “possible bias” of PWC due to its past audit done on AHPETC which Sylvia Lim in parliament, has acknowledged PWC’s professionalism/work in its audit process!

I am totally taken aback when AHPETC legal team cited “possible bias” as the reason against MND’s appointment.

First of all, if CPIB or CAD is to be called in instead to investigate, would it be “more objective” than PWC which is an internationally recognized and renowned audit firm?

Secondly, if Sylvia Lim is so confident of her management team as in her challenge thrown at CPIB or CAD investigation, why would WP or AHPETC be afraid of any appointment of independent audit firm in this case, even though there might be perceived “possible bias”? As a matter of fact, if there is no serious wrong doing, there should be nothing to be afraid of!

Thirdly, I remember Sylvia Lim has stated in parliament that all money which are supposedly put into the sinking fund, has been transferred accordingly. But somehow, now in court, it was pointed out that AHPETC did not transfer the money for two quarters, namely Jan 2015 and April 2015, into the sinking fund. If I remembered correctly, Sylvia made that statement in Feb 2015 parliamentary sitting. Maybe somebody could enlighten me on what is going on.

The most puzzling twist is the total different tune sung in court vs what has been said in Parliament. Nothing was mentioned about PWC as “possibly bias” in AGO’s appointed audit in parliament but now in court room, the deliberation is totally different.

I agree with Sylvia Lim on one point though. This court proceeding is totally unnecessary. Just let MND appoint its auditor and get things going if WP is fully confident that there is nothing to be afraid of as there is absolutely no criminal wrong doings.

For the sake of the smooth running of AHPETC, I hope that WP would just oblige and get things going. If AHPETC and FMSS are both clean, which I believe so, there is no reason to be afraid of PWC in going through their accounts.”

 

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