The WP’s Political Poker Game: Ruthless, Evasive, but Brutally Effective

Posted on Sep 6 2015 - 12:33am by Redwire Singapore

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COWBOYJOHNNY: Hougang had a surplus, AHPETC will have a surplus, and Punggol-East was in deficit when the PAP handed it over.

In just 4 days of rallies, the Workers’ Party gave the gamblers’ equivalent of “show-hand”, and it looks to have beaten the PAP at this game of town council poker.

The PAP got the game going when it dropped the bomb about AHPETC’s alleged fund mismanagement.

It went on the attack, and wave after wave followed, with the Ministry of National Development leading the charge.

When the accusations first started, the WP said “give us time to check”.

When MND minister Khaw Boon Wan suggested hara kiri, the WP sat quiet, choosing neither to take up or fall on their swords.

Minister after minister took up the cause to destroy the WP’s credibility – Shanmugam, Desmond Lee, Teo Chee Hean, and even Heng Swee Keat and Tharman.

Even when ministers like Mr Shanmugam made mistakes with their data, WP leaders chose dignified silence over extensive criticism.

Then,  the WP was brought to court to force upon it independent accountants of its choice, and it responded with what can be seen as “have faith, all will be revealed in due course.”

The PAP appeared to have scored a victory against their most dreaded enemy in recent years.

Then, the public began to tire of the whole AHPETC saga, all was revealed.

AHPETC – the town council will have a surplus of S$1.7 million once the government releases the S$7 million worth of grants to the town council.

Punggol-East – when the PAP handed over the town council, it had a S$280,000 deficit before grants, not unlike the situation facing AHPETC.

Hougang – Had a surplus before it became a part of AHPETC, contrary to what was said by DPM Teo and our Law Minister when they suggested that the WP couldn’t run a town council well.

Added to this, the AGO’s revelation just before elections that the People’s Association had incurred S$3.6 million worth of lapses.

And, more lapses were found with government agencies, the one that possibly caused the most resentment being the Gardens by the Bay contracts, where some S$20 million of contracts were awarded without tender.

While the public grew to regard the government as a bully as the AHPETC war drew on, it’s now seen as a bully with no basis.

Perhaps that was the WP’s plan all along in this war of attrition,  to lie in wait and land one brutally effective sucker – that last hidden poker card.

Ruthless and evasive, but with 6 days more to the polls, the WP might just have gotten the game wrapped up.

1 Comment so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Yeo Yam Hwee September 6, 2015 at 9:42 am - Reply

    How do the people in Singapore prevent another unfortunate episode of AHPETC from happening? Nobody seems to have given much thought about it. But to cut to the chase, I am referring to the safeguarding of computers and essential data in the town council in the event the management changes hands. Can anybody enlighten me if there is any safeguard to prevent unauthorised removal of equipment or information from a town council office should there be any change in management, particularly from one political party to another? Better yet, is there a set of COC to facilitate the proper handing and taking over of documents? Town councils are supposed to serve the interest of the common people; they are not bargaining chips for political parties. I hope all politicians are clear about that. The AHPETC saga draws out the worst in politics in Singapore, but the people in Singapore must have the necessary safeguards to protect our own interest. Career politicians are not indispensable; they can come and go. Life in our neighbourhoods, however, must go on. – 6 September 2015 (Sunday)

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