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.