Opposition parties whine over changes, say they were expected.

Oh no, now that number of SMCs have gone up and the size of the GRCs have gone down, what will the oppies have to accuse the PAP of now? 

That was my first thought when the ERBC released their report yesterday. And then Today released this Article.

Various Opposition MPs or parties have also released statements on their facebook pages.

IMG_4113

Response from Worker’s Party NCMP Yee Jenn Jong

He’s highly disappointed because he can’t walk around for 9 days and hope to win the election? Haha…
Show the people what you’ve been doing on the ground all these while! SMC or GRC they should be supportive of you if you have been doing good work. 

IMG_4114

Response from The Reform Party

Wow, they talk big but for the past 4 years what have they brought to the table or what have they done for their residents? Being in Government is more than big talk.

Unfortunately, that’s all they have shown us.

Capture

Response by Singapore Democratic Alliance

They are literally asking PM to hand them the SMC on a silver platter. Hearts have to be won, not handed to you.

Through their responses, evidently they just want an easy win without hard work. Do they really deserve our votes? 

Advertisements

Gerrymandering… to whose advantage?

For the longest time, the opposition has been shouting foul play whenever election boundaries are redrawn.

In the process of setting electoral districts, gerrymandering is a practice that attempts to establish a political advantage for a particular party or group by manipulating district boundaries to create partisan advantaged districts. , gerrymandering is a practice that attempts to establish a political advantage for a particular party or group by manipulating district boundaries to create partisan advantaged districts.

Is it just me or did the new boundaries not seem to be in PAP’s favor? So can it still be considered gerrymandering? 

The other opposition parties should really be thanking the PAP now for giving them this added advantage. But where have they been? Their silence is deafening.

For the longest time they have been saying we should stop changing the electoral boundaries each election. Today, when the boundaries are in their favor they have changed their tune? Double standards indeed. 

Pot calling the kettle black? AHPETC vs PA Accounting lapses

The Auditor-General’s Office (AGO) has conducted its selective audit of PA and 124 of its grassroots organisations (GROs) between July 2014 and February 2015, and has observed that there were procedural lapses among GROs.

Netizens have expressed concerns regarding these lapses, citing the recent AHPETC saga which saw several dramatic episodes in parliament between the WP MPs and the PAP MPs. They say PAP is the pot calling the kettle black; they question the right of the PAP to condemn the actions of AHPETC when the PA GROs have committed similar offences.

There are some differences between AHPETC and PA to bear in mind.

1. WP has repeatedly refused to acknowledge their accounting lapses and conflicts of interest. They have not only refused to acknowledge their wrongs, they have refused to right their wrongs.

PA on the other hand, takes these findings seriously and has taken immediate actions to rectify all the lapses. PA has since informed AGO that it will review its procurement rules for GROs, to strike the right balance between competitive procurement and “expeditious decision-making” on the ground.

 Note the difference: If there is a mistake, they admit, investigate, punish if warranted and learn from it. This is not how AHPETC has done itYear after year, AHPETC has been making the same errors over and over again. Evidently, they have not learnt from their mistakes. 

2. Responsibility taken by the individuals is also an important factor to consider.

After many months of investigation, and pressure from the public and the court, AHPETC finally decided to do away with FMSS. No legal or stern action was taken against the company.

On the flip side, there was also one case of non-declaration of conflict of interest in a Citizens’ Consultative Committee (CCC). While the Investigation Panel set up by PA found no evidence of dishonesty by the volunteers concerned, this is nonetheless a serious lapse. The Chairman has apologised for the lapse and has resigned from the CCC. The CCC member has been advised to comply with proper procedures. Despite only being a volunteer, the CCC chairman has taken responsibility and has resigned.

Note the difference: AHPETC is run by paid staff, not volunteers. Hence, they are obliged to know the proper financial procedures. Volunteers in the GROs may not have this knowledge at present.  

3. AGO audited both AHPETC and PA. In the AHPETC case, the AGO said that the accounts cannot be relied upon and there can be “no assurance that public funds are properly spent, accounted for and managed”.

For PA, there were procedural lapses which were fixed and action taken.  But there was no issue with the overall accounts.

I think the difference is clear; the severity of the accounting lapses should be seriously considered when comparing both cases.

At the end of the day, the AGO report is impartial and it gives the organization a chance to improve on its governance. How it is managed is the crucial point. The management should be accountable and responsible for their flaws and make sure it does not happen again.

Announcement that the Electoral Boundaries Review Committee has been formed, too late?

Following the answer by PM Lee regarding the formation of the Electoral Boundaries Review Committee, netizens have taken to social media to express their excitement over the signal that elections could be happening soon.

However, one particularly interesting comment stood out from the Singapore Democratic Party(SDP).

“It is shocking that Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong chose not to announce the Electoral Boundaries Review Committee when he appointed it two months ago. He revealed the formation of the EBRC only in Parliament today. Such a non-transparent approach to elections continues to tilt the playing field heavily in the PAP’s favour.” 

Note that, they were upset that they were not notified that the Committee was formed, which is also a signal that elections are coming, based on past track record.

The question is: Would the opposition parties have done any differently, having known that elections are fast approaching? 

If the opposition parties had been doing good work on the ground for a long time, they would not be scrambling to build up good will now that elections are near…

But hasn’t this always been the trend? Contest for an election, lose and then disappear until the next election is nearing.

How do they expect to win this way?