A reader living in Punggol East submitted the following open letter to AHPETC to us for sharing:
I note with distress the latest Town Council Management Report for FY2014 which the Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council (AHPETC) was banded “red” in the areas of service and conservancy charges arrears management and corporate governance.
The report has stated that most of the Town Council’s S&CC arrears reports since May 2013 are still outstanding. I find this highly disturbing, because submitting documents and reporting of stats should be the most basic and simple responsibility of the Town Council since they are managing public funds. AHPETC took over the running of Punggol East around that period as well, after the by-elections in early 2013.
I’m concerned, was AHPETC scrambling to take over the running of Punggol East or were they only focusing efforts on winning Punggol East so as to fill the financial hole in Aljunied Hougang Town Council(AHTC), hence leaving Town Council affairs in a mess? Punggol East was indeed wrong to have given you the chance to represent us.
Although I don’t really understand all the legal jargon over the estate management, and don’t profess to be the expert over it, but WP has never come forward to refute the claim that they have been using funds from Punggol East to cover up the financial hole in AHTC. The way in which the Town Council has conducted itself in this entire episode is simply unacceptable, and to profess to be accountable and transparent is simply an affront to the idea of accountability and transparency.
Since we cannot change the past, and what has been done has been done, I accept that and would like to move on too. But I hope to have some closure on this matter. Punggol East has been won back by the PAP in this recent elections, and I hope that the Town Council has a plan for handover for the merged Pasir Ris-Punggol Town Council to be formed. The fact that AHPETC has not submitted their accounts since May 2013 could mean that documents are not in order. In that case, I am not confident that AHPETC can handover to the new Town Council.
These are your Punggol East residents’, our, hard earned money. Overlooking all the overpayment to FMSS and the 2 page stunt pulled by Mr Low towards the end of elections, I hope that AHPETC can properly explain to residents what has been going on.
The new Town Council Chairman, Mr Pritam said,”Despite incremental enhancements made to the existing IT system over the last few years, there remain inherent limitations which continue to contribute to some management and reporting challenges associated with S&CC arrears management and corporate governance,” he said. “The new system is expected to be operational within 18 to 24 months from the award of tender.”
The new system is obviously unable to be operational before the handover of the Punggol East accounts to the new Town Council.
If the Town Council is unable to do a handover, it will be very difficult and almost impossible for the new Merged Town Council to be set up. Who is going to clean our estate in the meantime? Are we going to have to do it ourselves? Is AHPETC going to continue to maintain our estate until they are able to do the proper handover?
I am upset that this has happened, but it seems to only be dragging on. Residents need closure, and let a new Town Council take over. We are your residents, and Mr Pritam has said that he will answer to us. But so far, our questions have been left unanswered.
Your concerned Punggol East resident.