Open letter from PE resident to AHPETC

A reader living in Punggol East submitted the following open letter to AHPETC to us for sharing:

Dear AHPETC,

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.

Yours Faithfully,

Your concerned Punggol East resident.

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AIM-ing to give you the facts

The troubles in AHPETC have nothing to do with AIM. It is dishonest to link the two.

The PAP TCs consolidated ownership of the system under AIM as the start of the process to tender for a new system. By this time, the system was obsolete and worth very little.

“We entered into the transaction with Aim with the objective of benefitting the TCs. Over the last two years, the intended benefits have been realised. There is thus no basis to suggest that the AIM transaction did not serve the public interest, or was disadvantageous to residents in the TCs.” – Dr Teo Ho Pin 

AIM and its directors did not make any money from this consolidation and transfer of ownership.

The MND conducted an official inquiry and concluded that nothing wrong was done and this was discussed in Parliament.

When the WP took over AHPETC, it gave notice to AIM to terminate the contract for the system as it wanted to develop its own system. When it needed more time to do so, AIM granted extensions of time. AHPETC thanked AIM in writing for its assistance.

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With AHPETC’s accounts being flagged red and submitted late, the WP only raised the AIM issue 2 years later. But those had nothing to do with AIM.

Tan Jee Say style Coalition Government

Immediately after losing his bid to become president, Tan Jee Say set up his own Singaporeans First Party, and announced that he would focus on forming a coalition of opposition parties to contest the next general election in spite of the failed horse trading talks among the opposition parties.

He did an interview with foreign press, and in an article, they quoted him saying:

If the PAP failed to win a parliamentary majority in the next election, one possible scenario was a coalition of opposition parties forming a new government, he said. “The opposition today is more ready than the PAP in 1959 to form a government.” 

Really? Is the opposition of today more than ready to form a government?

Just take a look at their talks prior to the GE when they were deciding who should contest in which constituency. They could not agree with each other.

RP chief Kenneth Jeyaratnam left about half an hour into the meeting, after he said SingFirst insisted on contesting West Coast GRC. “We will try to resolve that with bilateral discussions,” he told reporters. “We contested there in 2011, we’ve been walking the ground.”“SingFirst hasn’t walked the ground there. They have approached a candidate to join them which shows they don’t have enough candidates,” he added.

NSP’s former secretary general Tan Lam Siong was seen outside NSP’s headquarters on Thursday evening. He said he was not present at the talks. “Unless there is a conclusion from tonight’s meeting that gives me a good enough reason to not contest (Potong Pasir SMC), there could be a three-cornered fight. As of now, I insist on contesting in Potong Pasir,” he told reporters.

It could be an issue of ego, no one willing to put their ego aside and come to a compromise.

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It is a surprise that of all opposition politicians, it is Tan Jee Say who comes out to say that the opposition is ready to work together to form a coalition government. He previously exited the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) to run for presidential elections and when he lost, subsequently formed his own Singaporeans First Party.

Here is what Low Thia Kiang thinks of Tan Jee Say’s great idea.

That belief still stands today, said Mr Low. “I have made it very clear at the Punggol East by-election (in 2013) in my speech … that we have different objectives, different leadership,” he said.

This definitely calls to question his belief that the opposition can work together, and that the opposition has a common belief. Evidently, opposition parties do not see eye to eye. If they can’t even come to a compromise on simple things like where to contest, how are they going to take a common stance when it comes to national issues?

You can have 3 cornered fights over a constituency, but you should not have 3 cornered fights in parliament, within the “coalition government”. 

Internet Brigades – Constructive or Destructive?

Today, when you go to Mainstream Media on Facebook, click on any post and find the number of negative comments on their posts. It is no secret that the opposition has an internet brigade which goes online spreading hate.

At first it was fine when they were not making personal attacks on people who did not agree with them. Freedom of speech right? Everyone is entitled to their opinion on an issue.

But what is NOT okay is when they go around and make personal attacks on well meaning Singaporeans who have voiced constructive comments or speak up in favour of the Government.

Channel News Asia released an article about steering away from negative campaign practices. Unfortunately, this only applies to candidates and agents but not their supporters.

Take a look at some of their comments. They are obviously unfair and are a form of cyber bullying.

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Their favorite term for anyone supportive of the government is “dog”. It is derogatory and disrespectful. Just because someone does not agree with you, it does not warrant name calling and mud-slinging.

I think Ms Tin has summed it up nicely.

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“As politicians, all of us have encountered our fair share of online vitriol; some perhaps more than a fair share. It is not pleasant to be on the receiving end of such online attacks, but many of us have cultivated a certain equanimity and learnt to focus on the important issues for Singapore. I went through a “baptism of fire” in 2011 and I can fully empathize with how my political colleagues and peers from other political parties feel. But online vitriol does not help our political development. Politics should be a contest of ideas, about how Singapore can tackle its challenges and improve the lives of its citizens. It should also be about who can best run a constituency and come up with the best programmes to serve residents. I may not agree with my political “competitors” on many issues, but I believe in their right to stand in front of voters, and put forth their views and positions too. Online attacks that use lies and innuendos to insinuate that a potential candidate is not fit to serve, or that use vulgar language and threats to push a potential candidate to withdraw, do not serve our democracy. It is important that Singaporeans are able to express their thoughts on issues freely. However, we can do this without personal attacks and harassment, resorting to lies or threats, hiding behind anonymity and false identities. We should be fair to others if we want our views to be heard too. Freedom of expression must be coupled with respect. I hope we can all work towards building a free yet responsible online space where constructive debates can take place.”

We should learn to respect other’s views even online and not resort to childish and rude name calling and personal attacks.

September 11, 2015. Who will you choose, to protect Singapore’s Future?

Parliament is dissolved.

The Election Writ has been issued.

Nomination day will be on 1 September 2015.

Polling day is said to be on 11 September 2015.

September 11, 14 years ago, on September 11, something tragic happened in the US. Terrorists shocked the world with destruction and left fear in all of us. We all have vulnerabilities which can be easily exploited by external and internal forces if we are not on our toes.

14 years later, we will decide our future for the next 5 years and beyond, on September 11.

Who can you trust, to protect Singapore’s Future?

Who do you think is capable, to protect Singapore’s Future? 

Who will you choose, to protect Singapore’s Future?

Steve Chia fallen to the hordes of Online Trolls.

Steve Chia fallen to the hordes of Online Trolls.
National Solidatary Party
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Today is a sad for democracy in Singapore. How could a decent man trying to make a difference to Singapore could make a statement like this?

So I went on a little investigation on who exactly are these online trolls starting with the link provided by Steve Chia.

This page was filled with embarassing information of his past.

Wait a minute. Hammer away?
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Next I back track when the attacks started by going through the time line of NSP’s facebook page. Everything was normal with each posting garnering about 100-200 likes and 20-30 comments.

But this particular post garnered 225 comments on the 19th August 2015.
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What is going on?

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How sad the comments.

One of the strongest comment which stiked us was

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So who is Firdaus?

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Even goh meng seng is pissed with the WP’s supporters attack.
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Remember AIM … Remember FMSS

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Remember AIM issue?

It was explained countless times and again it resurfaced.

1. Yes, the software was sanctioned by 14 Town Councils.
2. Yes, they paid the software by using the S&CC fees collected from residents.
3. Yes it was sold to AIM thru an open tender.
4. Yes, the software was later leased back to the Town Councils for a subscription fee.

But here are some facts.

1. The directors of AIM were not paid a director fee.
2. The software was getting outdated.
3. The cost for an upgrade would have meant a substantial initial outlay of the residents’ money.
4. Although there were several companies which took the tender documents but only AIM came back with a bid.
5. AIM did not profit from the purchase of the TC software nor from the lease back. Industry experts also mentioned that it was loss-making bid. (Maybe that is why no other companies bid for the tender)
6. Prime Minister Lee ordered a review of the AIM transaction and the fundamental nature of town councils, to ensure high standards of corporate governance.
7. The review reported that there NO wrong-doings and saying the AIM sale complied with regulations and there was no conflict of interest.

So how did this saga came about? hint* FMSS…. Overspent … WP…. Friends… (got it?)

Source: http://news.asiaone.com/News/Latest+News/Singapore/Story/A1Story20130504-420308.html
Source: http://lkyspp.nus.edu.sg/ips/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2013/04/TD_Ministry-review-clears-AIM-deal_040513.pdf