Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A Disgraceful Attempt By Grace Fu

Mr Low Thia Khiang, in capacity of Chairman, Hougang Town Council, released a press statement yesterday to counter Senior Minister of State Grace Fu’s response to his charge that opposition Town Councils had never received either IUP, MUP or CIPC funding to improve and rejuvenate their estates, thereby placing them in a disadvantaged position compared to PAP TCs.

Debunking The Lie:
SMS Grace Fu had said that “not all PAP wards qualify for upgrading programme” and that “how much a town council gets from the government depends on the number and types of flat, not whether it is run by PAP or the opposition.”

The Challenge:
It is time the Ministry of National Development let the public know how much additional funding each PAP TC has received todate through the various upgrading programmes or has benefitted from the programme up to financial year 2009. This way Singaporeans can have a clear idea of which PAP TC did not qualify for the upgrading program as alleged by Grace Fu.

On the issue of collection of Service and Conservancy Charges (S&CC) arrears with which the opposition TCs were made to look bad in the Town Council Management Report, Low pointed out that PAP TCs had written off S&CC arrears. PAP TCs could afford to do it because they had priority access to additional funding received through upgrading programs. Some PAP TCs also used their own TC funds to help residents to pay and reduce the number of months in S&CC arrears and dress up the TCMR. Residents who dutifully paid their full share will be sorely pissed.

All these will come to light when MND details the additional funding each PAP TC has received through the various upgrading programmes which are funded by the national budget. If MND chooses to release the data, that is.

The 2005 SPH-NKF libel lawsuit exposed NKF CEO TT Durai's lie that he did not fly Business Class on charity funds, although he successfully sued and claimed court awarded damages from two individuals for saying same. In August 1997 and December 1998, NKF volunteer Archie Ong and aero-modelling instructor Piragasam Singaravelu respectively were hauled to court separately for defamation. The truth could have been established by simply checking against SIA's Priority Passenger list, but either SIA was keeping mum or the authorities pretended not to know. These big boys tend to stick together and look after their own, to the disadvantage of the less privileged common man.

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