|Victim of budget constraint?|
Riverdale Drive resident reported the problem to the Pasir Ris-Punggol Town Council one year ago, about water dripping on residents collecting mail from letterboxes. The HDB representative had inspected the premises and told them it was toilet water from a second floor. Asked why it still rains shit water, MP Michael Palmer outright lied,"sometimes, due to budget constraints, projects take time to implement".
The 16 town councils manage more than $1 billion in sinking funds. Prior to the financial meltdown of 2008, Aljunied Town Council alone had $84 million in its sinking fund. It stashed away so much cash, they parked $44 million with investment bankers, an increase of about 33 per cent over the $30 million in 2005/2006. Rather than meet mundane contractors to fix leaking ceilings, they preferred to convene with (and be feted by) fund managers about esoteric derivatives and Collateralized Debt Obligations. Holland-Bukit Panjang and Pasir Ris-Punggol parted with about $12 million and were taken to the cleaners with troubled structured products like Lehman Minibonds and Merrill Lynch Jubilee Series 3.
But oh, were they were prompt to take a man to court for S&C Arrears of $432! In 2009 Mr Lim Beo Thiam, a 52 year old out of job for 18 months and missing part of a leg through diabetes, wrote to ST Forum (30 September) about how Jalan Besar Town Council piled on court penalties and late payment charges that ballooned to excess of $3,000.
The Marina Bay Sands gambling joint was completed months ahead of time, Vivian Balakrishnan spared no expense to ram through his pet YOG project, and town councils have a "budget constraint"? Surely Palmer has to be stretching the limits of his party's credibility. Next, Transport Minister Raymond Lim will be saying budget constraints delayed the installation of screen doors at the Ang Mo Kio MRT station. Tell that to the parents of the 14-year-old Thai national who fell onto the tracks. To date, only 15 out of 36 above-ground stations are installed with half-height platform screen doors, because SMRT claims "installation work is limited to just 2 to 3 hours each night".