Wednesday, January 9, 2013

He Blinked

Maybe not.

The Prime Minister has asked the Ministry of National Development (MND) to review the controversial sale of a publicly funded software to a private politically linked entity "in the interest of transparency". It would be awkward to call in the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) as a blogger has already been threatened with a law suit for alleging corruption. The Auditor General is probably too busy with the passing of batons from outgoing Mr Lim Soo Ping, 62, to incoming Mr Willie Tan Yoke Meng, 57.

MND was involved when parliament was told in 2008 that 8 Town Councils (TC) had used $16 million of their sinking funds to buy toxic financial products from Lehman Brothers. MND then was tasked to come up  with a report to assess TCs' management of estates and funds. The stupid report ended up as a whipping boy to make the opposition wards look bad. Well, maybe not so stupid, it also opened up the Pandora's box that is the AIM scandal. It remains to be seen if MND's deputy secretary Tay and permanent secretary Lim will come up with something better.

The Prime Minister pointed out that none of the external auditors raised the sale as an issue. Well,  Arthur Andersen also never raised their hands ("keechiu!") either when they were auditing Enron Corporation. Still, CEO Kenneth Lay was convicted of all 6 counts of securities and wire fraud. Enron had used special purpose entities (SPE) - limited partnerships or companies created to fulfill a temporary or specific purpose - which are found in Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), the accounting industry's standards. According to McLean and Elkind in their book The Smartest Guys in the Room, "The Enron scandal grew out of a steady accumulation of habits and values and actions that began years before and finally spiraled out of control."

Enron's complex business model and unethical practices brought about its own downfall. A $2 company is a  perfectly legitimate business model, it's the moral hazard that is the critical issue at hand. Moral hazard occurs whenever a party with more information about its actions or intentions demonstrates a tendency or incentive to behave inappropriately from the perspective of the party with less information.


  1. Kekekeke! What a title to this post! Aptly described! Getting your own ppl to investigate into your own ppl? Will it be conclusive? The wayang just cont'd..... Really langgar!

  2. "In the interest of transparency and maintaining trust in the system...and satisfy itself that public funds were safeguarded and residents' interests were not compromised."

    That sounds like transferring the whitewashing from Teo Ho Pin to the Deputy Perm Sec of MND. But based on the reports of what Baey Yam Keng had said about TCs being political organisations, the review seems a superfluous waste of time to stall further questions.

  3. Pm Lee Hsien Loong, as the PAP Member of Parliament for AMK GRC andone of the 14 town council involved in the sale of the town council software to Action Information Management Pte Ltd a company fully owned by the PAP, you are a participant and potential defendant in the agreement to the sale of the town council software to a PAP company, of which you are a high ranking party member.

    As you are a party to the sale, directly or indirectly involved, and the fact the relevant authorities are withholding information in their
    possession not accessible to the public and by refusing to release this information, as if in a coverup, there is a conflict of interest on yr part, you cannot be seen to be impartial and may be abusing yr power of office.

    As you are involved, you have forfeited the mandate of the Prime Minister's Office which you hold, thereby you cannot exercise yr authority legally to dictate the course of action and direction of any investigation.
    Likewise, the MND Minister Khaw Boon Wan, a PAP Member of Parliament and Chairman of the PAP cannot exercise his Ministerial authority as he is also involved and has a conflict of interest to protect, as in self-interest or any wrongdoing.
    Any course of action should rightfully be left to a corrupt investigation bureau or the AGC.

    It is enshrine in our Constitution and almost universal in Commonwealth countries, a person shall not be qualified to be a Member of Parliament who holds an office of profit.
    If this is the case, Mr Lee, anytime when a Member of Parliament, his/her membership of Parliament are disqualified if they are paid and collecting apension and a salary while holding the office of a member of Parliament. The mandate he /she holds is therefore fraudulent and illegal.

    Joshua Chiang

    1. The Prime Minister is also incharge of the CPIB.

      So how?

    2. Too far-fetched, the Sale happened during that "HDB flats are affordable" MBT watch as Minister.Any vote of no confidence will not survive in the PAP parliament. At most THP will be the fall guy to appease the public.

    3. They are all part if the eco-system. If one falls, all will follow suit like a domino effect! Hence, they need to safeguard and protect each other to ensure all is perfect. No one shld fall. As simple as that.

    4. Yes, the investigator and the subject of investigation cannot be one and the same person/party. Otherwise any conclusion of the investigation will be suspect. Judges regularly recuse themselves sua sponte (on their own motion) when there is an appearance of conflict of interest.

      Any serious investigation will raise RED flags in this transaction. It appears that LHL is not serious about the investigation with his latest action. This is unfortunate.

    5. Where to find the indepedent head of the review commitee? Over table and uder table also PAP linked or civil servants. Same as the last PE where all 4 candidates were PAP-linked.

  4. Maybe it is the $2 company that will be down PAP

    1. Any more $2 or $3 company other AIM sharing the care-of address as PCF?

  5. In the interest of transparency, can our PM also explain what is preventing our PAP govt from naming the no. of companies that is owned/setup by PAP to do business with our GLCs, TCs, PA, etc ?

    Does PAP has anything to hide from the public ?

  6. Also in the interest of transparency, can our PM also explain how come some of our strategic investment holdings like in the case of that Shin Corp can be held in the names of foreign Thai nationals which Singapore public has no clue as to who they are ?

    How prevalent is this kind of Temasick investment shareholdings being held in foreign proxy names ? What kind of checks & balance are there to prevent those kind of "Chen Shui Bian" family tricks from happening to our foreign investment holdings ?

  7. Michael Palmer has given PAP lots of Christmas gifts. They are still unwrapping weeks after Christmas! Wow..

  8. Er, in yesterday's post and comments many claimed there was nothing that could be done by keeping the focus on conflict of interest and corruption. This shows that harping on the petty quarrel of what WP said and what Teo said is bullshit small talk. Hit it where it hurts the PAP in the eyes of the world, focus on big issues that affect the nation like accountability and corruption and human rights. Alex Au and Lucky Tan did the brave thing so bloggers can piggy back, now show some backbone and support the fight on big issues and away from petty talk.

  9. My vote is secret1/09/2013 7:27 PM

    It is messy.

    Caused mostly by misguided principles that opposition parties must not be allowed fair wind in their sails.

    No laws were broken

    Yet because of this singular belief that the enemy must never be able to use any component that was developed,earned or built, its messy.

    It just goes to show how narrow minded these people are. This is not attributes of greatness or even leadership. Its school yard bitching by little girls and boys less than 10 years old.

    If I were a party member, I would resign, or remain very quiet and stay in the shadows.

    1. Oh I wouldn't say these pple are Narrow-minded. Small-minded - yes, short-sighted - for sure, petty - you bet, selfish, self-centred and vicious - absolutely!

      Whatever it is, so much for all those claims about the welfare of the country and its people coming first.

  10. Very strange for the PM, to blink twice in two days consecutively. Today, 9th Jan : By-Election within the month!

    For the the MND to review the so & so, maybe it was to pre-empt WP Sylvia Lim's move in Parliament which was another interesting news item.

    Maybe, it was the perceived backlash from serving that Letter-of-Demand on Alex Au.

    Three EP 2011 candidates put up statements in quick succession. The notable, glaring silence from the Elected President, is expected.

    Protocol, whatever.

    This AIM -AHTC saga will also define the WP's credibilty and capability in Parliamentary procedures and debating skills. WP's MPs must not be the first to blink.

    There is this Parliamentary Privilege thing. Use it.

  11. PAP-MIW Joke

    Daddy, daddy.
    The Catholic church has a wonderful system for choosing the Pope.
    The Pope appoints the cardinals.
    And the cardinals appoints the Pope.

    Daddy, daddy.
    Why not I appoint ????? to investigate the Town Councils.
    One hand washes the other.

    1. Daddy to stupid son:
      "Don't be stupid. Are you biting the hand that feed you ?"

  12. PAP-MIW Joke
    Daddy, daddy.
    You are a lawyer.
    What do these phrases mean;
    "related party transaction"
    "arm's length dealings"
    "independent judicial review"
    "checks and balances"

    Why you never teach me about these things?
    Is it because you think they are not important?

    1. Daddy to stupid son:
      "Don't be stupid. If I tell you what they are, you are not fit to be my son. Only lesser mortals need to know, we are extraordinary so these does not apply to us."

  13. PAP-MIW Joke :

    Daddy, daddy.

    You were appointed & paid to mentor us. How come you never teach us a single thing about conflict of interest in appointing one's family members to high official positions.

    Look at how people are now talking behind our backs.

    1. Daddy to stupid son:
      "Don't be stupid. If I tell you about conflict of interest, will you be born with silver spoon with mandate of heaven ?"

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