Used in combination,
chao kuan /kooahn, kʊɑːn/ a. [Hk. 款 kuan] means not playing fair, stacking the odds in its own favour.
For instance, the full text of the Aljunied Hougang Town Council (AHTC) letter dated June 10, 2011 clearly indicates:
"We would like to inform you that Aljunied-Hougang Town Council is in the process of developing a Town Council Management System to support its operations effectively.
We would like to thank AIM for the assistance rendered to us in preparing the migration of database to the new system.
The new system is targeted to go live on 1 August 2011. While the new system goes live, we are planning to have the AIMS-TCMS (Financial Module) running concurrently till 31 August 2011, so as to ascertain the reliability of the new system.
As such, we would like to put up a request to continue to use the AIMS-TCMS till 31 August 2011, for your favourable consideration please."
The smoking bit in Action Information Management (AIM)'s ungracious response dated June 22, 2011, as supplied by AIM, is highlighted:
"We hereby give notice in accordance with Clause 9.3 of the Conditions of the above Contract that, owing to material changes to the membership of the Town Council, we will cease to allow Aljunied Town Council the use of the intellectual property and system functions relating to the developed application software currently used by the Town Council after a period of at least one month from the date of this notice.
The provision of the developed application software will therefore be terminated with effect from 1 August 2011."
It is clear as day AIM had no intention of acceding to AHTC's simple request for a one month period to ascertain the reliability of the new system. That's chao kuan in action.
In the rebuttal to Teo Ho Pin's long winded yarn of obfuscation and denials dated 2 Jan 2013 on the sale of the developed software formerly owned by the PAP-managed Town Councils to AIM in 2011, AHTC's Sylvia Lim's succinct summary speaks volumes:
First, that the PAP-managed Town Councils sold off the computer and financial systems developed with public monies to a vehicle of the PAP, just prior to the General Election;
Second, according to the most recent statement of Mr Chandra Das, AIM's Chairman, AIM "as a PAP company" wanted to "be helpful to the PAP Town Councils", and;
Third, that the PAP sees no issue with an arrangement allowing them to terminate the software agreements with any Town Council with one month's notice if there is a material change in the Town Council's membership.
No need to call in Queen's Counsels to query the obvious; enough of taxpayers' time and money have been wasted on the pissing contest. To quote Ms Lim's Parthian shot: "We leave it to the public to make their own judgment." Touché.