Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Fix Goes On

At the watered down MND Review debate, Denise Phua, MP for Moulmein-Kallang GRC, said: "To be honest, the last thing on the minds of my fellow TC chairpersons, councillors and the staff was to fix and trip the opposition."

At least she stuck to the same word used by prime minister Lee Hsien Loong in a rally speech at Raffles place on 3 May 2006:
"Suppose you had 10, 15, 20 opposition members in Parliament. Instead of spending my time thinking what is the right policy for Singapore, I'm going to spend all my time thinking what's the right way to fix them, to buy my supporters votes, how can I solve this week's problem and forget about next year's challenges?"

But Cheong Yip Seng, 43 years at the Straits Times and retired as editor-in-chief in 2006, decided to change the offending word: "The prime minister would spend much more time than he now did, to counter the opposition." ("OB Markers, My Straits Times Story", page 424). He even wrote that it was Goh Chok Tong, not Lee, who first expressed the fear that the incumbents would have a hard time if the opposition gained more seats in parliament.

It's not a completely useless read, you do get the rare honest disclosure like ST was prepared to settle instead of going to court with NKF's TT Durai. His reasoning: "I was mindful of strong pro-NKF sentiments in powerful quarters". In particular, two ministers had come out in defence of NKF, one of whom is the self acclaimed patriotic Khaw Boon Wan, then the acting Health Minister. Based on his latest prima donna performance in parliament, he still acts.

With the significant investigations in the works, Shane Todd's mysterious demise, City Harvest Church court case, the unfinished business of AIM, one wishes there was an independent media in place. Cheong recognises that as the fourth estate, on par with the other three centers of power, executive branch of the government, the legislature and the judiciary. Cheong wrote Lee Kuan Yew had settled in advance the key principles of media management in a one-man-one-vote polity: "The first was that the Singapore media is not the fourth estate as it is in the West." (page 163)

That's one reason why you did not come across Sylvia Lim's discovery in the mainstream papers:
"The PAP TCs highlighted AIM’s “track record”, but based on the tender documents we have seen, AIM listed only one prior project, also a sale and leaseback. When AIM was asked to fill in a table indicating the identities of their key technical and professional staff, a line was drawn across the table with only one word typed in: “Outsourced”. "


  1. Hahaa... This takes the cake. The only track record is that the directors are all members of PAP.

  2. WP's Png has done a very good analysis and asked very compelling questions for readers to draw their own conclusion about this whole saga. When you are trying to draw a person, drawing the intestines will be totally unnecessary.

    1. I didn't read this interesting question from Png Eng Huat in the papers too:

      "Would any member in this House want to spend $23.8m of your residents’ money to develop a vital piece of software and then offload the IP to a third party knowing very well that future developments and upgrades of the system may depend on the use of the original IP rights?"

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Why the Need for AIM to own the Town Council Management(Computer) System?

      Why does Ministry Of National Development excludes HDB Estates manage by Alternative(Political) Party from using the Town Council Management Computer System?


  4. What did we know ? It could take 52 man-years to find out the name and owner of the outsourced company, just like finding out what is our national asset. Of course, we know better who is the master of this outsourced company if it even exists.

  5. A timeline to PAP's AIM.

    WP’s response.
    Responding to the report, AHTC chair Sylvia Lim, who is also chairman of the Workers’ Party, noted the fact that the town council’s audit took longer than expected because of its need to develop a new computer and financial system from scratch.
    In a statement released on 14 December, the same day the town council management review was published, she explained that as her party was taking over the town council in the wake of their success at last year’s election, it was informed that its existing computer and financial systems would be terminated from 1 August 2011, “due to material changes to the membership of the Town Council”.

    She pointed out also that the systems, having been developed collectively by the 14 PAP
    town councils over a period of more than 15 months, were in January last year sold to a
    company called M/s Action Information Management Pte Ltd (AIM).

    A new managing agent has been appointed by
    the Aljunied-Hougang Town Council (AHTC), without calling for a tender.
    The town council's chairman, Sylvia Lim, who is also MP for Aljunied GRC, said in a statement that it has appointed FM Solutions and Services Pte Ltd (FMSS) as its managing agent from 15 July, for a period of one year.
    A managing agent is in charge of estate maintenance and cleanliness.

    According to the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA), one of
    the shareholders of FM Solutions is How Weng Fan, secretary of the former Hougang Town Council, which was also run by the WP.

    The one-year contract signed with FMSS is shorter than the three-year contract
    typically made in the industry.
    While she acknowledged this issue, given the outlay that the agent requires, Lim
    noted that the town council expects that its operations should be stable within
    a year, after which the managing agent contract would be up for tender.

  6. timeline con't...(3)
    The AHTC was legally constituted on 27 May.
    She explained that the decision to award FMSS the contract without calling for a tender was due to the deadline set by the Ministry of National Development, in which the handover of management to new town councils was to be done by
    1 August.

    Lim pointed out that the current town council also had the task of putting in place new computer and accounting systems, and time was needed for hardware procurement and software development.
    "Given the urgency of the timelines above, and the overriding concern that Town
    Council services should not be disrupted to the detriment of the Aljunied-Hougang residents, AHTC determined that the best course of action was
    not to call a tender for managing agent services for the transitional period, as there was insufficient time."

    The write-up on that website says this about Mr Ang.

    /"Mr. Ang is a Member of Parliament for Hong Kah GRC (Bukit Gombak). He has almost 30 years of experience in estate management. He is the Chief
    Operating Officer of EM Services Pte Ltd, Chairman of Hong Kah Town Council and Vice Chairman of South- West Community Development Council."
    Ideally, being the MP for Bukit Gombak and therefore being involved in the Town Council
    management of Hong Kah Town Council, he should have avoided retaining the position of
    COO in EM Services. The problem is that EM Services has tendered for estate management in many Town Councils and has also tendered for
    projects in Hong Kah.

    In fact, on 7th August 2009, a term contract for the servicing and maintenance of Senior Citizens’ fitness equipment was awarded to EM Services for the period of 1 Dec 2009 to 30th Nov 2011 by the Hong Kah Town Council. Again, to be fair, Mr Ang was not sitting in the TendersCommittee of the Town Council. Although, there may not in fact have been any interference and the entire process may have been above board, it is
    sometimes not enough for office bearers to merely insist that everything was clean and above board. It is necessary for them to be seen to be
    above board as well. The best way to do it is to remove yourself from those companies that may potentially bid for such contracts or to cause
    those companies not to tender for the contracts in the first place.

    1. So EM Services quasi PAP company???! Wat has Khaw got to say now?

    2. EM Services being affiliated to PAP is already well known to the public.

  7. "Totalitarianism, however, does not so much promise an age of faith as an age of
    schizophrenia. A society becomes totalitarian when its structure becomes flagrantly artificial: that is, when its ruling class has lost its function but succeeds in clinging to power by force or fraud. Such a society, no matter how long it persists, can never afford to become either tolerant or intellectually
    stable. It can never permit either the truthful recording of facts or the emotional sincerity that literary creation demands. But to be corrupted by totalitarianism one does not have to live in a totalitarian country. The mere
    prevalence of certain ideas can spread a kind of poison that makes one subject after another impossible for literary purposes. Wherever there is an enforced orthodoxy — or even two orthodoxies, as often happens — good writing stops."

    —George Orwell The Prevention of Literature

  8. Well, the curren chief editor of Straits Times was almost fielded as a PAP candidate in a general election. So it is no surprise ST typically blacks out embarassing hanky panky by PAP.

  9. Sylvia Lim pointed out that the contract with AIM already allows variation of price(i.e. allow for increase of MA fees) due to changes in the composition of town council, so why is there a need for a one month termination clause????

    As usual, ST blacks out wht Sylvia said because Khaw has no explanation for this

  10. RE: Based on his latest prima donna performance in parliament, he still acts.

    Dear Tattler, you left a couple of words out from the sentence above in your comment piece. The sentence should end with ''...he still acts, and extremely badly too.''

  11. My vote is secret...5/15/2013 1:36 PM

    These revelations do not surprise or shock anymore.

    It does add to confirm their intent and modus operandi... which to die hard supporters will regard as political prowess to prevent alternative views.

    How anyone can deduce that alternative parties is bad for a country is beyond logic. If you want to but vegetables, it is always good to have choices.

    Supporters of the PAP should review their reasons to continue. It is time to rebalance the portfolio before the tsunami strikes in 2016.

    30% will be die hard supporters
    30% will be die hard oppossers

    40% remaining should be leaning towards opposing by now.

  12. god worked in mysterious way, CHC will be a non event

  13. There is definitely a breach on the minister oath. Bullshit Khaw should step down. We will not miss him at all.

  14. Listening to Mr Khaw, I was a bit confused. Here was what he said in response to Sylvia's comment that the tender was only open in substance :

    " Ms Sylvia Lim said that the tender was only open in substance because “each of the directors of the company had to have adequate experience in the operations and functions of a town council”.

    Mr Khaw said, " The tender requirements had been drawn up in the interests of residents. It was important that the vendor should have an established track record in TC operations, given the extensive and specialised nature of TC administration, involving thousands of HDB blocks and associated common property. "

    But later in response to Sylvia's query on whether 1-month termination notice is sufficient time, he said that such software could easily be purchased off the shelf. If this was true, then why do we need the interested companies to have such extensive track record???

    Also if Khaw's reply is correct, then why do the existing town councils take such a long time to redevelop a new software???

    I am not daft, but still I am confused??? Will someone please enlighten...

    1. If the staff is to be outsourced (ie no staff will be directly employed), HOW THE HELL could it pass through the Tender Review Committee as a bona fide tender ?

      Unless they are also saying that the Tender Review Committee are either manned by unprofessional members or that their integrity is questionable, no ?

    2. Bro (or sis),

      You're not the only one who's not daft but still confused with khaw's explanations and the mnd review report. Most of us feel the same as you.

    3. Khaw is resorting to oversimplification again when he says the town council software system can be bought over the counter.
      Just like the $8 heart surgery, he omitted to tell the whole truth about how much he had to pay for extra private insurance premiums, on top of what can be claimed from Medisave, Medishield and civil servant medical perks.
      You can't walk into Challenger and buy an accounting software to manage the town councils. The system requires support for a large database storage, multi-server access system for online transactions, back-up systems of disk arrays, and 24/7 uptime maintenance. Not exactly your typical Excel spreadsheet.
      In other words, Khaw was lying through his nose - again - and expected a daft audience to swallow hook, line and sinker.

    4. A good Buddhist does not lie.

      Does Khaw still claim he is a Buddhist?

  15. Are these our choices in GE 2016?

    Pro PAP versus pro TRUTH ?

  16. "...and expected a daft audience to swallow hook, line and sinker."

    Yup! and that audience are people from PA,NTUC,SAF,HomeTeam,HDB,MND,MOH,RC,Temasek,SIA,SingTel,NOL,PSA,SP,NEA,MOE,NTU,NUS,SPH... just name a few..

  17. PAP gahmen was collecting taxes in the 1960s.
    before EXCEL spreadsheet.
    before customized software.
    before personal computers.

    So really.
    How super complicated is this customized software anyhow?
    What exactly is it supposed to do to justify such a high price to develop?