Public institution or political organization

The AIM saga has led many to question the nature of Town Councils. Are TCs public institutions or are they political organizations? This also brings to question whether the People’s Association is a public institution or a political organization. According to Tan Cheng Bock, TCs are public institutions. Baey Yam Keng said otherwise, that they are political organizations and the AIM saga has been over politicized. Should not that be the case since they are political organizations?

What are the differences between a political organization and a public institution? There are many and very obvious differences without having to split hairs. Academics may have a long list of definitions or what is and what is not. I would simply lay out a few cogent points of what is a public institution and what is not.

A public institution is often formed to serve the interests of the public in general, not a particular group or political party. It draws its funds from the public or from the govt. It is has no links to any political party. These should be brief and easy to understand. Political organizations are simply organizations of political parties to serve party interests.

An organization that is paid by the public or by public funds from the govt should be a public institution. Political organizations that serve the interests of political parties must not be paid by public fund or the govt. There is a big grey area that need not be grey at all, that is the govt. The govt is made up of political parties, singular or a coalition. They are political parties first and the govt second. It could be the other way round. The govt is to serve the general public of all political colours. But this is easier said than done. Most govt will look at party interests first and public interests second for self preservation and selfish interests. Ideally, political parties should shed their politics when elected to form the govt and serve the public at large as one people of one country. I said ideally, and I am asking too much. Even immortals will be biased to favour party interests than public interests.

The govt aside, should TCs be public institutions or political organizations? Likewise, is the PA a public institution or political organization? Who is footing the bill? Who pays their salaries and activities? The govt using public fund or the political party using party fund?


Anonymous said...

A public institution should be able to continue to operate without any changes of staff or procedures when there is a change of political parties in power. They should provide a continuity of service to the public and not be disrupted by political changes, like the civil service or uniform groups. Or else all the key personnel would have to be changed.

Anonymous said...

If TCs are "political organizations" as unabashedly established by BYK, then it should also not be a big problem to come right out and say further that AHTC was booted out by PAP owned AIM for political reasons (IF that were truly the case here) and not beat about the bush by bringing in all sorts of distracting and irrelevant issues in the media such as who terminated first etc. The public would appreiate the unvarnished truth and prefer not be led on a wild goose chase.

patriot said...

Thought Sinkies accept Sin = PAP
PAP = Owner Of Sin.
So, everything including the people, belong to PAP.

No ?


Anonymous said...

Definition of a Public Institution
An institution funded by public (taxpayers) money serving the public.

Definition of a Political Institution
An institution funded by a political party's money serving the narrow interest of that political party.

Guiding Principles
1.Where is the coming from?
2.Where is the money going to?
3.Who benefits?

Anonymous said...

If PAP = Owner of Singapore.
Then National Service = Service to PAP.
That means National Servicemen are risking life & limb for PAP.

And it is alright to use National Servicemen to help out at PAP rallies.

The said...

From my faded memories, if I remember correctly, the town councils were implemented to take the heat from HDB which was rightly seen as part of the government and part of the PAP. Citizens were unhappy that they were not able to get the flats, long queues over many years, unhappiness over defects, maintenance etc. To pass this hot potato to someone else, the town councils were seen to be the answer - blame the town councils if people are not happy, but don't blame the PAP government.

Now, it seems that we have gone one big round, and the chickens have come back to roost.

Anonymous said...

@ January 08, 2013 10:10 AM

Yes. A simple distinction.

But very worrying when MPs cannot see the distinction. Next thing they will say TH and GIC are political organizations and the Singapore reserve belongs to PAP.

Anonymous said...

Hi rb,
What if all the PAP MPs and ministers say that all is kosher on this deal in their many iterations of logic and spin? They are all part of the 13 TCs and can make the law technically. They are right on this? No?

Anonymous said...

Setting up extremely partisan institutions and structures in place of strong, neutral public institutions weakens our nation and exposes it to an unacceptable level of risk by creating an over dependence on single parties, individuals and groups.

This weakens our national capacity to weather any future democratic change and thereby weakens democracy itself. It forces voters to consider day to day governance and resource issues as an inseparable aspect of partisan electoral politics rather than focusing on the long-term policy differences between parties. The country needs a backbone of strong neutral institutions that can function well regardless of changes in political power. Sad sorry state of affairs we are currently in. Clearly entrenching party power is more important to some than creating stability for the long-term future of the country.

Anonymous said...

Clearly our loyalty to PAP has severely compromised our nation building efforts.

oldhorse42 said...

Does it really matter if an entity is public institution or political organisation or public listed company? All are in the service of HIS MAJESTY. Take SIA for eg. It is a public listed company owned by shareholders. His Majesty could have a plane retrofitted and flew back his sick wife even though commercial alternative was available. Did the shareholders questioned the management on this?

Anonymous said...

Baey Yam Keng.
Besides Town Councils, would you also say that the civil service is also a political institution?
Since PAP seems to recruit fairly regularly from the civil service?

Clearly, we will have to vote Opposition to rebuild our public institutions.

Anonymous said...

What if the PAP loses power? Will the civil servants take orders from the new party in power? Will the police and army act for the new party in power? How about the many GLCs, the HDB, the PA, the transport companies, the schools, the polyclinics and hospitals, the cleaners? Will they take orders from the new party in power?

Anyone notice all the ex-army guys heading companies here and companies there? Is this what was meant when we were threatened the army will take over if there's a freak election result? Is a strike force being put in place now?

And what about our deals with others on Water, Electricity and Food? Will we find clauses about material changes in the fine print, so we don't get any Water, Electricity and Food as normal if there's a new party in power? Thus chaos, as promised, will follow?

Anonymous said...

Yes yes yes. Nailed it. Fully agree with you.

Anonymous said...

The people have given the mandate to them so people have to accept whatever from them even if it may be silly, stupid or dumb.

Matilah_Singapura said...

Any group larger than a small dinner party eventually devolves into politics where people gang up against each other in a zero sum game.

It's human nature.

Anonymous said...

Daddy, Daddy.
They say Town Council is a public institution.
They say Town Council must work for the benefit of all Singaporeans.
They say Town Councils don't belong to the PAP.

Daddy, Daddy.
How ah?

Anonymous said...

Now 40% who did not vote for PAP will not need to pay for their conservancy fee to the TC. New Year gift from Mr Baey!

Anonymous said...

Trying to differentiate whether an establishment is a public institution or a political organisation is a joke in red dot.

They have politicalised every establishment that is of necessity for them to hold on to power. The HDB, CPF, NTUC, MSM, PA, TCs such that Singaporeans could not even fart without their permission.

All the blame have to fall on the majority of Singaporeans because they gave them the mandate by voting for the PAP, election after election. It is still not too late to make a change come 2016.

Anonymous said...

Don't worry my son. Send MND to investigate. No need to fret, We own the MND !

Anonymous said...

Oh goodie, goodie. Holy cow is going to talk like a human again in a month's time. But...whether Singaporeans can understand or not is another thing.

Matilah_Singapura said...

@anon 1057

Hit. Nail. Head.

The people and the government both get what they deserve.

However, unlike most bloggers here, I do not blame the government like I used to when I was "young dumb and full of cum".

Whatever happens to a cuntree is 100% the responsibility of The People. If the people are unable to reign in and limit the power of the state, or check the growth of influence of the govt on public institutions -- including "intrinsic" public institutions like language and culture, then the people have no one to blame except THEMSELVES.

The people in government come from the same genetic stock as the people who give them permission to govern and run the cuntree. So people and government are actually the same, except one group controls the other. If the people have lost control of their government, can you really blame the government? I don't think so.

Now for the unvarnished truth: Many Singaporeans look at each other with contempt and mistrust

There is also a nice dose of envy and impatience in the culture, added to the already kiasu-kiasi "emotional default": people want, for e.g., their home NOW. People want their cheap medicine NOW. People want free shit for their butt-ugly and dumb brainwashed children NOW. People want millions to retire on... Singaporeans want everything but are not prepared to put some skin in the game and contribute. They get pissed off when some foreigner can deliver the goods better, faster, cheaper and withe a better attitude than they, the spoilt, nasty, xenophobic Singaporean can.

And so they see HOW they can "expropriate" this free shit from their neighbours and fellow cuntree folk (whom they look on with contempt and envy), and so they vote in a bunch of local thugs from the PAP Gang Inc. to do their dirty work for them.

If the people can self-organise and solve their wants and needs VOLUNTARILY, there would not be a necessity for a meddling and interfering government to come in and take over the show, and DRIVE A WEDGE between people and fostering MORE DIVISIVENESS. Voluntary spirit gives way to COMPULSION UNDER THREAT OF PUNISHMENT.

Basically if you hate each others guts and refuse to cooperate voluntarily, then a GANGSTER will eventually step in and "sort it out".

Thank the baby jesus that Singapore is a HOTEL as far as I am concerned. And a damn fine hotel it is. Top class management, awesome amenities and accoutrements and an oh-so compliant and trouble free staff of minions. I love it.

Got self esteem?

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

The biggest con job is to mislead Sinkies to think that they are millionaires. The worst part is that some are merely millionaires on paper, money in CPF or in their flats.

They did not know that these are nearly banana notes status. Till the early 70s, $400k can buy 10 semi Ds. Anyone with this sum of money will be a big towkay. Today, $400k can't even buy a decent HDB flat, no even a sports car. And a hospital bill will wipe it out instantly.

Matilah_Singapura said...

redbean, It is easy to forgive people and cast them as "victims" of being "misled".

Bullshit lah. Singaporeans already have it in their minds that they would all like to be millionaires. So, fuck, suggest that they are millionaires and they will fall for it hook line and sinker.

These are supposedly rational adults with world-class educational background, good jobs, money-in-bank and investments, well-travelled...come on lah, they're not "victims". There is no one to "blame".

You can't CHEAT an HONEST man.

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