2/21/2014

AHPETC – A battle for Transparency and Impropriety

Ng Eng Hen is furious with the poor verdict of Transparency International on how his ministry spent money on the purchase of weapons. TI ranked Singapore together with Afghanistan and Iraq, in another word, our integrity in procurement is at the same level at these 3rd World countries, or at least in the Defence Ministry. The implications of such a rating are very serious, and many times more serious than the audit report of AHPETC.

Khaw Boon Wan had written a letter to Tharman to instruct the Auditor General to conduct an audit on AHPETC’s account quoting a Disclaimer of Opinion from its auditor, implying serious issues in the town council’s financial and accounting system. The Auditor General will now have to comb through AHPETC’s books to verify on all the misgivings and non compliance of Town Council’s regulations.

What we are seeing is the PAP wanting to set a very high standard of accountability and transparency for all town councils. And all town councils will be judged using the same standard of accountability, nothing less. On the other hand many critics are crying foul, that this is another political scam of the PAP to run down its political enemies, probably getting them disqualified from the next GE or, if serious enough, could see some of them behind bars. If this is indeed a political ploy, one can expect the PAP to extract the full mileage possible with the timing of the findings, the penalties and punishment, to ensure the WP suffers untold damage that it would become a lame duck when the GE is called.

Putting this expected and understandable perception of PAP critics aside, the involvement of the Auditor General to audit a town council’s account would set a series of precedents that would then be applicable to all the other town councils. To be consistent and be seen as fair and impartial, and standing on moral high grounds, the Auditor General would also have to conduct the same investigations on all town councils with the same ratings from their auditors or worse, like Adverse Opinion in auditing terms. The opposition parties and netizen investigative journalists in social media must be busy scouring the auditor’s reports for the same gradings to be tabled to Boon Wan and the Auditor General. And should there be such findings, the PAP would now be compelled, or at least Boon Wan would be duty bound to make similar requests to Tharman for the Auditor General’s audit.

Would this high standard of transparency and accountability also be applicable to similar or comparable institutions like the People’s Association? In a Breaking News TRE editorial, it posted an article stating that the auditors had given the PA several years of Adverse Opinions that were technically worse than the Disclaimer of Opinion in the AHPETC’s audit. Why was there no calls for the Auditor General to investigate? All eyes will now be focussed on Boon Wan to do the necessary to PA. Would he or would he not request Tharman to do the same?

With the issue of transparency and accountability high in everyone’s agenda, how far would these issues be pushed to vindicate Singapore’s standing as one of the top nations in incorruptibility? Would there be any other town council fitting the bill for an Auditor General’s audit? Would PA be put under the microscope as well?

For Boon Wan to take such a drastic action, he must be very sure that his own house is in order, ie all the town councils’ audit were beyond reproach. Like the bible said, ‘Let the one who has not sinned be the first to cast the stone....’ We have several embarrassing episodes involving the WP and the PAP when the ball curved back to slam the attackers. Retribution came fast and swift at times. How would this incident turn out and who would have the last laugh?


Kopi level - Green

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

"How would this incident turn out and who would have the last laugh?"

Hahahahaha.

The one (party) who would have the last laugh or even laugh every time is when they can win 60% votes in a GE.

Of course you may not share their laughter or make no sense of it but does it matter?

Anonymous said...

"Retribution came fast and swift at times."
RB

But retribution or not, fast and swift or not, but does it make the WP any more ready or even determine to be govt?

So that the 60% will change the minds who to vote for next GE?

What do you think?

Anonymous said...

If I were Mr Khaw, I no worry retribution one, or anything. Because I got $8 heart bypass not long ago, so cannot worry too much.

Or else where got enough time to enjoy my millions, u tell me lah?

Anonymous said...

We have to go back to the sale of the financial system of the town councils to AIM by the PAP controlled town councils. Who in the right mind will sell their everyday use system, expensively developed, to AIM, and then be threaten by termination by AIM?. The handover was also faced with hidden agenda.

Virgo 49 said...

Let's the HDB run the nitty gritty affairs of the estates management as they had done donkey years ago.

Economy of scales. Everybody pay less. No extra funds for Lehman Bros and Sisters.

This Town Council stuff is to fix the Opposition in seeing them failed and looked bad.

MPs should concentrate their time on National issues of the citizens.

Go and fix garbage collection and dripping pipes???

Waste taxpayers monies.

Virgo 49 said...

Chinese saying: He who digs graves for his bros, shall himself fall into it.

Do not be surprised that the AG dig out the dirt of the previous Georgie boy skeletons of 1.2m not transferred to sinking fund.

We have another lenghty Court case. Just like the DAP when they took over the administration from the Gerakan Party. They burned all their records etc.

Anonymous said...

If the term of reference says audit only the last two years, then no one will look into the past.

Anonymous said...

Would this be the new standard, any public institutions with an Disclaimer of Opinion or worse, Adverse Opinion be investigated by the Auditor General?

This is going to open many cans of worms for sure. Cannot have double standard right?

Anonymous said...

Has Khaw stepped on a trip wire and going to set a big blast at PA and other town councils?

Anonymous said...

Cannot have double standard right?
Anon 10:18 am

Before you ask that, u should ask whether can u be a leader of a party that can contest 100% seats and win 60% votes?

After that, then answer the original question yourself.

Matilah_Singapura said...

Please lah redbean, you may not like the sg.gov, but their standards of transparency are pretty darn good. They know all eyes are on them at all times, so they don't fuck around lah.

I give full support to the PAP holding the Town Council's (TCs) feet to the fire. If there is any impropriety, motherfuckers should be caught and punished -- jail is good. I love to see bad people die, tortured or go to jail, makes my dick hard.

Cannot compare the TCs to the PA lah. The PA is a govt-run social club where people of various ethnicities get together to prove to each other that there is no inter-racial hatred, brainshwash children in kindergartens, play some ping-pong, badminton, and some water sports -- the "legitimate" kind not the 'Golden Showers' kind (although I won't completely rule out that possibility).

Anonymous said...

RB

Your favourite MP also stood behind some NKF dude claiming his innocence, "peanuts, was it?", and wasn't that same someone paid only $2 for a bypass while others thousand or even hundred of thousands?

The Auditor General in recent made more than one visit and found many had also some little problems, "think I read that last week? was it?" e.g. Mindef, PA and was there a MDA?, so why is there a ho ha over WP TC....oh!!, they're the opposition...so what's new???.

You may be right, there's GE in the air and very soon too.

very hard to get your kopi up leh.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Knn Matilah, you seow? I praised the govt for setting high standards of accountability and you accused me of fucking around. That is one thing I am different from you, no fucking around indiscriminately.

And who is my favourite MP, I got so many, young ones, old ones and pretty ones.

And Matilah, you ass worshipper, wait for my next piece on what the PA said and I guarantee you will pengsan.

Oh, actually my kopi was not green. After they did some adjustments it turned yellow again.

Anonymous said...

If the PAP's transparency standard is that good, how come not one of them came out to suggest that the Auditor General should undertake the audit of GIC and Temasek, knowing that when Ong Teng Cheong wanted to know the true picture of the assets of GIC, they told him it would take 50 years to produce.

How come the auditors of GIC and Temasek did not come out to declare that the accounts of GIC/Temasek is not in order? Instead of taking GIC and Temasek to task, they removed Ong Teng Cheong and the story ended there.

What is more important to Singaporeans? The transparency of GIC and Temasek handling Singapore's reserves of hundreds of billions or AHPETC's accounts which is peanuts.

I think the more the PAP thinks they can put the opposition in very bad light, they will end up shooting their own feet. They are making marginal voters turn against them if they are not careful and continue to resort to dirty tactics to make themselves look good.

They may think they can fool people all the time.

Anonymous said...

Has Khaw Boon Wan scored a own goal?

patriot said...

2 heavyweight ministers are mentioned here. Both are serious and no nonsense calibre, their solemn demeanours tell all that.
I have the impression that both should be very impartial and righteous folks. Maybe, it is just a personal view that I have of them and that is both of them would uphold propriety in whatever they do.

patriot

Anonymous said...

Hahaha

One righteous minister was at one time censured for leaking information.

The other righteous minister had already been known to be fond of throwing smoke bombs that were blown into his own face. He already had given netizens much ammunition to shoot him in both feet relating to his old folk's home blabber, his $8 heart bypass boasts, his jumping of the gun on Yaw Shin Leong's infidelity that backfired.

Now, is he hoping to be fourth time lucky by getting it right?

If he shoots his own feet again, I hope he knows when to shut his mooing mouth in future.

b said...

I trust the TI more than the AG or PA or PAP. At the end of the day, are there anyone out there still believe PAP and their cronies? All along voters were voting out of fear not trust.

Anonymous said...

WA!!!!! PA kena "adverse opinion" from the auditor. Which means more serious leh!!!. Does that mean we will see LHL, Lim Boon Heng and all the top members in PA going to jail pretty soon? I want to see our PM standing before the court of "justice" in Singapore, if there is any.

Anonymous said...

One might have mooed, blabbered and boasted too much. However, with his elderly look and steady behavior, he looked more serious than the neighing frolicsome Baey. The Baey
horses around like a playful kid.

Anonymous said...

Audit ... audit lor!
If you do nothing wrong, then why so scared?
IF AHPETC do nothing wrong, then no need to be scared.
If PA do nothing wrong, then also no need to be scared.
Just audit and show Singaporeans that taxpayers money are spent properly ... with transparency and accountability.

Anonymous said...

PA is under his boss and the old man is still alive. No, Khaw would not dare to do what he did to AHPETC.

In the worst case scenario, if he is proven wrong in passing hasty judgement on AHPETC, he will just say 'I look silly'. Matter is then considered closed.

If the opposition were to say that they look silly, the PAP would demand 'look silly also must explain'. Got the drift?

Just be patient. They will wriggle their way out. Changing the rule is one way. They have been doing this for decades and are experts in such tricks. They have fooled the 60% for more than four decades.

Anonymous said...

RB, if a listed company accumulates 10 adverse opinion reports, what do you think would happen to the directors & CFO of the company ?

Anonymous said...

Swift justice meted by karma specially for those who claim to be staunch Buddhist

Anonymous said...

Lol. 60%. Standard so low ah? Last time 70 % leh. Earlier 80% wow! Next one pray for 50% happy already tio bo?

Anonymous said...

That's why Dr Kan Ninabu now Chui Tak lan. Can borrow TinTin's famous phrase "I dunno what to say"