In Parliament – To err is human

To err is human unless you are an immortal. Law Minister, K Shanmugam, had very strong words for the WP-run town council for all the lapses AHPETC made. It was like unforgiveable sin to make those mistakes even if the value concerned was not in the hundreds of millions or billions, so echoed many of the immortals. Hahaha, AHPETC got caught with their pants down. And the barrage of attacks was continuous for several days in the main media, like the bull dog that would not release its bite. I must say that the WP looked quite bad even though the public looked at it more sympathetically from the perspective of politicking, nothing else but politicking.

Now the social media is on fire. They could not bare the ruthless attacks against the WP and were finding an excuse to strike back. Thankfully they discovered that the numbers given by Shamugam were mischievously wrong. And the netizens are biting this piece of grave error fearlessly and refusing to let go, like the bite of, yes, a bull dog. It is not sure if the errors were intented or due to human error, or worse, immortal error. Below are some quotes from an article in TRE titled, ‘Problems with Shanmugam’s chart shown in Parliament’, credited to TOC.

….’He (Shanmugam) said “that WP took money from the man in the street and gave it to FMSS, to their friends” and described the town council’s finances as a “sorry state of affairs”.

He also took particular issue with the fees which FM Solutions and Services (FMSS) charges AHPETC. They are higher than in other town councils, Mr Shanmugam claimed.

From July 2013 to July 2014, FMSS charged $7.43 for each residential unit and $14.92 for each commercial unit, compared to $4.80 to $6.65 for units of each type, charged by the managing agents of the PAP town councils, …. he claimed that FMSS charges the highest rate among all the managing agents. He handed out charts showing a table of the MA rates for the different town councils to the Members of Parliament to illustrate his point.’

There was an apparent anomaly in the residential and commercial unit rates in Shanmugam’s chart. They were suspiciously the same. Sylvia Lim picked it up and asked Shanmugam about it.

“From what I know, MA rates are usually different from residential units and commercial units,… But in your chart, they are all the same. So I would like minister to clarify that there has been no mistake in this chart and it is really the fact that all this MA are charging the same rates for commercial and residential units ….So I think minister may want to check his chart.”

Mr Shanmugam got up and replied to Ms Lim immediately, “I can answer your answer straight away. You should look at annex 3 and you will see in the first page that the MA rates once they are done on a weighted average basis, these figures are accurate, [I’m] told by MND.”

The netizens were delirious with this golden opportunity to take it out on the flawless Law Minister to prove that karmic retribution is real and can be immediate. Do not do to others what you do not want do to you.

When Boon Wan was faced with the columbarium fiasco, he took the excuse of assuming the info given by HDB was correct and had to admit that it was not. Here, Shanmugam was cock sure his data was right. Now it is proven that the data was wrong and the netizen and WP are going to make him eat his own words. His template on the lapses in AHPETC is going to be thrown back at him.

WP is likely to go to Parliament and demand that Shanmugam gets to the bottom of this error. Who did it, why did he do it, who is going to benefit from it? Is there a conflict of interest? The misleading numbers, would they affect the fiduciary duty of the town councils to the people? What were actually paid and collected and reported? The WP camp is going to demand that Shanmugam comes clean, be transparent, do not hide any information, answers the questions put to him. Was the wrong data in the chart intentional, calculated to cause maximum damage to the WP?

What was the intent? Is this the only mistake, a fabrication? Is there a rot somewhere? Were the data presented to mislead the people as the WP was attacked and embarrassed in Parliament because of it? It is not like in the courts where the judge can tell the jury to ignore what was said. The issues were reported boldy in the main media and seen all over the world. And if Sylvia Lim did not notice and brought it up, the WP would be hung for it.

There are many questions that the WP would put them back to the PAP. Would there be a consistent patent of denial and deflection, and protecting whoever? Or, to quote Hri Kumar, ‘Why should the WP be let off easy just because it is the opposition?’ with ‘WP’ substituted by ‘PAP’ and ‘opposition’ by ‘ruling party’. The people must not be forced to accept less but full accountability. ‘This cannot be the way to go forward.’ This must be the war cry of the WP.

There are many things that the WP would be saying after the bullocking in Parliament and reported in the media. And now they are presented with the same opportunity to ask for their pound of the flesh. The big question, while the anti PAP netizens are having a ball of a time, what would the WP finally do in Parliament? Would they demand an apology for being put in a bad light or would they meekly say, ‘A mistake has been made, let’s move on?’


Anonymous said...

YES! YES! YES! Uncle RB.....

"Do not do to others what
you do not want do to you".

Because, You Do HE Watch!

So, please ALWAYS remember...

You Do HE Watch!

You Do HE Watch!

"kong hee fatt choy"!

Anonymous said...

I believe PAP's action backfired. Laymen know the difficulty faced by opposition since grassroots and CC serviec providers are under their control. Its worse than 3rd World countries. Even in Sri Lanka, the loosing government just handed over the control to the newly elected President without causing harm to the nation. No, here is you win we will destroy every bridge. The bullshit of elected MPs must serve the people is so glaring. When Potong pasir was in the Opposition ward, there was no sign of upgrading. Even the MRT station would not open to its residents. This is not a First World country in any definition. With MSM loosing its credibility, the same tactic deployed during LKY's era cannot work in the internet age. People are fed up, but do the leaders care?

patriot said...

Rid the Devils in the Government and
the People in the
Country shall live
sinlessly, peacefully


Anonymous said...

you want the WP to behave like PAP bullies ??

The said...

Karma will bite you on your backside.

Matilah_Singapura said...

The problem with most lawyers is that they never check the facts and data themselves---they leave this to their staff.

Most engineers OTOH, will check the data themselves, get their staff to check, then get independent "fresh eyes" on the data set, then just to be sure, check the figures themselves one last time. More on-the-bola engineers will check the methods of measurement (how the data was collected), check the instruments used to measure, and then check the METHODS on how the data was analysed and presented.

The Law Minister was really slack and had very low standards in interpreting this data set.

If you want to write a novel or a play, get a lawyer. If you want numbers crunched properly, get people who are steeped in STEM (Science, Tech, engineering, Math).

"All Is Number"---the dictum of Pythagoras and is school of math and science

We live in an age of Big Data. Don't fuck around, the increasingly vast data sets tell stories which have remained "hidden" up until now, at a time where we have better and better machines for crunching these huge sets.

b said...

LM has been sleeping on the job for way too long on public monies. He should be sacked.

Anonymous said...

PM Lee should be ashame of his cabinet as a mathematician by training, maybe a seppuku is in order

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

no actio if they are b-team...just move on and all happily keep their millions and 16k monthly allowance per person..