Town councils - Time to do the right thing

President Tony had this advice for the govt at the swearing in of the new cabinet ministers at the Istana yesterday, ‘Singaporeans have chosen to place their trust in you because they believed you were the most worthy of that trust…You must continue to strive to deserve that trust. You must continue to engage Singaporeans honestly and openly.  You must continue to speak frankly with them on the tough issues, and lead with humility.’

16 town councils will be set up to run the 16 towns that Singapore is divided into. No one is complaining about the need for such town councils. Their functions were once run by the HDB. If there is no town council, similar organizations would still be needed to assume the duties and responsibilities of ensuring that the essential services to the residents are provided, efficiently and effectively.

The problems with the town council concept are basically political. The town councils provide essential services that must be continuous and neutral from politicking by politicians. There is no need to say more on this. Administratively, operationally and financially the politicizing of town councils is flawed and very costly. The flaws are too obvious and unnecessary. The bickering over AHPETC smells badly.

With the big mandate given to the PAP, with the trust the people gave to the PAP, would the PAP do the right thing, return the control and management of the town councils to HDB or a statutory board, and depoliticize the whole scheme?

This is the best time for the PAP to show it has the confidence and sincerity to do the right thing in this town council issue. The people have shown that they trust the PAP, will the PAP reciprocate the trust?


The said...

Mayor of London (Boris Johnson) paid S$312,888; population 8.6 million
Mayor of New York (Bill de Blasio) paid S$313,205; population 8.5 million
6 mayors of Singapore, each paid S$852,000; population 0.9 million per mayor

Traditionally, mayors oversees a city's municipal departments. So, shouldn't town councils to be taken care of by our mayors?

source: statestimesreview.com

Anonymous said...

".....would the PAP do the right thing, return the control and management of the town councils to HDB or a statutory board, and depoliticize the whole scheme?"

What is the right thing? Or rather who has the credential to say it is right or wrong? PAP? Opposition? RB? Netizens? Me?

Remember, right or wrong is judgemental and hence subjective, OK? Hope RB understand this.

Anonymous said...

Don't say it is right. Say it is less wrong.

If it is wrong for RB, it is less wrong for PAP.

After all, PAP also never exactly said setting up Town Councils is a right thing, did they?

Anonymous said...

.....and depoliticize the whole scheme?"

Hahahahaha. RB must be real naive to think and write in this way.

Hence I think he also did the right thing by not joining the Sinkie opposition and stand for election, or else all his efforts will be wasted.

Anonymous said...

Ha ha. What's happening in the Aljunied Town Council. No shadow no sound.

"problem" automatically solved. Election over, is it.?

If you are powerful you can easily start a fight. Truth is not necessary.

Anonymous said...

PAP had 50 years to do the right things.
- what you see now is what you get after 50 years of refinement.
- what you see now are PAP's true colours

agongkia said...

The right thing for town council to do is to help to generate more money from Sinkies .More money collected from Sinkies mean more salary for its staff and less kopi lui needed .
One way is to let the mangkala keep all the bin in secret places so resident cannot find bin to throw cigarette butts or rubbish and throw anyhow. Get the taegoo to summon them .This are all opportunities not to be missed.
Oso save manee bekor 1 mankala enub.
The hawker center that I patronise everyday has only 1 bin seen.Should send more taegoo .

Anonymous said...

Sometimes I find it difficult to throw food wrappings etc especially around shopping centres. Where are all the 'beans'?

Just because of the fear of terrorist placing bombs in those 'beans', they practically do away with them and expect us to carry drink cartons and plastic bottles, sweet wrappings and other styrofoam bozes after eating and walk all around the shopping complez. What a ridiculous idea. I think the whole thinking is that with fewer 'beans' to take care of, they need fewer cleaners. It is warp thinking because some will just throw rubbish on the ground when no one looks.

Just because a few Indians got drunk in Little India, shops around the whole island have to suffer the consequences. What kind of ridiculous idea is that?

We have people getting drunk and becoming unruly all over the island since Raffles landed and nothing untoward ever happened.

We can talk about many more ridiculous rules that can only be found in Sinkieland, including having town councils that are so politicalised, they make you cringe.

theonion said...


WP first has to get its act together to make sure the accounts are in order. If they cannot even handle town council issues, how to govern a country where the stakes are even bigger and outside interests are not always benign.