What is this $1.9m upgrading package? To me it is a simple number but why are the politicians fumbling with this number like a hot potato and could not get it right? Hey, I expect politicians to know how to count, to know how to get their numbers correct. Murali said this $1.9m is part of the $24m package David Ong proposed for the people of Bukit Batok. Then why not say so, why not say it is $24m and not a miserable $1.9m. To those expecting and waiting for the $24m package, this looks like loose change, short changed.
Murali finally qualified to say that the $24m works out to be about $4.5m a year. He further qualified that some projects already completed, some work in progress, so the balance, does it work out to be precisely $1.9m? What is this $1.9m, work not started yet, new projects or projects initiated by David Ong? Or is the $1.9m projects the sole initiative of Murali so he has to say this separately to distinguish himself from David Ong? What is what now?
As a layman, what the Bukit Batok residents may want to know is where is this money coming from? Are they the resident’s money from the Bukit Batok constituency, or general tax payers’ money or are they the PAP’s money? This point is relevant to the question raised by the SDP about pork barrel politics, about vote buying. The PAP said there is nothing to do with vote buying, so the money is rightly to be the residents’ money and the PAP is just managing the money and using the residents’ money to improve the estate. This sounds right, it is the people’s money and only how to use it in the best way to benefit the people. If it is the PAP’s money then the allegation by the SDP for vote buying may have some basis to work on.
Can I thus conclude that the money belong’s to the residents, is there waiting for the MP/Town Council to propose how to use it in the best way for the residents? If this is the case, can Chee Soon Juan also promise to use the same money, the residents’ money to upgrade the estate that he thinks best when the residents give him the mandate by electing him as their MP? Can right?
So if Chee Soon Juan would to promise the residents that he would use the same many, the residents’ money to upgrade the estates for the residents’ good, would he be accused of vote buying? No right.
Let me organize the facts to make it clear to the residents of Bukit Batok and Singaporean. The $24m is the residents’ money and David Ong had proposed how it should be used for the residents when he was the MP. Would this plan be changed because there is a change of MP? It should not right? Or even if it should, the money, the balance that has not been used should still be available to the new MP to use for the benefits of the residents right? Oh, caveat, in a GE, when there is a change of MP, the money not used must be transferred to a reserves fund, cannot be touched by the new MP from another party even if it is the residents’ money. Don't ask me to explain the logic or stupidity of this provision. I am not a party to it. It looks mischievous. The money is not earned by the MP investing in some clever bonds. The money are contributions, collections from the residents. Why should a new from another party be deprived from using it for the good of the residents?
In the case of a by election, would the same rules applied, ie, the new MP cannot touch it if he is from SDP and not from PAP? I really dunno. The basic question, whose money is it? The residents’ or the party’s?
There is this money paid by the residents, amounting to $24m, some spent, some on the way, some still available. Can Chee Soon Juan use this money to upgrade the estate and proposed his plans to the residents and not be accused of vote buying?
What is the issue, what is the problem? $1.9m or balance of $24m? If Murali can promise the residents with the residents’ money, why can’t Chee? It is definitely not the PAP’s money right?