The Auditor-General has been ordered to take a look at the financial accounts of the Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council (AHPETC) for the Financial year 2012-2013.
This comes after the National Development and Finance Ministries released a joint statement emphasising that town councils have to keep proper financial records to ensure that their assets are properly under control.
The Workers’ Party run town council has been in the spotlight for quite some time since an independent auditor found that there were missing financial records from certain transactions such as expenses for lift upgrading and repair as well as missing receipts for advances on S&CC since 2012. The auditor also commented that the town council had not adhered to the requirements to keep good financial records.
The auditor gave a disclaimer of opinion saying that there was insufficient information for him to make a qualified opinion. MND jumped on this and said that this was a “serious concern” given that this is the second year that they had received a disclaimer of opinion.
On the other hand, the workers’ party has explained that some of the difficulties that they are facing have occurred as a result of the improper handing over of financial records from the PAP when the ward was under their control.
The MND asked the Ministry of Finance for help and the Finance Minister gave the order to the Auditor-general to look into the matter.
Meanwhile, many netizens feel that the whole episode may be being blown up out of proportion again by the PAP in a politically motivated attack of the Workers’ Party.
While there is cause for concern if there are lapses in the WP finances, it is also something that could be expected when there are difficulties associated with the handover of the town council as well as the general inexperience that the WP has with managing a town council.
Unlike the PAP, they do not have ‘friends’ in neighbouring wards or experienced members to help then iron out all the problems.
Meanwhile, whenever they make a small mistake, the PAP employs their various ministries and their media dogs to run front-page articles on how the WP has screwed up ‘again’.
Clearly, everyone needs an adjustment period. In fact, when the PAP first took over running Singapore, the British believed that they were doing a very bad job as well:
Instead of nit-picking every single thing that the WP is apparently doing wrong during this adjustment period, why doesn’t the PAP focus on more important issues.
The PAP is not short on experience and yet it can allow massive blowouts of the budget for big-ticket events like the Youth Olympic Games. Why doesn’t the Finance minister direct an audit of the YOG expenses?