I met a senior citizen during Chinese New Year. He is a wheelchair bound elderly man staying in Tanjong Pagar GRC.
During our casual chat, he mentioned that he was invited to a free CNY dinner held at the Global Indian International School where a huge tent was raised at the school carpark for the event.
He shared that the food was nice and there was entertainment too. Then, he proudly shared that every guest was given a silver coin. Doubting his claim, I asked to see the silver coin and attached is a picture I took of it.
He believes it’s real silver and insisted it was one even though I shared my doubt given that there is no mention of sterling silver on the coin itself. So, I just let it be and gave the coin back to him.
Then, I asked him if there was any red packet and he said a S$10/- red packet was given too. So I shared why not give you cash instead of a “silver” coin and left the matter as that so as not to dampen his CNY mood and asked him to keep his silver coin safely.
With the recent issues surrounding the adverse opinion on PA’s financial statements, I can’t help but write this article as there are so many questions that need answers from the MPs and GROs of Tanjong Pagar GRC. Here are some of my questions just regarding this gift of a silver coin:-
Is there a need to make this coin in the first place?
I understand the GRC has five members, why does the coin only have Dr Chia Shi-Lu’s name on it?
Why do guests have the impression that it’s silver or is it really silver?
Whose money was used to make these coins?
Was there three quotations called for the making of the coin?
Besides this coin, are there any companies and a school involved in the organising of this dinner?
Was the procurement process according to government procurement guidelines?
Other concerned netizens can shed light on it and/or raise more questions to be answered. I do hope the relevant authorities can shed light on this as I stand to be corrected given that I sincerely hope that the finances within the GROs are properly accounted for and wisely spent for the benefit of every citizen of Singapore.
In light of the recent sharing on TR Emeritus that PA has an adverse opinion on their financial reports because of GROs’ accounts being left out, I can’t help but think who then is auditing the books of GROs or entities organising such activities in the constituencies. This may be deemed a small issue but if one multiplies it a thousand times, the total spending is no longer a small amount.