Despite several notorious wasteful government project spending in recent years, Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong made yet another propaganda remark claiming that the Singapore government spends money as effectively as possible:
“To maximise value from limited resources and manage spending prudently and efficiently, the Government looks for new ways to do more with less, as well as value-for-money and innovative solutions. The Government has put in place various systems and controls to ensure that “monies are spent as effectively as possible” through various frameworks, processes and reviews.”
In 2010, the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) project overshot by more than 3 times from S$107 million to S$387 million. In 2016, the government spent S$890,000 on a rubbish collection bin, with the Auditor-General raising questions over the S$410,000 consultancy fee.
The Singapore government also spent S$1.3 billion building the new National Stadium, known as the SportsHub, which ended up being useless as the costs for holding the national day parade is too high when compared to the temporary floating platform. The Auditor-General in recent years also reported wastage by multiple ministries, including Law, Home Affairs and the National Development Ministry of Minister Lawrence Wong.
Minister Lawrence Wong said that the government has a “system approach” when approving large projects:
“For instance, for large infrastructure projects, there is a “gateway process”, which is a rigorous multi-stage process that scrutinises the requirement, scope and design of the projects at key milestones before funding approval. This includes reviews by senior public officers, academics and industry practitioners with deep technical expertise…There is a systems approach when projects are planned and designed. This means that each project is not viewed in isolation, but considered in terms of how they affect one another, and this allows for better outcomes or savings.”
The PAP Minister’s comment comes after States Times Review pointed out that there is no price tag for Terminal 5. The Transport ministry gave an update saying that S$9 billion will come from taxpayers, S$3.6 billion state-owned corporation Changi Airport Group and an undisclosed amount would have to be borrowed – landing Singapore into debts.