Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Tharman Shamugaratnam today (August 18) accused the Workers’ Party of negligence and that their finances is “unsafe with many structural defects”:
“AHPETC’s own auditors and the AGO cannot account if the money has been safeguarded and properly accounted for. The whole house of AHPETC’s finances is unsafe, with many structural defects.”
The Finance Minister then said that the withholding of government grants will not help the Opposition Town Council, AHPETC, fulfill their financial obligations to the sinking fund. This is however untrue.
The Workers’ Party have in fact transferred S$13.24 million to the sinking fund without a single cent of government grant, which leaves them owing only S$6.81 million. The Ministry of National Development however owe AHPETC S$7.2 million and refuse to pay despite going through multiple lawsuits and appeals with the Court, the High Court and even the Apex Court. The result of the Apex Court’s judgement is still pending.
Singapore’s politics have been marred with political fixing by the ruling PAP party, who often use incomplete statistics and rhetoric to attack the Opposition Workers’ Party MPs. Taking this transfer of sinking fund for example, although the Auditor-General Office (AGO) found lapses with AHPETC’s accounting, there is no criminal activity found. However in other AGO’s findings of the different statutory boards under the PAP-controlled ministries, the police corruption bureau found it necessary to investigate in of some of their lapses. The different ministries however do not see fit to pursue legal actions against these statutory boards instead, especially the People’s Association which is currently embroiled in corruption charges.
As of publication time, Minister Tharman has yet to apologise for his erroneous accusations.