During a media interview, Law Minister K Shanmugam lost his temper and fired angrily at the Opposition’s Aljunied Town Council defaming the Workers’ Party of hiring “cronies” to run the town council, as compared to the Ang Mo Kio GRC Town Council’s corruption case:
“In contrast to the only place where this Government is not in charge, in that one place, first you have people appointing their cronies to run the Town Council. You have town councillors being misled on the terms that these cronies were appointed. Transparency? Investigations? Their own auditor’s report says they refuse to give information on the conflicts of interest.
In Aljunied Town Council, court application after court application, auditor-general to investigate because they wouldn’t give the information to their own auditors. Their own auditors prepared a report saying we are being denied the information. You call that good behaviour with public funds? Investigations are ongoing because you have a further set of accountants looking at more information. Eventually, all of this will have to come to a full circle once the auditors have finished their work. There is more to come.”
However, the Workers’ Party Aljunied Town Council is cleared of any criminal wrongdoing while the Prime Minister’s Ang Mo Kio GRC Town Council has already saw one arrest, council general manager Victor Wong, for corruption. AMK GRC Town Council general manager Victor Wong is also an employee of the council’s contractor CPG Facilities Management. This role is a conflict of interests where Victor Wong gets to be both the buyer and customer. Four PAP MPs including Baey Yam Keng however defended the corruption as “double-hatting”.
The emotionally-charged Law Minister also commented on the Prime Minister’s Ang Mo Kio GRC corruption investigation and proclaimed that “nothing will be swept under the carpet”:
“No one will be spared from investigation, once an allegation has been made. This is the essence of how this Government operates… regardless of who and regardless of the fact that this is the general manager of AMKTC, no town council, no one, nothing will be swept under the carpet.”
When questioned by media reporters why PAP town councils are not clean to begin with since they often proclaim so, Law minister K Shanmugam angrily retorted:
“You find me a set of people in the world, a society, where nobody commits offences and everybody is clean. The real point is whether the system as a whole is clean, primarily, whether the man at the top is clean, whether the system moves quickly and immediately and forcefully regardless of who it is. You look for clean people but sometimes people fall prey to temptation.”
It is unknown if Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will be assisting the investigation but chances are slim as the dictator controls the Corruption Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB). Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong is currently hiding from media attention and avoiding public address over his town council’s investigation.
You may view video of K Shanmugam losing his temper here.