Response to Minister Lawrence Wong’s Opinion Piece


AHPETC finds Minister Lawrence Wong’s accusations in The Straits Times of 5 June 2015 surprising and puzzling.  We would like to make the following clarifications to correct the misconceptions.

  1. What the High Court recently had to decide were, mainly, legal questions i.e. whether the court had power to entertain the Ministry of National Development’s request for the court to appoint and authorise independent accountants (1) to co-sign cheques for the disbursement of the FY 14/15 and FY 15/16 $14m Town Council grants which the MND had withheld; and (2) to look into AHPETC’s past transactions.  The High Court accepted the arguments of AHPETC’s lawyers that there were no legal bases whatsoever for the MND’s request, and accordingly, threw out the government’s entire case.
  1. There was no trial and the High Court did not itself embark on a dedicated fact-finding exercise.  However, in the course of delivering the judgment, the High Court expressed views on AHPETC’s lapses but the views were based, principally, on the findings of the Auditor-General’s Office (AGO) Report.
  1. A special two-day sitting of Parliament was convened to debate the AGO Report.  All Workers’ Party Members of Parliament (MPs) who are responsible for overseeing the management of the Town Council, including Secretary-General Mr Low Thia Khiang, participated in the debate to explain and clarify matters raised.
  1. Ms Sylvia Lim denies that she lied to Parliament.  Parliament has avenues such as the Committee of Privileges to ensure that MPs’ conduct meets the standards expected.
  2. Just because AHPETC did not physically transfer monies into Sinking Funds from its Operating Funds does not mean that monies are missing.  Up to Financial Year 13/14, AHPETC has done the necessary transfers.
  1. Currently, MND is withholding $14 million in grants to AHPETC.  If MND continues to withhold the grants from AHPETC that every Town Council should receive, AHPETC will not be able to fulfill its obligations to make the necessary Sinking Fund transfers.
  1. AHPETC does not understand the basis for Minister Lawrence Wong to accuse AHPETC or the Workers’ Party of “dishonesty” or “irresponsible” behaviour.
  1. All Town Councils are required to be audited, and the audit reports are presented to Parliament for public scrutiny.
  1. Whether AHPETC’s contractors are delivering services or not, and the standard of their work, is a matter that residents can assess for themselves.
  1. When Town Councils engage contractors, they are required to comply with rules on the calling of public tenders.  If any Town Council staff has committed any illegal act or corrupt practice, he / she will have to face the full consequences of the law.

Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council spokesman
05 June 2015



  1. 高等法庭最近所审理和所需要决定的主要是法律的问题;也就是国家发展部要求法庭委任独立审计师执行以下两项事务;

 第一,在动用2014/15 和2015/16 财政年度政府所提供的津贴时共同签署支票。这笔总计1千4百万元的津贴目前被国家发展部扣住不发放。



  1. 高等法庭并没有审判,或者对有关市镇会财务疏失的问题在法庭进行事实的求证,高等法庭所表达的有关意见,基本上是根据总审计长的报告。
  1. 国会已经用了两天的时间专门辩论总审计长的报告。所有负责监督市镇会的管理的工人党议员,包括党秘书长刘程强在内参与了有关的辩论,针对有关的问题加以解释和澄清。
  1. 林瑞莲否认有关对她在国会撒谎的指控。国会有国会特权委员会确保议员的行为恰当。
  1. 市镇会没有把钱从运作基金的户头转账到累计基金户头并不等于钱不见掉。到2013/14财政年度为止,市镇会已经把应该转入累计基金户头的钱全数转账到累计基金户头。
  1. 如今,国家发展部扣住了1千4百万元的拨款不发放给AHPETC。如果国家发展部继续不发放政府所应该提供给每个市镇理事会的津贴给AHPETC,市镇会在接下来就无法依期把钱存入累计基金户头,因为钱被国家发展部扣住。
  1. AHPETC 不明白黄部长根据什么事实指责AHPETC 或工人党“滥用资金”和有“不诚实的行为”。
  1. 每一个财政年度,市镇会都必须接受审计,审计报告都必须提呈给国会,并公诸于世。
  1. 市镇会所雇用的承包商是否有提供服务,做好份内的工作,居民有目共睹。
  1. 承包合约必须依据市镇会财务条规进行公开招标。任何市镇会的职员如果违法或贪污,也必将面对法律的制裁。

阿裕尼-后港-榜鹅东市镇理事会   发言人
2015 年6月5日