Comments by Punggol East SMC MP Charles Chong to The Straits Times on 15 April 2016 (Media Release 18 April 2016)
I refer to the comments of Punggol East MP Mr Charles Chong in The Straits Times on the disbursement of the outstanding operating grants by HDB to Aljunied-Hougang Town Council (AHTC) (“‘Safeguards in place’ so AHTC will get $12.9m of grants” dated 15 April 2016).
The Straits Times reported Mr Charles Chong as follows:
“He (Mr Charles Chong) said in 2013, $22.5m in sinking funds had been handed over to the WP-run town council….AHTC has so far transferred back only an ‘interim amount’ of $10m in sinking funds….”
Mr Charles Chong’s comment that $22.5m in sinking funds were handed over to Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council (AHPETC) in 2013 is factually incorrect since the final sinking fund payment for Punggol East SMC was handed over to AHPETC in 2014. In addition, his comment that only an interim amount of $10m has been transferred so far is odd, in view of the sequence of interim sinking fund transfers for Punggol East SMC undertaken by Pasir-Ris Punggol Town Council (PRPTC) in 2013 and 2014.
In the aftermath of the 2013 Punggol-East by-election, the sinking funds of Punggol East SMC were transferred by PRPTC to AHPETC in several instalments. The first instalment of $10m was transferred by PRPTC to AHPETC a few months after the by-election of January 2013. The final instalment of Punggol East SMC’s sinking funds was transferred to AHPETC by PRPTC in September 2014, some 20 months after the Punggol East by-election of 2013. In the end, the sinking funds for Punggol East SMC, were properly accounted for in the financial statements of Punggol East SMC and AHPETC respectively.
Like PRPTC in 2013 and 2014, AHTC will transfer all sinking funds due to Punggol East SMC in instalments. We will work closely with our auditor to ensure that all sinking funds – after accounting for any expenditure on Punggol East SMC from 1 May 2013 to 30 Nov 2015 – are transferred to PRPTC in due course.
ALJUNIED-HOUGANG TOWN COUNCIL
18 April 2016