The AGO Report – Our View from the North East

Kopi Talk

This week, AGO published their report on the audit of AHPETC’s accounts – but who really gave a damn right. Fixing problems was PAP’s thing.

As an actual resident in Aljunied GRC and a part of the 54.72% that voted for the WP in 2011, I think it is important to consider the facts first before slapping either side. So, go read the report in full for yourself and definitely not from online news sources.

*disclaimer – one of us is an accounting student (ie: me)*.

From my reading of it, AHPETC has clearly has many lapses in its management of the town council. Should we merely accept this and say “it doesn’t affect us”? I would like to believe we are slowly becoming more politically mature than that.

Several netizens accuse the AGO of bias but is that actually true?

A key point missed out by many is that the AGO was only ordered to come in after AHPETC’s own auditor, FKT, submitted a disclaimer of opinion on AHPETC’s financial statements and flagged 13 issues of concern.

What concerns me most from the AGO report is the AHPETC’s failure to notice the conflict of interest. Should the same people who run the town council also own the managing agent? Wherever you go, this would be a clear conflict of interest. This is effectively paying themselves for the work they did. While I can accept that there may be no corruption involved, this kind of relationship is obviously susceptible to corruption and I would have expected our MPs like Pritam and Chen Show Mao to have spotted this long ago. After all, they are qualified lawyers and I’d like to hear their views on the report.

AHPETC has given some reasons for their lapses but reasons like “we are new to this” grow stale quickly and hopefully make one think about whether you can trust the WP with Singapore’s reserves. Would I trust the WP to manage Singapore’s reserves as the government? No. Would I consider allowing WP to manage a town council? Probably. Let’s just hope for some good reasons when Parliament debates the report this Thursday and Friday.

I am not asking anyone to vote for the WP or PAP. I believe the PAP Government has made its mistakes (e.g. Sengkang columbarium, inadequate infrastructure to cater to influx of foreigners and the list goes on…) but in all fairness, is the WP actually ready to become the Government? Many netters seem to think so but in light of the AGO report, is that really true?

Ms Sylvia Lim once said in 2011, “if you want us to take over the government now, this is not the time.” Perhaps even now, they are still not ready.

So as we sit around our dinner tables and discuss about Singapore and its politics, perhaps it is also time for Singaporeans to think about our future and where we would like to be in 10-15 years down the road. In the end, we will have to face the consequences for whatever decisions we make.

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