But first a quote:
Amongst the things you can do, I suggest you study the annual accounts of the town council to ensure that the funds are properly used. Check whether the arrears for S & C charges are piling up, and eating into their reserves. Make sure that enough money is put aside for cyclical maintenance. In your walkabouts, check on the estate maintenance. If Mr Low has done a good job, give him credit for it. If there are deficiencies, point them out to the residents. In short, play the role of an effective opposition in Hougang.
– “Strengthening Our Unique Political System”, Speech by Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong, National Day Dinner, Hougang Community Club, 26 July 2008
Town council revelation – lets stop throwing good money after bad – Simply Gab
But wait a minute, while we know how much went into these bad investments, we do not know the total amount invested in what he described as deposits, securities and other financial products.
We do know that the proportion of investible funds are limited to 35%. Since 8 million is 6.7% of this portion, we know that Holland-Bukit Panjang TC alone has about 340 million in sinking funds. Therefore according to the rules, approx 119 million is available to Holland-Bukit Panjang TC for investments.
$12m in troubled products – Hong Guan
Why did it take a question from Ms Olsen for this issue to surface? (it’s been 4weeks (thereabouts) since the onset of the Lehman debacle)
They said that it is only a small sum that our town council can afford and should not affect town council services. Maybe they considered it as “Peanut” compared to the total town council fund, about 0.6% (See attachment #2). If this is how they think, then it will be a very dangerous thinking. If we lose 0.6% of the fund today, how about 0.61% tomorrow ? Losing the people money like this can never be justified in the eye of normal citizens.
Singapore town councils and the people’s money – Descriptive Thoughts
I am quite surprise that the resident and taxpayers seems unaware of such investments in the first place – was it because of our own ignorance or should the authorities had been more clearer and more transparent with their or rather our finances?
Town council lost $12M ??? ...Who cares! – Lucky Tan
I'm just a bit surprised that $12M = 0.6% of the total investible reserves. Only 40% of their reserve can be invested. On the back of envelop calculation tells us they accumulated $5B in reserves for estate maintenance. This is crazy! To build a reserve of this size, they have unnecessarily burdened Singaporeans with conservancy charges which could have been lowered.
Why are town councils “gambling” with our money? - IZ Reloaded
To the folks who are running the town councils in Singapore: Your job is to control, manage, maintain and improve the common property of the housing estates, NOT to "gamble" Singaporeans' money in stocks, bonds and other financial instruments! If you have no idea what to do with that spare cash, please give them back to Singaporeans who really need them.
Lose money not our fault – Blog DK
Quite shocking to know that our Town Councils has lost billions of taxpayer money. See, if you don’t ask you won’t know. Now that you know, you also can’t do anything. And to cover up the losses, situations will be made in such a way that you can’t refuse no for an answer.
4 million dollars – Live To Learn To Live
I am pretty sure more than one person read the bold print which states that the principal amount is not guaranteed.
But only in the past few days was the severity of the damage revealed by our nation-building press. If there were no pleas to whistle-blow, would the Town Councils, behaving like GLCs, have come forward and be honest?
Sembawang Town Council clear for now – What Will Last
Sembawang Town Council replied to my email after I sent them a gentle reminder a week after this first email was sent out.