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TOC urges S'poreans to query town councils on investments.

Accounting for town councils’ investments – do your part

I am doing this not for TOC, not for my cat or fish but for Myself! Yes, I owe it to myself. – Comment posted on TOC. (See below)

Last week, TOC published an editorial entitled: Our money, our right to know. This highlighted the inadequate response of the coordinating chairman for the PAP Town Councils (TC), Dr Teo Ho Pin when queried about TC investments. He stated that he could not reveal TC investment strategies.

Subsequently, Minister for National Development Mah Bow Tan has publicly contradicted that position, telling the Sunday Times that:

Each town council has the duty to explain to its residents how it invests its funds, what is its philosophy, what are the risks it takes’. (Sunday Times, Nov 23)

Some may be tempted to be cynical, and dismiss this statement by Minister Mah as an attempt to bring closure to this issue. But TOC believes that this is a good opportunity for citizens to demand some accountability from our elected representatives.

Hence, we have prepared a template letter that you can use to request your own TC for full information on investments that they may have made. The MPs are our elected representatives, it is our money that they are investing, and it is our right to have this information.

You may cut and paste the template provided below and either email or snail-mail to your respective TCs. If possible, please send an email copy to TOC ( [email protected] ), so that we can track the number of queries that have been sent. Please also keep TOC updated on any responses that you receive; we will collate this information on the investment of public funds, and make it publicly available. Singaporeans deserve this transparency.

Choo Zheng Xi/Editor-in-Chief

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Template

To: The Town Council Chairperson

Re: Investments of sinking funds

Dear Sir / Madam,

I am a resident of the Town Council which you chair. In light of the recent revelations in Parliament about certain Town Councils having exposed their sinking funds to troubled structured products that may now be worthless, I would like to ask for details on how the funds that have been collected from residents over the years are being invested.

Specifically, I would like to request for the following information:

1) Full and transparent disclosure of all investments currently held by the Town Council (whether they are structured products, stocks, bonds, fixed deposits or others), made using sinking funds

2) In particular, whether sinking funds have been used to invest in any structured products that are not related to Lehman Brothers, but which may now be at risk

3) The performance of the Town Council's investments over the past three years, and whether these performance figures are based only last audited figures or include recent investment losses and/or write-offs

4) What would the performance have been, if the Town Council had used all investable funds to purchase 10-year SGS bonds instead

5) Who were the qualified persons who had advised the Town Council on its investments, and how were they appointed

6) Whether the Town Council had purchased securities or otherwise placed any investments with these qualified persons, and if so, how the Town Council had addressed the apparent conflict of interest

7) Whether the Town Council believes that it had been missold any investments (whether related to Lehman Brothers or otherwise), and if so whether the Town Council intends to take action for such misselling.

8 ) Whether there are any minutes or records of the Town Council's deliberations on decisions to invest in structured products, and if so whether the Town Council intends to disclose them

I would like to remind you of the statement made by Minister for National Development Mr Mah Bow Tan:

“Each town council has the duty to explain to its residents how it invests its funds, what is its philosophy, what are the risks it takes”. (Sunday Times November 23)

I trust that you would agree that we residents deserve nothing less than full transparency and a complete accounting of what has happened, so that we can rest assured that our sinking funds have been appropriately handled.

I look forward to your early reply.

Yours Sincerely,

(Name)

(Address, Constituency)

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Addresses and emails of town councils and Members of Parliament

Aljunied TC

Serangoon North Office, Blk 147 Serangoon North Avenue 1, #01-421 , S550147

Fax: 6288 2009

Chairman: MDM CYNTHIA PHUA : [email protected]

Ang Mo Kio-Yio Chu Kang Town Council

Ave 10 Office

Blk 528 Ang Mo Kio Ave 10, #01-2385, S 560528

Tel: 6456 1633, Fax: 6456 1225

Chairman: MR INDERJIT SINGH : [email protected]

West Coast-Ayer Rajah Town Council:

Clementi Office
Block
444 Clementi Avenue 3, #01-123/125
S 120444
Tel: 1800-776 0271
Fax: 6775 1814

Chairman: MR ARTHUR FONG : [email protected]

Tanjong Pagar TC:

Block 166 Bukit Merah Central, #03-3527 , Singapore 150166

Tel: 6272 6415, Fax: 6272 6415

Chairman: ASSOC PROF KOO TSAI KEE : [email protected]

Hong Kah Town Council

309 Choa Chu Kang Ave 4, #02-02 Choa Chu Kang Centre
Singapore 680309

Tel: 6764 3295, Fax: 6764 7208

Chairman: MR ANG MONG SENG : [email protected]

Jurong Town Council
Main Office
Blk
255 Jurong East Street 24, #01-303 , Singapore 600255

Tel: 6561 2222, Fax: 6562 4997

Chairman: MDM HALIMAH YACOB : [email protected]

Pasir Ris-Punggol TC

Pasir Ris Office

Blk 577 Pasir Ris St 53, #01-88, Singapore 510577
Tel: 6585 4938, Fax: 6585 4937

Chairman: DR AHMAD MOHD MAGAD : [email protected]

Sembawang TC

Woodlands Office

Blk 306A Woodlands St 31, #02-00, S(731306)
Tel: 6368 3100, Fax: 6368 2271

Chairman: MR HAWAZI DAIPI : [email protected] , [email protected]

Bishan Toa Payoh TC

Toa Payoh Office :

Blk 125A #01-134, Toa Payoh Lorong 2, Singapore 311125 Tel : 6259 6700, Fax : 6259 9626

Chairman: MR ZAINUDIN NORDIN : [email protected]

Jalan Besar TC

Geylang Bahru Office , Blk 70, Geylang Bahru , #01-2719
S(330070)
Tel: 62989222 / 1800-2989603
Fax: 6293 2117

Chairman: DR LILY NEO : [email protected]
Vice-Chairman: MS DENISE PHUA LAY PENG : [email protected] , [email protected]

Marine Parade TC

Main Office

Blk 50 Marine Terrace, #01-265, Singapore 440050

Tel: 6241 6044, Fax: 6444 0919

Chairman: DR ONG SEH HONG : [email protected]

Holland-Bukit Panjang TC

Ulu Pandan Office
170 Ghim Moh Road, #06-02, Singapore 279621
Tel : 6 416 7900 , Fax : 6416 7911

Chairman: Teo Ho Pin : [email protected]

East Coast TC

Block 206 Bedok North Street 1 , #01-353 , Singapore 460206

Tel: 1800 444-9549 , Fax: 6444-0775

Chairman: MS TAN SOON NEO, JESSICA : [email protected]

Tampines TC:

Block 136 Tampines Street 11, Singapore 521136
Fax : 6783 2208

Chairman: MR ONG KIAN MIN : [email protected]

Potong Pasir TC:

Tel: 6284 5000
Fax: 6284 5161

MR CHIAM SEE TONG : [email protected]

Hougang TC

Hougang Avenue 2

Singapore 530701

Tel: 6286 3533

Fax: 6283 2678

MR LOW THIA KHIANG : [email protected]

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