In the Straits Times on Thursday 12 May 2011, on page A4, “Cynthia Phua promises proper handover”, the following was reported:
“Aljunied Town Council is now managed by CPG Facilities Management, with whom the town council signed a three-year contract last year. CPG managing director Jeffrey Chua is the town council’s general manager. As the town council managing agent, CPG engages the services of other companies for services such as cleaning, maintenance and lift rescue.”
While CPG Corporation Pte Ltd is the corporatized and renamed Public Works Department, it is not apparent whether Mr Chua, as the Managing Director of CPG Facilities Management Pte Ltd holds shares or options in the firm CPG Facilities Management Pte Ltd (which appears to be a subsidiary of CPG Corporation Pte Ltd) or its parent.
Regardless, I find it difficult to understand how Mr Chua can carry out both his duties as the general manager of the town council, and the Managing Director of the town council’s managing agent.
Suppose Mr Chua, the Managing Director of CPG Facilities Management asked for a higher management fee, in order to deal with the rise in the foreign workers’ levy, would Mr Chua the general manager of Aljunied Town Council grant that request?
If the town upkeep is poor, and HDB blocks are dirty, would Mr Chua the general manager of Aljunied Town Council replace himself as the managing agent?
It appears that there is a conflict of interest in Mr Chua’s roles. If he receives a stipend or salary from both organizations, on whose behalf would he act? If he only receives a salary from CPG Facilities Management, how can he then act in the interest of the residents of Aljunied GRC?
What I find extremely worrying, however, is that this matter only came to light because the Workers’ Party won Aljunied GRC, and there now needs to be a handover. If the PAP had won, would this unhealthy arrangement have continued? Are there any other such apparent conflicts of interest that we do not know about?