Findings by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) regarding the appointment of FM Solutions and Services (FMSS) by the former managing agent of the Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council (AHPETC) to manage Punggol-East SMC, has suggested that "it could not be said to be done in the best interest of the Town Council or in good faith".
After the 2015 General Election, Pasir Ris-Punggol Town Council (PRPTC) took back the management of Punggol East after People's Action Party candidate Charles Chong won the area back from Workers' Party candidate, Lee Lilian.
After taking over the management, PwC was brought in by the Punggol East SMC to review past payments made by the town council.
Ministry of National Development (MND) has said it a statement that the findings "reinforce our concerns regarding how public funds under the Town Council’s charge had been managed".
MND also added that "the report also raised the possibility of civil and criminal liabilities, and highlighted the need for further investigations as to the relevant potential offences" as the findings reflected improper payments and highlighted several regulatory breaches made by AHPETC and also raises questions on the propriety of payments made by then-AHPETC to its Managing Agent, FMSS.
In response to the findings, PRPTC said it would seek legal advice on how to proceed as it found the report by PwC "deeply troubling".
The story was reported by almost all medias in Singapore, which in return garnered various comments from netizens.
Many of which stated that the government and media should not only point their fingers to WP run town council but also focus on the issues of PAP town councils, such as its lift breakdowns and etc, especially on the case of alleged corruption at the Prime Minister's own town council at Ang Mo Kio GRC.
Here are what some of them wrote:
- Keith Low wrote, "Bring WP to court if there are wrongdoings. Don't keep harping on this issue from mornings to nights. Abuse of protocols by government ministries is hundred of times this amount!"
- Yoon Hee wrote, "How about these other past spendings of taxpayers' money by the more experienced government bodies: $400k spent for the Marina Bay rebranding exercise back in 2005 (that's a lot of money then don't you think) and the $400k in mere consultancy fees by the National Arts Council in anticipation for the construction of a new bin Centre last year?"
- Ted Tan wrote, "Right but still sound cheaper than a certain bin centre."
- Michael Sim wrote, "If there wasn't a Dis-Grace-Fool, the NAC Bin would not have cost 1Million!
Shameless. Only know how to continue digging WP's graves. But guess who gets buried each time."
- Jeremy Tan wrote, "White IBs do take note that there's an outstanding issue at AMKTC, before commenting."
- Nope wrote, "Distracting us from the bigger issues, always harping on this and attacking the opposition. Always fails to report on government mistakes and ends up being hushed up and forgotten by the public."
- Joey Choy wrote, ""PwC questioned "why some vendors were awarded contracts although they were the sole bidder and/or did not submit the lowest bid""
This must be some kind of joke right?! You mean to say a vendor cannot be the sole bidder for a contract?! And that a TC has to ALWAYS accept the lowest bid, even if that bid did not meet requirement??!! This is ridiculous!"
- David Chow wrote, "Yo PwC, "stated that the circumstances may warrant further investigations."
You're an Audit firm, you do not make such statement(s), "warrant further investigation"?
You SUGGEST further REVIEW.
That statement brings your independence and non-bias into question.
Are you on someone else's payroll?"
- Jeffrey Lee wrote, "It is really sick to keep on reading this type of news. Whenever there is any wrong doing in the opposition ward it will keep going on and on for years. It is just smeared campaign. How are those audit report about our government statutory board like PA and education ministry and etc where million of dollars are not fully accounted for ?"
- Prem Ravi wrote, "No news about FAS half a million dollars in donation. And what about the AMK. All goes under the carpet. Channel News Asia can you say something about it which we are more interested. Workers Party issues are old stories. Give us the latest."
- John Han wrote, "Don't always act morally high ground lah. So the other run town councils. Sure don't have any hiccups along the way? Getting abit tired already. It's always people fault and nitpicking. Confirm plus chop they don't have issues at all? Please lah. We are not dumb."
- John Lee wrote, "Seems like PAP is digging its own graveyard to sit on. Well done. Whenever we want to investigate PAP, they will sure fabricate false documents and make us think
they are always right lo."
- Muhammad Asyari Bin Jamali wrote, "Rubbish centre 1/2 million. Overspending on YOG. And lots more not to mention. And you keep on picking on one with opposition. Despicable piece of white trash."
- Jessi Ng wrote, "I believe PAP run TC would have more questions and questionable procedures."
- Derrick Teo wrote, "Haha 500k? 5 million can be saved at any PAP town maybe? Especially the bin centre? Annual road construction budget? What a report!"
- Adrian Pah wrote, "Ya better conduct a simultaneous investigation on AIM, a $2.00 Paid up Capital registered company with 2 PAP MPs as Directors handling PAP TCs multimillion dollar accounts and sale of the multimillion dollar computer accounting system to AIM for a minimal sum. Fishier then the rubbish dump that cost more than 500k."
- Salihin Hin wrote, "I'm still wondering what happen to the Lehman Bros fiasco and the AIM 1 dollar company owned software created by constituency funds."
- Mel Linda Lea wrote, "Hello, can just call the CPIB and resolve this once and for all? Wanna drag until when.... next GE is it? It's hard to fault WP and I am beginning to suspect that the authorities are simply dragging their feet on this just to make sure WP look bad to come 2020. It's pretty obvious and ironic since the authorities pride themselves on "swift justice". Maybe the authorities suffering from productivity woes too?"
- Chia Hwee Hing wrote, "The idea is to keep on investigating and discrediting WP town council until the next election which is likely the case because there is no end to their conclusion. PAP town council so perfect that's why need to keep increasing SSC fees to maintain."
- Alex Lim wrote, "Millions and millions more could be saved if the PAP cabinet is reduced to its appropriate size.Why no query raised by PwC?"
- Pang Cheeyong wrote, "Elected presidency round the corner? Time for some distraction?"
- Liow Kian Tat wrote, "I'm not trying to defend WP. Who will dare to take up this job as opposition GRC managing agent? WP need to appoint their own people so it is ok right? Isn't White Wards managing agents related to Govt in a way or another too?"
- See Chiau Chuan wrote, "Technically you don't really award contracts to the lowest bidder. I believe the others are doing the same thing.
Btw, anyone still remembers how much the art centre rubbish bin cost to build?? Contract awarded to the lowest bidder?"
- Lincoln Ng wrote, "Why CAD n CPIB not involved. A few years already. All talk in MSM but no action. If you find something is wrong just act on it don't beat the gong!"