On Monday (29 June), a Facebook user named Richard Giam revealed that the new face of People’s Action Party (PAP) Ng Ling Ling made a false claim about setting up the Social Service Training Institute (SSTI).
Mr Giam, who is the founding chief executive of fund-raising firm Rainmakerz, said that the training institute was set up by the founding director Tan Bee Heong, and Ms Ng joined afterwards.
While speaking at PAP’s candidate introductions at the party’s headquarters on Thursday (25 June), Ms Ng, who is the former managing director of Community Chest, said: “I set up the Social Service Training Institute (SSTI) and allocated funds to ensure that social service agencies can run critical programmes”.
To this, Mr Gian said he felt very “uncomfortable” about the false claim made by the PAP candidate and decided to make it public “after much consideration”.
“I believe PAP candidate Ng Ling Ling made a false claim. She was not the one who set up Social Service Training Institute (SSTI), NCSS which she claimed to be in one of her PAP videos. It was Ms Tan Bee Heong, the founding director of SSTI. I am sure Bee Heong and Mr Gerard Ee (former President of NCSS) can verify this?” he wrote in a Facebook post.
He added, “Choice of words is important. I cannot publicly claim that I set up a team when I was only one of the contributing members. It would be very misleading and deceptive.”
“What I understand is that she joined Bee Heong after SSTI was started. I believe a few of my SSTI former colleagues can also attest to this fact.”
Mr Giam went on to say that he used to report directly to Ms Ng from 2014 to 2016 when she was the Assistant Director of SSTI. Although he wished the PAP candidate all the best in her political career, but he noted that he “will not vote for her after working with her for two years”.
If that’s not all, Mr Giam also hoped that Ms Ng will clarify her claim soon.
“Why would Ling Ling make such a false claim? I hope she can clarify this fact as she will be holding a political appointment which integrity and honesty is of utmost importance,” he stressed.
He continued, “Please understand that I do not belong to any political party. I only want the public to know the truth as our country is at stake in electing our future leaders.”
“I hope that the PAP secretariat can look into this matter. I am most willing to apologise and stand corrected if I am wrong.”
Ms Ng responds
After Mr Giam’s post went public, Ms Ng also took to her Facebook on Monday to share her side of the story. She confirmed that Ms Tan was indeed the director of SSTI, while she was a member of Ms Tan’s pioneer team.
“Bee Heong was the Director, and I was a member of her pioneer team. My role was to help operationalise the institute and ensure it’s financially sustainability,” Ms Ng, who is expected to be fielded in Ang Mo Kio GRC, wrote.
She added, “My role was to help operationalise the institute and ensure it’s financially sustainability. Work in the social services sector is a team effort. I had passionate colleagues who inspired me, and I am thankful for the mentorship of many during my journey in NCSS, SSTI and the Community Chest”.