Tuesday, 26 September 2023

We are shifting our daily news to Gutzy.Asia Support us there!

Dr Chee Soon Juan criticizes Singapore Parliament’s exoneration of ministers in state properties rental controversy

SINGAPORE — Dr Chee Soon Juan, Secretary General of the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP), has come out strongly on Facebook against the recent parliamentary session concerning the controversial rental of state properties by Home Affairs and Law Minister K Shanmugam and Foreign Affairs Minister Vivian Balakrishnan.

The session, which saw four ministerial statements delivered, was convened due to the controversy surrounding the rentals by Mr Shanmugam and Dr Balakrishnan, particularly as Mr Shanmugam, in his capacity as Minister for Law, oversees the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) that manages these properties.

In particular, it was revealed that Mr Shanmugam tasked the then-Deputy Secretary from the Ministry for Law to prepare a list of unlisted state properties, which he then used to decide to rent 26 Ridout Road.

“The Parliamentary sitting that exonerated Ministers K Shanmugam and Vivian Balakrishnan was utterly unsatisfactory, raising more questions than it answered,” Dr Chee posted on his Facebook page, implying that the session did not sufficiently address the public’s concerns.

Dr Chee went on to voice the public’s anger and discontent, stating that “the anger of the public is palpable and warranted.”

He decried the People’s Action Party (PAP) for what he perceives as hypocrisy.

“While berating and lecturing the people about living frugally, the PAP continues to demonstrate its hypocrisy with ministers luxuriating in opulence,” he expressed.

The SDP leader also queried the processes of the Singapore Land Authority (SLA), writing, “Herein lies the problem. The bids for the bungalows were not made by the Ministers themselves but their wives. Did the SLA determine that the wives also earned at least 3 times the bid rent of $26,000 a month? If not, how did it know that the women were of sound financial status? Was SLA told that they were the wives of the Ministers’? Did this affect the decision-making process?”

Dr Chee questioned the ministers’ failure to proactively disclose their rental arrangements.

“When Ministers, who are in charge of the government, do private transactions with the government, it should not be whistleblowers who reveal the facts. It is the Ministers who must volunteer, promptly and forthrightly, the information. Mr Shanmugam and Dr Balakrishnan did none of this,” he added.

On the solution to the issue at hand, Dr Chee suggested the establishment of an independent commission of inquiry.

“To salvage the woeful debacle, only an independent commission of inquiry, one perhaps chaired by a retired judge or law professor, to delve into the case and ask the necessary questions will suffice. Anything less will stoke the public’s resentment even more,” he posted.

In a notable historical footnote, Dr Chee has personally experienced the harsh glare of public service. Back in the early 1990s, he was dismissed from the National University for misuse of office stamps, a decision he contends was a political vendetta led by S. Vasoo, then a PAP MP.

In the parliamentary session, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong maintained unwavering confidence in Ministers Shanmugam and Balakrishnan.

Investigations carried out by the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) and Senior Minister Teo Chee Hean found no evidence of criminal activity or improper conduct of the two ministers.

The parliamentary debate saw Opposition Leader Mr Pritam Singh, the Secretary General of the Workers’ Party, questioning PM Lee on the scope of the CPIB investigation.

PM Lee defended Minister Shanmugam’s decision to receive personal use information from civil servants, stating, “My view is he (Mr Shanmugam) could have done it a different way. He could have done it this way. He has given the House the reasons why he did it this way.I think those are cogent reasons, which I accept.”

The session ended with Senior Minister Teo Chee Hean reiterating the necessity for a clean government and the importance of building an inclusive and progressive society.

Notify of
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Latest posts

Election surprises and certainties: Dissecting Tharman’s presidential win

In the 2023 Presidential Election, Mr. Tharman Shanmugaratnam secured a stunning 70.4% landslide victory, surprising many, including himself. Despite expectations that TKL would win the opposition votes, voters from both camps showed a preference for Tharman's charisma and perceived competency. As Singapore reflects on the outcome, questions arise about the election's fairness and the real implications of Tharman's dominant win.

Volunteer as a Polling and Counting Agent for Singapore’s 2023 Presidential Election

For the upcoming Singapore Presidential Election on 1st September, members of the civil society have spearheaded an initiative to strengthen our democratic fabric. We invite committed individuals to join us as Polling and Counting Agents, standing together for a transparent, fair, and just election. This vote counting exercise, organized by members of civil society, is not specifically in support of Mr Tan Kin Lian, a candidate in the upcoming Presidential Election. It's an exercise in active citizenry. Nonetheless, Mr Tan endorses this initiative, which hinges on his candidacy, championing transparency, and has given permission for the results to be shared publicly.

Reflections from the Centenary: The Legacy of LKY and Singapore’s Future

Gilbert Goh reflects on the LKY centenary event: an inspiring showcase of a leader's global legacy juxtaposed against current challenges, urging Singapore to continue its path of progress.

Lim Tean advocates for Tan Kin Lian: A visionary leader for Singapore’s Presidency

In his speech at Mr Tan Kin Lian's launch of his presidential bid, Mr Lim Tean passionately championed the need for a truly Independent President. Highlighting Mr Tan Kin Lian's unique credentials and genuine concern for the wellbeing of Singaporeans, the Peoples Voice leader emphasized the pressing challenges of rising living costs and job insecurities faced by the public. Mr Lim depicted Mr Tan Kin Lian as a beacon of hope for the nation, advocating for a leader who genuinely understands and represents the people’s aspirations.

Tan Jee Say endorses Tan Kin Lian for President: A courageous, genuine, and humble...

In advocating for a truly representative leader, Tan Jee Say underscored Tan Kin Lian's humility, courage, and genuine dedication. Highlighting the pressing need for restored public trust and effective independence, Tan Jee Say emphasized that Tan Kin Lian, as the 'People's President', would bring back hope to Singaporeans and champion true democracy

Tan Kin Lian’s pledge: Rekindling unity and charting a vigorous future for Singapore

In the press conference to announce his bid for the Singapore presidency, Tan Kin Lian emphasizes safeguarding Singapore's reserves and strengthening public service integrity. Drawing on his 30-year leadership at NTUC Income, he envisions a future with affordable living, accessible housing, and job stability, pledging collaboration with the government for a united nation.

Strengthening Singapore’s political foundations: A call to action by Leong Mun Wai on Singapore’s...

Leong Mun Wai urges Singaporeans to strengthen political checks and balances, emphasizing, 'The best is yet to be for Singapore if we dare to make the right decision in upcoming elections.

Trending posts