A layman’s thoughts of the Aljunied-Hougang Town Council (AHTC) case

By October 21, 2019Current

TL;DR – Where is the $33.7 million?

After we had posted our first article on the Aljunied-Hougang Town Council case last week, we noticed that there’s quite some interest.

The exchange of views and sharing of opinions of our readers on Facebook were quite interesting, so much so that our writer decided to write an article out of it.

We received an email from a gentleman one evening last week.

The gentleman refers to himself as Mr GH Ng, and he tells he has been our reader for the past one year or so. He has something to say about the AHTC case and he’d emailed us a contribution piece and asked if we would publish it as he really wanted to get it off his chest.

Well, Unscrambled.sg exists to provide a platform to help create awareness of matters and issues that we think Singaporeans should know about. We also hope to be an online space where different (rational) opinions can reside and where constructive discourse can happen. What this means is we’re happy to carry different viewpoints, so long as supported by facts and not just trolling.

So if you have something to get off your chest on any issue that you think fellow Singaporeans should know about, email us.

For now, here is the contribution from our reader. Thanks for sharing, Mr Ng!


A layman’s thoughts on the Aljunied-Hougang Town Council (AHTC) case

Workers’ Party’s Mr Low Thia Khiang and Ms Sylvia Lim clearly wanted to extend the services of the managing team in Hougang Town Council to Aljunied-Hougang Town Council (AHTC) and hence came up with so many stories to explain why a tender was not called.

Of all, I think the most famous of all quotes from Mr Low Thia Khiang to cover his tracks include, “No one wants to work for me!” and “My conscience is clear!”


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They did not even bother to ask for a short-term extension of the managing contract by the then-incumbent CPG when Mr Low Thia Khiang was so “concerned” that no company would want to work for an Opposition Ward.  Mr Low and Ms Lim have a different definition of “conscience” as compared to laymen like you and me.

Their priorities lie in ensuring that their supporters who had been working for them in Hougang Town Council would still be working for them in Aljunied-Hougang Town Council (AHTC).

The Workers’ Party MPs appear to subscribe to the belief that party needs comes first before the welfare of the residents and country. The party’s secretary-general, Mr Pritam Singh, was included in the emails pertaining to the FMSS tender issue.  However, he failed to raise any red flag.   And, Mr Pritam Singh is a lawyer.  Just as Ms Sylvia Lim is, too, a lawyer-by-training.

Unfortunately, their priorities seem to be preserving the party rather than doing what is right for the residents and country.

I also want to take this opportunity to remind fellow Singaporeans who a few years when this issue was being discussed in Parliament, Mr Pritam Singh had even refused to be transparent and answer questions posed.

Mr Pritam Singh had (in)famously said that he would only answer to his residents.

For the Singaporeans who have not been following the case, I think you should at least read what the judge said of the case and of the Workers’ Party (WP) MPs.

I, for one, believe strongly in the judicial independence of our courts, and trust that our judges are fair and effective. So we should note the choice of words used in the Judgment Statement.

They are very strong words.

  • High Court judge Kannan Ramesh found the three WP MPs liable in the case of misuse of town council funds.
  • The judge said there is “serious doubt about the integrity” of Ms Sylvia Lim and Mr Low Thia Khiang.
  • Both had “failed to act in AHTC’s best interests and had acted for extraneous purposes”. 
  • As for Mr Singh, the judge said that while “it cannot be said that he has breached his fiduciary duties to AHTC”, he had “breached his duties of skill and care”.
  • The judge found that all three MPs were “clearly involved from the beginning to effect the appointment” of FMSS without a tender, and they had “collateral motives in doing so”. 
  • The judge rapped Ms Lim and Mr Low for their “lack of transparency and candour”, which he said was apparent in an email sent by Ms Lim to FMSS’ Ms How and Mr Loh, asking them to examine a draft report on the managing agent appointment if it would “pass the auditors’ eyes”.
  • The judge added, “I find this to be quite extraordinary and casts serious doubt on the integrity of Ms Sylvia Lim. It seems to me to be wholly unsatisfactory and inappropriate for Ms Sylvia Lim to ask Ms How Weng Fan and Mr Danny Loh to comment on a report concerning the appointment of FMSS without tender being called.”
  • The judge also said, “There was a concerted attempt to cloak the appointment of FMSS with a veneer of propriety. It was an attempt to mislead, and a clinical demonstration of the disregard Ms Sylvia Lim and Mr Low Thia Khiang had for the requirements in the TCFR (Town Councils Financial Rules).”
  • The judge added, “Their conduct was improper and the attempt to cloak the same with a veneer of truth and credibility collectively leads to the conclusion that they had not acted honestly and therefore breached their duty of unflinching loyalty to AHTC as fiduciaries.”
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Despite everyone talking about the importance of having alternative views for the country to grow in strength, I seriously have not read anything constructive or useful from those who think that the Workers’ Party MPs have done no wrong. AIM was being brought up repeatedly by the anti-establishment camp despite the Court’s ruling that AIM’s decision to withdraw their software has no bearing on Mr Low’s and Ms Lim’s decision not to call for a tender.

So that’s just distraction tactic, and does not mitigate the wrongdoing of the Workers’ Party MPs.

Opposition supporter Mr Andrew Loh’s post could perhaps endear to hardcore Workers’ Party supporters, but to us the laymen neutrals, I am still waiting for credible reasoning and believable narratives.

Like what ex-NMP Mr Calvin Cheng said, if AIM has really contributed to this whole fiasco, go ahead and sue the relevant people related to AIM. What are you waiting for, Workers’ Party? And what are you waiting for, Mr Andrew Loh?  You can easily raise the legal fees through your crowd funding.

Before the crowd funding effort starts though, could  the Workers’ Party and its hardcore supporters tell us and the residents of Aljunied GRC and Hougang SMC where the $33.7 million had gone to.

Where is the $33.7 million?

That is actually the crux of the issue for concerned  Singaporean.

Don’t be distracted, we should stay focused on the issue and question where the money has gone, and how much responsibility the Workers’ Party MPs need to bear.


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From GH Ng, a concerned Singaporean


(Featured image via)


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The Editor

Author The Editor

Either busy trying to save the world, or poking my nose into other people's affairs.

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