MND’s 5 June response to media queries on AHPETC’s response to Minister Lawrence Wong’s op-ed

Jun 5, 2015

In response to media queries, MND notes that contrary to what AHPETC stated, the concerns raised by Minister Lawrence Wong in his Op-ed are not his own, but directly attributable to findings and observations made by the High Court Judge of AHPETC and its financial mismanagement (see Annex for summary of findings and observations in judgement).

The High Court Judge said there were “grave and serious questions” regarding the state of AHPETC’s accounts and the validity and propriety of payments previously made by AHPETC to related parties (amounting to $25.9 million), and that “there have also been numerous breaches of the provisions” of the Town Councils Act and Town Councils Financial Rules. The Court added that the TC’s conduct was the “height of financial irresponsibility”. AHPETC had filed affidavits before the High Court, and had every opportunity to address these points before the Court made its findings. AHPETC should consider the Court’s findings seriously, instead of dismissing them cavalierly.

On 13 February 2015, the Workers’ Party (WP) Members of Parliament (MPs) voted in support of the motion that expressed grave concern over the AGO’s report on AHPETC, and unanimously called on all Town Councils to uphold high standards of accounting, reporting and corporate governance. During the debate, they had also praised the AGO report for being “thorough [and] fair”. However, AHPETC now seems to imply that the AGO report, like the High Court’s judgement, does not amount to much.