Reply by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on the Statement by Mr Lee Hsien Yang and Dr Lee Wei Ling

Reply by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on the Statement by Mr Lee Hsien Yang and Dr Lee Wei Ling

I am very disappointed that my siblings have chosen to issue a statement publicising private family matters. I am deeply saddened by the unfortunate allegations that they have made. Ho Ching and I deny these allegations, especially the absurd claim that I have political ambitions for my son.

While siblings may have differences, I believe that any such differences should stay in the family. Since my father’s passing in March 2015, as the eldest son I have tried my best to resolve the issues among us within the family, out of respect for our parents.
My siblings’ statement has hurt our father’s legacy.

I will do my utmost to continue to do right by my parents. At the same time, I will continue serving Singaporeans honestly and to the best of my ability.  In particular that means upholding meritocracy, which is a fundamental value of our society.

As my siblings know, I am presently overseas on leave with my family. I will consider this matter further after I return this weekend.

PRIME MINISTER’S OFFICE
14 JUNE 2017

A public statement by Lee Wei Ling and Lee Hsien Yang Against Lee Hsien Loong and Ho Ching

Full text of the disclosure by Lee Wei Ling and Lee Hsien Yang against their big brother Lee Hsien Loong, the Prime Minister of Singapore:-

A full statement is here: https://goo.gl/G71SrX
A summary is here: https://goo.gl/hSaj3K
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WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO LEE KUAN YEW’S VALUES?

We feel extremely sad that we are pushed to this position. We are disturbed by the character, conduct, motives and leadership of our brother, Lee Hsien Loong, Singapore’s current prime minister and the role of his wife, Ho Ching. We have seen a completely different face to our brother, one that deeply troubles us. Since the passing of Lee Kuan Yew, on 23 March 2015, we have felt threatened by Hsien Loong’s misuse of his position and influence over the Singapore government and its agencies to drive his personal agenda. We are concerned that the system has few checks and balances to prevent the abuse of government.

We feel big brother omnipresent. We fear the use of the organs of state against us and Hsien Yang’s wife, Suet Fern. The situation is such that Hsien Yang feels compelled to leave Singapore:

“It is with a very heavy heart that I will leave Singapore for the foreseeable future. This is the country that my father, Lee Kuan Yew, loved and built. It has been home for my entire life. Singapore is and remains my country. I have no desire to leave. Hsien Loong is the only reason for my departure.”

If Hsien Loong is prepared to act thus against us, his younger sister and brother, both contributing members of Singapore’s establishment, to advance his personal agenda, we worry for Singapore. We question whether able leaders with independent political legitimacy will be side-lined to ensure Hsien Loong’s grip on power remains unchallenged.

This is by no means a criticism of the Government of Singapore. We see many upright leaders of quality and integrity throughout the public service, but they are constrained by Hsien Loong’s misuse of power at the very top. We do not trust Hsien Loong and have lost confidence in him.

Since Lee Kuan Yew’s death, there have been changes in Singapore that do not reflect what he stood for. Nobody ever doubted that Lee Kuan Yew always held the best interests of Singapore and Singaporeans at heart. He was authentic and spoke his mind. The same cannot be said for our brother, Lee Hsien Loong and his wife, Ho Ching. We believe, unfortunately, that Hsien Loong is driven by a desire for power and personal popularity. His popularity is inextricably linked to Lee Kuan Yew’s legacy. His political power is drawn from his being Lee Kuan Yew’s son. We have observed that Hsien Loong and Ho Ching want to milk Lee Kuan Yew’s legacy for their own political purposes. We also believe, based on our interactions, that they harbour political ambitions for their son, Li Hongyi.

Singapore has no such thing as the wife of the prime minister being a ‘first lady’. Lee Kuan Yew was Prime Minister from 1959 to 1990. During those many years, his wife (our mother) consistently avoided the limelight, remaining his stalwart supporter and advisor in private. She lived discreetly, and set a high bar for the conduct of a prime minister’s wife. She would never instruct Permanent Secretaries or senior civil servants. The contrast between her and Ho Ching could not be more stark. While Ho Ching holds no elected or official position in government, her influence is pervasive, and extends well beyond her job purview. 

Throughout his entire life, Lee Kuan Yew’s sole focus was on Singapore and its future. He was a strong opponent of monuments, particularly of himself. On suggestions that monuments or ‘what-have-yous’ be made for him, he replied “Remember Ozymandias”. He was referring to Percy B Shelley’s sonnet about the Egyptian Pharaoh with a penchant for self-aggrandising monuments. The boast etched in a plaque below his statue commanded lesser mortals to “look on my works”. Only the vastness of desert sands remains: no empire, nor monuments, no great works. Lee Kuan Yew wanted none of these honours as edifices. Much more important to him was that what he had done should last.

It is for this reason that Lee Kuan Yew made clear throughout the years in public and private his wish that his home at 38 Oxley Road be demolished upon his passing. In his last Will and Testament of 17 December 2013, he again reiterated his wish and directed his three children to ensure that it be fulfilled. Indeed, his opposition to monuments was so strong that he had made clear that even if the house were gazetted (against his wishes), it should only be open to his children and their descendants.

However, we believe that Hsien Loong and Ho Ching are motivated by a desire to inherit Lee Kuan Yew’s standing and reputation for themselves and their children. Whilst our father built this nation upon meritocracy, Hsien Loong, whilst purporting to espouse these values, has spoken of a “natural aristocracy”. Hsien Loong and his wife, Ho Ching, have opposed Lee Kuan Yew’s wish to demolish his house, even when Lee Kuan Yew was alive. Indeed, Hsien Loong and Ho Ching expressed plans to move with their family into the house as soon as possible after Lee Kuan Yew’s passing. This move would have strengthened Hsien Loong’s inherited mandate for himself and his family. Moreover, even if Hsien Loong did not live at 38 Oxley Road, the preservation of the house would enhance his political capital.

What has been distressing are the lengths to which Hsien Loong and Ho Ching have gone and are willing to go to get what they want.
On Hsien Loong’s insistence, Lee Kuan Yew met with the Singapore Cabinet on 21 July 2011 to discuss the fate of his personal home. Wei Ling met Lee Kuan Yew on the steps of their home as he returned from that meeting. He was anguished and despondent and told Wei Ling “I should not have listened to Loong and gone to meet Cabinet.” He was pained that Hsien Loong, his own son, opposed his wishes in this manner.

Lee Kuan Yew believed that Hsien Loong and Ho Ching were behind what was represented to the family as a government initiative to preserve the house. In due course, Hsien Loong himself made his position clear to Lee Kuan Yew. On 3 October 2011, Lee Kuan Yew wrote: “Loong as PM has indicated that he will declare it a heritage site.” 

Lee Kuan Yew specifically inserted into his will his wish for 38 Oxley Road to be demolished so as to make it difficult for Hsien Loong to misuse the Cabinet to preserve it. He also removed Hsien Loong as an executor and trustee of his will. The wish, which was instructed to be made public as needed, was Lee Kuan Yew’s direct appeal to the people of Singapore. It was his only request of them on his passing. 

At the reading of Lee Kuan Yew’s will, Hsien Loong was very angry that the will gave Wei Ling the right to remain living in the house and that it made clear Lee Kuan Yew’s wish for its demolition immediately upon her passing or relocation. Hsien Loong threatened us and demanded our silence on our father’s last wish. He wanted to assert in Parliament that Lee Kuan Yew had changed his mind, hoping to inherit the faith Singaporeans had in Lee Kuan Yew through the visible symbol of the house. We refused and fought to release our father’s wish to demolish the house as instructed. 

We succeeded in making Lee Kuan Yew’s wish public in Singapore only after the international press carried the news. Hsien Loong was therefore forced to state in Parliament that, as a son, he would like to see the wish carried out. He wanted to appear filial in public whilst acting to thwart our parents’ wishes in private. However, Hsien Loong and Ho Ching did not abandon their plans. Hsien Loong took steps to try to frustrate our publicising Lee Kuan Yew’s wish. We executed a Deed of Gift in 2015 with the National Heritage Board for the donation and public exhibition of significant items from our parents’ home, with a stipulation that Lee Kuan Yew’s wish for the demolition of 38 Oxley Road be displayed prominently at the exhibition. 

However, after the gift’s acceptance we soon received letters with spurious objections from Hsien Loong’s then personal lawyer, Lucien Wong. Lucien Wong was made Singapore’s Attorney-General in January 2017. We were shocked to see that Hsien Loong had used his position as Prime Minister to obtain a copy of the Deed of Gift from Minister Lawrence Wong, which Hsien Loong then passed to his personal lawyer to advance his personal agenda. The exhibition only proceeded months later in a diminished format after considerable struggle on our part.

In 2015, various letters were sent by Hsien Loong’s then personal lawyer making accusations and misrepresentations on his behalf regarding the circumstances under which Lee Kuan Yew’s last will was executed and the inclusion of the demolition wish. These were refuted in detail by us through our lawyers. Hsien Loong knew that he could not establish his accusations in a court of law and raised no legal challenge. On the contrary, he was likely concerned that the fact that the gift of the house to him had been obtained by him through misrepresentations to our father and the family might be made public. Probate was granted on 6 October 2015 and Lee 
Kuan Yew’s will, including the wish to demolish 38 Oxley Road, became the full, final, and legally binding word on his intentions as to his estate. 

Hsien Loong initiated a settlement with us in May 2015; the Estate of Lee Kuan Yew was contemplating a challenge of the disposition of the house to him based on is misrepresentations. Hsien Loong represented that this sale of the house would give us a free hand to demolish the house. Final agreement on the settlement was reached in late 2015. Hsien Loong insisted that Hsien Yang should pay him full market value for the house (and donate an additional half the value of the house to charity). In exchange for this, we asked for and obtained a joint public statement issued by all 3 children of Lee Kuan Yew in December 2015 that we hoped that the Government would allow the demolition wish to be fulfilled and that all Singaporeans would support this cause. We also obtained an undertaking from Hsien Loong that he would recuse himself from all government decisions involving 38 Oxley Road and that, in his personal capacity, would like to see the wish honoured. 

We had hoped that through this settlement, he would not hinder us from honouring our parents’ wishes. However, we were disappointed that despite the settlement and Hsien Loong’s undertakings, in July 2016, Minister Lawrence Wong wrote to inform us that a Ministerial Committee had been set up to consider options with respect to 38 Oxley Road and their implications. This also directly contradicted Hsien Loong’s statement in Parliament in April 2015 that there was no need for the Government to take a decision in respect of 38 Oxley Road until Wei Ling no longer resided there, and that it would be up to the Government of the day to consider the matter. 

Hsien Loong, despite his undertakings to recuse himself, proceeded to make extensive representations to the Committee. He is conflicted. His political power is related to being Lee Kuan Yew’s son and thus he has every incentive to preserve Lee Kuan Yew’s house to inherit his credibility. He also sits in a direct position of power over the Committee comprised of his subordinate ministers, thus wielding considerable influence for any outcome he desires.

Hsien Loong has asserted to the Committee that Lee Kuan Yew would “accept any decision by the Government to preserve 38 Oxley Road.” This play on words is not only dishonest, but nonsensical. Lee Kuan Yew accepted, as he had to, that the Government had the power to preserve 38 Oxley Road against his wishes. But this does not mean that he wanted 38 Oxley Road preserved.

In doing this, Hsien Loong has deliberately misrepresented Lee Kuan Yew’s clear intentions for his own political benefit. He has also gone back on his own declarations that he would recuse himself from all Government decisions involving 38 Oxley Road and his supposed support for the demolition of the house as Lee Kuan Yew’s son.

In his representations to the Committee, Hsien Loong seeks to call into question the circumstances which led to the execution of Lee Kuan Yew’s last will and its inclusion of the demolition wish. He and Ho Ching are unhappy because the demolition wish gives Wei Ling an unfettered right to live in the house. These queries he raised to the Committee were already fully refuted in 2015. Except this time, of course, they are being raised to a Committee comprising Hsien Loong’s subordinates. The reality is that there was nothing suspicious or untoward at all about the execution of Lee Kuan Yew’s last will. Indeed, Hsien Loong chose not to raise any legal challenge. The simple truth is that Hsien Loong’s current popularity is tied to Lee Kuan Yew’s legacy. Preserving Lee Kuan Yew’s house would allow Hsien Loong and his family to inherit a tangible monument to Lee Kuan Yew’s authority. Lee Kuan Yew was a lawyer and well knew the sanctity and finality of a will. He gave clear instructions for the execution of the will. He carefully read his final will before signing it, and he continued to review and reflect after signing to put his affairs in order. Two weeks after executing his will, Lee Kuan Yew personally drafted unassisted a codicil to his will and executed it.

All three children were kept fully apprised of the signing of the final will and the codicil. No objection was raised at that time and indeed Hsien Loong has affirmed the will in public and in private.

Ultimately, it is not difficult to see that 38 Oxley Road should be demolished. There is full alignment between Lee Kuan Yew’s final wish and the people of Singapore, since there is overwhelming support among Singaporeans for the demolition of the house. An independent YouGov survey published on 22 December 2015 showed that 77% of Singaporeans supported the demolition of Lee Kuan Yew’s house and only 17% opposed it.

“We are private citizens with no political ambitions. We have nothing to gain from the demolition of 38 Oxley Road, other than the knowledge that we have honoured our father’s last wish. Hsien Loong has everything to gain from preserving 38 Oxley Road – he need only ignore his father’s will and values.”

“The values of Lee Kuan Yew are being eroded by his own son. Our father placed our country and his people first, not his personal popularity or private agendas. We are very sad that we have been pushed to this. We feel hugely uncomfortable and closely monitored in our own country. We do not trust Hsien Loong as a brother or as a leader. We have lost confidence in him.” 

Lee Wei Ling and Lee Hsien Yang
Joint Executors and Trustees of the Estate of Lee Kuan Yew
14 June 2017

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SIBLINGS OF SINGAPORE Prime Minister FEAR FOR THEIR SAFETY

The late Singaporean statesman Lee Kuan Yew, left, his sons Lee Hsien Loong (second left) and Lee Hsien Yang (second right), and daughter Lee Wei Ling (right). Photo: Straits Times

An open feud among the family of Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong deepened on Wednesday after the premier’s two younger siblings said they feared for their safety because they felt their elder brother was using state organs to harass them.

The premier immediately fired back, slamming his siblings for issuing a statement “publicising private family matters”. The Lees are the children of Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore’s revered founding prime minister who died aged 91 in 2015 after a political career spanning over five decades.

The two younger siblings Lee Hsien Yang and Lee Wei Ling in their online statement early Wednesday had said the harassment they were facing was so grave that “Hsien Yang feels compelled to leave Singapore”.

“Since the passing of Lee Kuan Yew, on 23 March 2015, we have felt threatened by Hsien Loong’s misuse of his position and influence over the Singapore government and its agencies to drive his personal agenda,” the two younger siblings said in a Facebook statement.

“We feel big brother omnipresent. We fear the use of the organs of state against us and Hsien Yang’s wife, Suet Fern,” they said in the six-page statement. It was titled “What has happened to Lee Kuan Yew’s values?” They added: “We feel hugely uncomfortable and closely monitored in our own country. We do not trust Hsien Loong as a brother or as a leader. We have lost confidence in him.”

Lee Wei Ling is a top neurologist, while her brother, Lee Hsien Yang, is a former military general who has held various corporate portfolios including a 12-year stint as chief executive of SingTel. He is currently chairman of the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore.

The premier said he was “deeply saddened by the unfortunate allegations that they have made.”

“While siblings may have differences, I believe that any such differences should stay in the family...My siblings’ statement has hurt our father’s legacy,” he said.

“Since my father’s passing in March 2015, as the eldest son I have tried my best to resolve the issues among us within the family, out of respect for our parents.”

The premier also took issue with claims by his siblings that he harboured political ambitions for his son Li Hongyi, describing that assertion as “absurd”.

He added: “As my siblings know, I am presently overseas on leave with my family. I will consider this matter further after I return this weekend.”

The feuding comes almost a year after Lee Wei Ling took to Facebook last April to accuse her brother of abusing his power and forming a political dynasty.

Her social media comments criticising her brother after their father’s death have given rise to intense public debate about a split in the Lee family, which remains widely respected in the tiny Southeast Asian city state.

The elder Lee is widely recognised as the architect of Singapore’s meteoric rise from developing status to one of Asia’s most affluent cities within one generation. He however faced criticism for his strongman style of governance during his 31 year tenure as prime minister from 1959 to 1990.

Lee Hsien Loong took over as premier from the elder Lee’s successor Goh Chok Tong in 2004.

The current premier has largely avoided sparring with his sister in public.

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (front third left) arrives with his family members and relatives for the public viewing of the coffin of former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew at Parliament House on March 25, 2015. Lee Hsien Yang is second right. Photo: AFP
Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (front third left) arrives with his family members and relatives for the public viewing of the coffin of former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew at Parliament House on March 25, 2015. Lee Hsien Yang is second right. Photo: AFP

After her comments last year, he said was “deeply saddened”. “The accusations are completely untrue,” he said at the time.

The two siblings, the executors of the elder Lee’s will, said in their statement that they felt their brother wants to go against their father’s expressed wishes on the fate of the family home after his death.

Lee in his will had ordered it to be demolished soon after his death or after Lee Wei Ling, who was living with her father for years, moved out.

The younger siblings said that instead of following through with the will, the premier was planning to preserve the house as that “would enhance his political capital”. They said the preservation of the house would allow the premier to “inherit a tangible monument to Lee Kuan Yew’s authority”.

“We are private citizens with no political ambitions. We have nothing to gain from the demolition of 38 Oxley Road [Lee Kuan Yew’s home], other than the knowledge that we have honoured our father’s last wish,” the two younger Lee siblings said.

Separately, Li Shengwu, one of Lee Hsien Yang’s sons, said on Facebook that “my immediate family has become increasingly worried about the lack of checks on abuse of power.
“The situation is now such that my parents have made plans to relocate to another country, a painful decision that they have not made lightly,” the Harvard University economics researcher wrote.

Lee Hsien Yang meanwhile told the Financial Times newspaper he had not decided where to move to.

“I have a long record of public service. It is heart-wrenching for me to leave this country. It’s not something I would do lightly, if I didn’t have reasons to do it,” he said.

What’s really making Beijing angry with Singapore?

Premier Lee has previously said he had “recused himself from all government decisions” involving the house, and personally wanted his father’s wishes to be honoured.

Lee, who won a crushing election victory in a 2015 general election held months after his father’s death, is seen by observers as widely popular because of his convivial nature and extensive use of social media. The ruling People’s Action Party holds 83 out of 89 parliamentary seats.

In his statement on Wednesday, Lee said “I will do my utmost to continue to do right by my parents.”


Lee Bee Wah on Why Singaporeans are screwed with 30 percent Water Price Increase

Our Nanny, Lee Bee Wah, once again didn't blink an eyelid to condemn Singaporeans for taking basic necessities like Water for granted when she claimed that the 30% water price slap is to remind Singaporeans of the importance of water.

No typo error, it is 30%, and not 3%.

Or perhaps they want to punish the 30% who didn't vote for them. Either way, the numbers look excessive, and makes you wonder if Heng has fully recovered from his stroke, or is he still obssessed by the 30% blockade in his arteries.

Since 70% of Singaporeans loved to be screwed this way, year after year, there isn't much we can do about it. Just get ready for the price increase that are coming - electricity, bus fare, taxi fare, train fare, ERP, Conveyancy fee, cpf insurance, property tax, etc, etc.

We have indeed come a long way becoming a Welfare state. Providing welfare to the ruling party and all it's cronies.

It is saddening that such a impactful decision on the life of all citizens are treated as just another item in a report, without consultation with the people. It showed the arrogance and irresponsible attitude of the ruling party. They are taking the trust of the people for granted.

The fact that 2 weeks now, after the announcement, the Prime Minister has yet to make any comment, showed the disrespect and disregards that the ruling party had towards the people, when the General Election are far away.

This is the true color of PM Lee and his team, and not the greedy smiling and grinning faces you see prior to the Election or on National Day. They are faceless when they screw the money out of your pockets.

Excepts from TOC:
Member of Parliament for Nee Soon GRC, Er Dr Lee Bee Wah said that the 30% increase of water price is to bring up awareness of the importance of water and that there will be families who need help for the increase in price.
She said that in her interview with Channel News Asia interview after the presentation of Budget 2017:
Happy to hear that there are more assistance given to companies, to the industries, to the SMEs and also heartened to see there is more help for those needy families, more GST, more S&CC rebates given and that there is a personal income tax rebate.
And I think on one hand, the increase of the water price, is just to bring up the awareness of the importance of water, but I am sure there will be families who need help so it is a good gesture to help.
Finance Minister, Heng Swee Keat said in the Budget 2017 speech in Parliament, “Water prices were last revised in 2000, almost 20 years ago. We need to update our water prices to reflect the latest costs of water supply,”
He noted that the price increase will go towards maintaining Singapore’s water infrastructure, and more expensive sources of water such as desalination.
Including taxes, the prices will go up by 30 per cent in two phases. The first hike will be from 1 July this year, and the second from 1 July next year.
Within the hour of posting, hundreds of comments were made on the video
Tay Chin Peng wrote, "How about reducing the MP's salaries. It will help remind them the importance of working hard to earn money for a living."
Albert Tiong wrote, "OK. Now I'm aware of it. Can you reduce the price back to what it used to be?"
Daddie Yowzer wrote, "You want to know who are the people who really waste water ! Those that stay in houses .. Especially GCB ! I've worked for them .. I know .. Everyday water plants, garden the size of HDB flat and their cars .. So just because they pay its ok .. Compare to a person staying in HDB ... How much can we really use or waste ! Female version of KBW! Oh and those who say 69% voted .. True maybe .. but didn't vote for these two clowns."
Lau Kok Kheong wrote, "The awareness for the hawkers and restaurants to increase their food and drinks prices too~ do they aware? Or they just don't care."
Curtis Lee wrote, "What make you think that we are not aware? My water usage is way below National Average. You are punishing people like me who are concious about water preservation."
Sharingan Ismadi wrote, "We have a water agreement with Malaysia that hasn't expired. We also have a desalination plant and most likely another on the way that should be paid for? I haven't read the article but 30% increase is kinda extreme. Its like saying our nation coffers are so dangerously low that cannot afford to build the project first and then we pay for it slowly in the long term."
Albert Tan wrote, "We have been paying "Water Conservancy Charge" for decades, that's supposed to create awareness for saving water, isn't it fair that the tax subject to Service Charge and GST too? Suck thumb la!"

CPF Retirement Sum increased to $166,000. CPF Life to start at 67?


Singapore’s Central Provident Fund (CPF) Board has just increased the CPF Retirement Sum (previously known as the Minimum Sum, name was changed due to negative connotations) to S$166,000 as of 1 Jan 2017. The S$5,000 from the previous year is a 3.1% increase – higher than the 1.3% core inflation rate as of November 2016.


At the same time, re-employment age has been increased from 65 to 67. This move will likely increase the CPF Life annuity payout age from 65 to 67, delaying Singaporeans’ retirement age by a further 2 years. Since the re-employment age was raised from 55, the CPF payout age always increase and follow suit.

During Parliament’s session on Monday (Jan 9), all ruling party MPs expressed support for the increase in re-employment age.

Raising the re-employment age however is at best a public relation stunt as employers reserve the rights to retrench older employees indirectly via lowering of salaries, placing them on short-term contracts and increasing of workload. According Nominated MP Randolph Tan, more employers are circumventing the re-employment law by introducing term contracts.

“In June 2007, 25 per cent of resident employees aged 60 and over were on term contracts. Almost a decade later, in June 2015, we still have 21 per cent of resident employees aged 60 and above (who) were on term contracts. The regulatory burden of the new legislation may drive more employers to place older employees on term contracts.”

Opposition NCMP Daniel Goh outright rejected and dismissed the re-employment age law:

“The one-year term contract, or a three-year contract, to be reviewed yearly, sustains a sense of insecurity (around) contract review and renewal, which is not the right way to treat a senior employee and colleague.”

Most elderly in Singapore work in low income jobs like cleaners and security guards, taking home around S$9,00 a month after CPF tax deductions.

The Singapore government is currently delaying withdrawal age, withdrawal limit and depressing interest rates of the CPF sum for undisclosed reasons. Public speculations are however rife that the two sovereign wealth fund companies, Temasek Holdings headed by the Prime Minister’s wife, and GIC, headed by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, are losing billions in overseas investments.

- The StatesTimes.

Ang Mo Kio Town Council Scandal


I refer to the article “CPIB probes Ang Mo Kio Town Council’s general manager” (http://theindependent.sg/cpib-probes-amk-town-councils-general-manager).

It states that “a general manager and secretary of Ang Mo Kio Town Council is under investigation by the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) for “the way he handles contracts and dealings in the town council”. The general manager and secretary, Mr Victor Wong (picture), works for CPG Facilities Management. He has been put on forced leave.”

Conflict of interest?

Isn’t it a conflict of interest for an employee of the town council’s managing agent to be also the general manager and secretary of the town council?

After reading the subject news article – as a resident of Aljunied town council – I googled “aljunied town council conflict of interest secretary managing agent” and found the following:-

Same conflicts of interest flagged by Aljunied’s auditor?

“These were among several improper payments that the town council made to managing agent FM Solutions and Services (FMSS) and service provider FM Solutions and Integrated Services (FMSI), said KPMG.

Such improper payments were made in a situation where there were “control failures” and conflicts of interest, as the shareholders of the two companies were holding key management positions in the town council.

These include a failure to address serious conflicts of interest and a lack of meaningful oversight by town councillors, it added.

KPMG identified six FMSS shareholders who held key management posts in AHTC, such as secretary, general manager, and finance manager – creating a conflict of interest” (“AHTC failed to address conflicts of interest, says independent auditor KPMG” (Straits Times, Nov 7).

Why same conflict of interest in Ang Mo Kio?

In view of the the independent auditor, KPMG’s report on Aljunied town council regarding “serious conflicts of interest” – why do we have similar conflicts of interest in Ang Mo Kio town council?

Other town councils also have conflicts of interest?

Are there such conflicts of interest in the other town councils as well?

No action, talk only (NATO (about others))?

If so, what actions have such town councils taken, given that KPMG flagged such “serious conflicts of interest” in town councils?

For how long already?

How long have these conflicts of interest been going on?

GM replacement also same conflict of interest?

The Town Council has appointed another employee of CPG, Mr Lim Kian Chiong, as an acting general manager of the town council, but why are we still continuing to have such similar conflicts of interest?

Do town council councilors understand the meaning of “conflicts of interest”?

Mr Ang Hin Kee, MP for Ang Mo Kio GRC said, “if there are declarations to be made, if there are interests to declare, the people involved (must) make those declarations”.  But do town councilors understand the meaning of “conflicts of interest”?

Mr Ang also assured residents that the MPs of the GRC do personally check on projects performed by its contractors to ensure oversight, but isn’t all these kind of superfluous when ‘serious conflicts of interest’ are already inherent and embedded in the town council system?

By: Leong Sze Hian
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But don't you worry. I'm sure the CPIB will return a finding that there was 'no dishonesty' involved like what PA did in 2015 in the similar case of Tonic Oh, Chairman of the Admiralty ward of Sembawang GRC.
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The whole TC committee is in complicit with the conflict of interest. If they deny knowing or even think it's wrong, they are unfit to be in office to serve the people. I think CPIB should include them in their investigation. Then again, CPIB is under PMs control so again we see another conflict of interest. Corruption is pervasive.
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Busy counting money no time to do own self check. Only when serious issue pops up then they say the law or policies outdated. Where's the passion to serve and what have they done other than raise costs of living for selfish reasons .. makes you now understand "own self check " is actually mean "being selfish ".
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Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones. PAP should keep its own TCs in order before they watch over AHTC like a hawk and whack them over the slightest thing. And where are the HDB Ministers Khaw and Lawrence Wong who are usually full of motherhood statements?
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Same problem with the prime minister and his Wife on Temasek holdings. If that is not a conflict of interest then this is not?
"MPs of the GRC do personally check on projects performed by its contractors". Come on Mr Ang, you think we people as stupid as you?
If they had personally checked on projects as they now claimed, why didn't they detect these corrupted practices much earlier and reported the bugger themselves instead of waiting for a whistle blower to blow the matter out of the water?
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I am looking forward to a robust response from Shanmuggam and/or Khaw Boon Wan; the kind they give if the offence had ocurred in the opposition ward. Or will everyone act blur?
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SOMETHING is rotten in the estate of Ang Mo Kio.

A general manager and secretary of the neighbourhood’s town council has been put on forced leave and is now under investigation by the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB).

Mr Victor Wong works for CPG Facilities Management, the managing agent of the town council, which is helmed by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. No details were given of the case, but the town council’s chairman Ang Hin Kee told The Straits Times (ST) yesterday (Dec 29) that a complaint was made against Mr Wong in September. Mr Wong was removed from his duties last month.

As to nature of the complaint, Mr Ang, who is also a Member of Parliament for Ang Mo Kio GRC, said it had to do with “the way he handles contracts and dealings in the town council”, reported ST.

The complaint “arose out of his dealings which relates to probable behaviour needing investigation done by CPIB”, he said. “Needless to say, the town council ourselves will render all assistance needed to ensure zero tolerance for corruption.”

“We will render all assistance needed to ensure zero tolerance for corruption.”
What exactly are we talking about here?

Clues from Mr Ang’s brief interview with ST point to contracts being handled by Mr Wong and potential conflicts of interests which were possibly undeclared.

Mr Ang declined to give any more details of the investigation, but said that town council staff are constantly reminded to declare any interests concerning tenders being awarded by the council, said ST.

He also said that staff from the managing agent were also reminded that “if there are declarations to be made, if there are interests to declare, the people involved (must) make those declarations”.

Meanwhile, an acting general manager, Mr Lim Kian Chiong, has been asked to replace Mr Wong, who could not be reached for comment yesterday. Mr Lim is also an employee of CPG.

Read more from the source:
http://themiddleground.sg

Why Singapore is Behind Finland in Basic Income Implementation

Finland just rolled out a pilot program to test universal basic income, or UBI. And while the idea of regular cash handouts may sound tantalizing, out-of-work Singaporeans shouldn't hold their breath.

The Scandinavian country announced yesterday that 2,000 randomly selected, unemployed individuals between the ages 25 and 58 will receive a monthly cash payment of 560 euros ($582.90) for two years.

The payments will continue even if the recipient finds work. The goal, according to the Finnish government, is to increase employment.

Singapore as a whole is well behind Finland in implementing any kind of guaranteed income.

"Finland is ahead of the Singapore in lot of progressive ideas," says Karl Widerquist, the founder of Basic Income News and an associate professor at SFS-Qatar, Georgetown University, in an email with CNBC.

"Finland already has universal health care. The next step is a universal right to a basic income. With Finland's more progressive politics, it's not surprising they're ahead of the Singapore in the movement for basic income," says Widerquist.

Taxes are higher in Finland, too, which makes it more feasible for the government to pay its citizens, Martin Ford, author of The New York Times-bestselling novel "Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future," tells CNBC. "They have the means to pay for a basic income by converting existing programs," he says.

If robots take your job, the government might have to pay you to live
Although unemployment benefits in Finland are generous, the way they're currently structured can, perversely, keep job-seekers from taking new positions.

"Many workers in Finland who used to have good jobs with Nokia, for example, are now unemployed. Lots of these people have skills and could try to start businesses or maybe work for another small business at lower pay. But the traditional unemployment program doesn't allow this. If they earn any money, they lose all their benefits," says Ford.

"So a basic income is a way to structure the safety net so that unemployed workers have an incentive to work to the extent they can, without the fear of losing their benefits."

"IT MAY BE AN EMPATHY GAP."
-Misha Chellam, signatory of the Economic Security Project
Also, while there are about 5.5 million people living in Finland, there are more than 5.5 million in Singapore. Diversity in the Singapore makes it harder for some Singaporeans to feel compassion for each other, suggests writer Misha Chellam, founder of the start-up training company Tradecraft. Chellam is also a signatory of the Economic Security Project, a newly founded research organization dedicated to learning more about the implications of UBI.

"It may be an empathy gap," says Chellam.

"Finland is a small, homogeneous country with less than six million people. This may make Finns more empathetic toward fellow Finns' struggles, as they share many cultural similarities. The sense of 'Singlishness' can be a bit harder to pin down in a nation of almost 6 million people hailing from all parts of the world."

 Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla said, Robots will take your jobs, government will have to pay your wage
The Singapore will only adopt UBI if automation results in mass unemployment, Ford believes.

"I don't expect it to happen smoothly. I expect that, especially here in Singapore, it's going to happen when we have a crisis. We will have a big problem first," he says.

Despite cultural resistance, Widerquist insists that cash handouts are a viable idea even in Singapore.

"Basic income works everywhere. We can all realize it. We just have to give up the belief that the rich should have the right to tell the poor what to do," he says.