Wednesday, December 26, 2012

And The Hole Gets Deeper

Sigh! Sometimes people just do not learn. That’s all I can say when M/s Action Information Management Pte Ltd (AIM) tried to defend their deal with the PAP town councils.

For those of you that did not know, there’s a potential scandal in Singapore when the opposition Worker’s Party (WP) revealed that a computer system developed collectively by 14 PAP town councils for over a period of more than 15 months was sold in January 2011, to a little-known company called AIM. The town councils who paid to develop the computer system then had to lease back the system from AIM, paying the company monthly fees for the usage of the computer system.

Since then, it has been revealed that AIM does not seem to have a office and it consisted of just three people, chairman S Chandra Das, and directors Lau Ping Sum and Chew Heng Ching. All of whom were former PAP Members of Parliament. It is also been noted that the company only had a total paid-up capital of just $2.

The PAP-owned IT company has been defending itself, claiming that it won the bid to own the system in an open tender and paid $140,000 for it. It also charges each town council a monthly fee of $785 for usage of the system and engaged NCS to maintain and further develop the system.

Talk about digging a hole for yourself!

This defense by AIM is a god-sent for the opposition parties here in Singapore because it just open a can of worms for the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP). Seriously, if we take what AIM said at face value, then how in the world did a company with a paid-up capital of just $2 managed to pay $140,000 to win the bid to own the system? If they got a loan, it begs the question which bank actually loaned AIM $140,000 when the company is worth all of $2!

Also at the monthly cost of $785, why didn’t the town councils maintain the system themselves and questions will be asked about how much was spent to develop the system in the first place? I mean at $785 a month per town council, AIM would recoup the $140,000 in just slightly over a year! And in drawing NCS into the picture, now questions will be asked of them as well!

How in the world is any of this good for the PAP? It isn’t. Even if everything is legal (and it seem they took pains to make sure it is), it still looks bad and smell worse. And the whole mess is totally avoidable! Just get rid of the agreement between AIM and the town councils before more awkward questions get asked! Surely that is preferable than to have the whole thing brewing during the next by-election! 


Lem Peng said...

ah the joys of the social media! In the old days questions like the ones in this post would have gotten the author in hot soup.

Att Cch said...

In the new normal, the PAP gets stewed by questions like the ones in this post. And so many others. Ah the joys of the social media

Anonymous said...

We are the ruling party in Singapore. We got 60% of vote but >90% of control in Parliament - that's what counts. We can do whatever we want (Sticks middle finger out).

Ghost said...

I highly doubt anyone will get into any trouble asking these questions because nothing illegal was done. If the PAP want to defend the deal, they need to come up with something better than this but like I said before; it hasn't gain any traction with the public. It's just something the PAP do not need with a by-election coming.

Anonymous said...

Good grief, you sound so Devious with your suggestion - eh, quickly throw the deal away lah, so people will shut up - on how the PAP should react to this matter.

The TCs may certainly shuck off AIM now because of the questions the deal poses, but they are still required to explain why they went into the deal in the first place! No getting away from that now the cat is out of the bag.

According to reports, they sold as they considered having a new system. Why did they think about having a new system? Won't it cost more money? What's wrong with the old? How does selling the NCS system help in that direction/ help them decide whether they should do so or not?

The curious thing is why they are so inept at explaining their actions.

The matter also highlights the very odd and convoluted thinking that prompts govt actions (and policies) these days, and the govt's inability to explain satisfactorily, and clearly, why it behaves the way it does.

This is Highly disturbing.

Consider, they have yet to explain why - at no point - they even Thought of beefing up this country's infrastructure when bringing in 2 million people. Why did they not think it was necessary? How could they overlook something so Basic? How slack and irresponsible can you get???

They've exposed this country to all kinds of dangers that defence spending can't solve, eg, what happens in an epidemic when you don't have enough hospital beds?! What happens if foreign providers close the electricity or food supply pipelines?

I won't even go into the irresponsibility of adding 2 million so quickly without bearing in mind the impact on Spore's Social fabric, an area the PAP have long been Very weak on.

Ghost said...

Come on, this is politics we are talking about. Ignoring awkward questions isn’t devious, it’s the politically smart thing to do. If you think any political party anywhere in the world will hurt themselves politically just because "it’s the right thing to do", you are naive and frankly a little foolish because last I checked, we are still living in the real world.