Why is Worker Party, Ms Syliva Lim, reluctant to answer questions? What is she afraid of ? (AIM vs FMSS : Mr Teo Ho Pin vs Ms Sylvia ))

Teo Ho Pin Teo Ho Pin

May 26, 2013

FMSS

1. In Parliament, Minister Khaw Boon Wan revealed troubling facts about FMSS. He then asked Sylvia Lim directly how she would “characterise the FMSS transactions and if public interest has been protected”. Ms Lim has not answered these queries.

2. The public deserves to know because the award of contracts worth $26 million by the Workers’ Party (WP) run Aljunied-Hougang Town Council (AHTC) to long time supporters and close business associates of WP, through FM Solutions and Services Pte Ltd (FMSS), raises serious questions about public interest and transparency.

3. Ms Lim and WP MPs have not disputed the following facts:-
a) WP won in Aljunied GRC on 11 May 2011.

b) Four days later, on 15 May 2011, FMSS was set up.

c) Mr Danny Loh and Ms How Weng Fan (who are husband and wife) own FMSS.

d) Mr Loh and Ms How were Assentor and Proposer for the WP team of candidates who contested in Ang Mo Kio GRC in 2006 General Election. They were clearly close and trusted supporters of the WP.

e) How and Loh are also Secretary and Deputy Secretary/General Manager respectively of AHTC. How had been an employee of Hougang TC.

f) AHTC, headed by Ms Sylvia Lim, gave a $5.2 million contract to FMSS on 15 July 2011 (soon after the General Election) to manage AHTC, without calling a tender.

g) One year later, in August 2012, AHTC awarded a contract worth $16.8 million to FMSS to manage AHTC. This time AHTC called a tender, and FMSS submitted the only bid.

h) AHTC also gave another contract in 2012, for the Essential Maintenance Services Unit to FMSS, worth $3.9 million. In total, AHTC has awarded $25.9 million worth of contracts to FMSS.

4. FMSS charged AHTC $7.87 per property unit in July 2011 to be its Managing Agent (MA). This was 20% higher than the rate charged by the previous Managing Agent ($6.51 per unit per month) before the GE. In the August 2012 tender, FMSS increased the unit rate to $8.04. This is more than 50% higher than the unit rate ($4.99 in 2012) paid by Tampines TC, a comparable-sized estate, to its managing agent.

5. Instead of trying to obfuscate the public with wrong calculations on how much FMSS charged AHTC, Ms Sylvia Lim needs to explain clearly why a WP run Town Council gave more than $26 million of public funds in contracts to close associates. And why it paid management fees significantly higher than normal, and 20% higher than its previous managing agent?

6. Three key questions of public interest arise:
a) Did AHTC secure the best possible deal by awarding an MA contract worth over $5 million to a company formed by close WP supporters just days after the 2011 GE, and without a tender?

b) Did AHTC exercise due diligence when they awarded not one but two contracts worth over $21 million to the same company a year later in 2012?

c) Has AHTC protected the interests of Aljunied and Hougang residents?

7. Ms Sylvia Lim is Chairman of AHTC. Presented these facts in Parliament, her first response was that she was not sure about the unit rates that AHTC paid to FMSS. She had awarded contracts at significantly higher prices to close and trusted party supporters, and she did not know the facts?

8. Ms Lim then said that the high price could be due to inflation. Really? Can inflation explain the huge difference in rates with Tampines Town Council?

9. On Tuesday 14 May, the WP issued a statement in Ms Lim’s name disputing MND’s figures for MA rates and providing her own figures. But for some inexplicable reason, Ms Lim had left out commercial units and only included the residential units. Her figures were therefore erroneous and misleading.

10. On Wednesday, Ms Lim issued another statement to explain the MA rates. She raised her estimate of the MA rate for FY2012, from $7.01 the previous night to $7.58. This is indeed more than 50% higher than the Tampines rate ($4.99). Further, as MND pointed out, even at $7.58, the MA contract value for the whole estate for 3 years would only be $15.8 million – $1 million less than the $16.8 million that Ms Sylvia Lim herself had declared to HDB last year. Where is the missing $1 million?

11. One possible explanation is that AHTC has staggered the MA rate with increments each year starting with $7.58 this year. If so, it is bad news for residents – it means simply that their current MA rate, which is already high, will rise even higher each year. By my calculations, it will increase her figure of $7.58 in 2012, to $8.00 this year and $8.50 next year!

12. Beyond these specific problems with WP’s claims, more basic questions must be asked:
a) Mr Loh and Ms How are Secretary and Deputy Secretary/ General Manager of the AHTC. Do they draw salaries as employees of the Town Council?

b) As Mr Loh and Ms How do business with the TC through FMSS which they own and profit- do they get paid twice?

c) What was the need to form FMSS just a few days after WP won Aljunied GRC? If urgency was the chief consideration, as Ms Lim claims, would it not have been easier for AHTC to have employed Ms How directly and managed the town itself, just as Hougang TC had done, without having to form this for-profit company?

13. These questions raise serious issues of financial probity and transparency. The WP MPs in AHTC owe it to the residents of Aljunied and Hougang, as well as Singaporeans in general, to give full answers to them.

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Teo Ho Pin

My response to the WP’s statement on Town Council Management as follows:-

The facts are clear. Based on their own calculations, their MA unit rate for 2012 was $ 7.58, 50% higher than the MA rate of Tampines TC which is of similar size. Based on their staggered pricing, their MA rate will be even higher in the following years. In fact by 2014, their MA rate will be about $8.50 or 70% higher than Tampines TC’s rate. Why doesn’t Ms Sylvia Lim admit these facts?

I asked serious questions about the financial probity of the Aljunied-Hougang Town Council, which Ms Sylvia Lim chairs.

Why did WP award multi-million dollar contracts to its close associates and supporters? No answer.

Are the Secretary and Deputy Secretary/General Manager, cum owners of FMSS, paid twice? No answer.

Ms Lim has not answered a single question I asked.

When questions were raised about AIM, I gave a full public explanation and answered all the questions by the MND Review Team. Parliament held a full debate on the matter and the Minister for National Development answered all the MPs’ questions, including from Workers’ Party MPs.

Why is Ms Lim reluctant to answer questions? What is she afraid of?”

Dr Teo Ho Pin
Co-ordinating Chairman of PAP Town Councils

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Key phrases: “The fact that the serious questions that Mayor Teo has asked have not been answered – and they have refused to answer them – is telling.” Minister K Shanmugam Sc

Source : Fabrications About The PAP

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Source :  Fabrications Led by Opposition Parties (FLOP)

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