70 year old granny has no money to recover son’s corpse

Report by  Xinming

Her son is a hardworking hawker who works round the clock earning about $80 a day to feed his mother and a younger brother suffering from mental illness. Mr Koh Shi Ping, 45 years old, was also a filial son who scrimped and sacrificed so much for his family that he did not even visit a doctor when he was sick, and remained single because he couldn’t afford to have a girlfriend.

Mr Koh’s hard knock life eventually ended last Wednesday when he died from a fall while he is on medical leave at home. Mr Koh was sent to the hospital and he died shortly a day after. When the hospital called Mr Koh’s mother to collect the corpse, the 70 year old granny was devastated by her son’s death but she wasn’t able to go the hospital as she had no money to take the public transport.

It is not known what will happen to the Koh family after the sole breadwinner is gone. The family resides in Ang Mo Kio Ave 1 Blk 244 in Ang Mo Kio GRC, under the Prime Minister’s watch.

The PAP government often boast that Singapore is a first world country but  the elderly and disabled are treated without integrity and often left to fend for their own as the PAP does not believe in welfare. The PAP believes that welfare like a pension system, a universal healthcare system and a Minimum Wage will bankrupt Singapore’s economy and a disincentive to people putting hard work. Under the guise of Meritocracy, businesses and the rich gets low tax rate while the poor and unemployed are taxed through the GST system. Life in Singapore have also become harder for middle class families who are now putting off marriage and family planning due to Singapore’s high cost of living. The PAP government apparently does not believe Singaporeans have a problem with inflation because cash handouts in the form of Workfare and GST vouchers were given to the people.

Dr Koh Poh Koon gaffes in Punggol East By-election

76346_321995091239280_171374059_n1) Dr Koh Poh Koon said: “I remember when I finally got my HDB flat in 1998, just after I ORD from the army, my wife and I had to borrow money from my uncle to do renovations. You’d be surprised to know that at the end of the thing, before we moved into our house, in the combined accounts of our banks, in the pockets together, we had $11.50.”

How many Singaporeans can get a HDB flat when you are 25 years old and right after you ORD from the army? Dr Poh can. This is evident that housing polices by the PAP have worsened to point where young people have to wait 3 years for their new flats to be built and they are delaying marriage and family planning as such.

2) Dr Koh Poh Koon holds 9 portfolios to which he did not resign as of now he is contesting as a candidate:
Director & Consultant Surgeon, Capstone Colorectal Surgery Centre
Adjunct Assistant Professor, DUKE-NUS Graduate Medical School, Singapore
Consultant Surgeon, Department of Colorectal Surgery, Singapore General Hospital (SGH)
Visiting Consultant, Department of General Surgery, Changi General Hospital
Acting Director, Colorectal Cancer Molecular Genetics Research Laboratory, SGH
Acting Director, Colorectal Cancer Genomic Health Service, SGH
Clinical Lecturer, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore (NUS)
Co-Supervisor (PhD Program), Department of Pharmacy, Faculty of Science, NUS
Adjunct Clinician Scientist, Institute of Bioengineering & Nanotechnology (IBN), A*Star

http://www.capstonecolorectal.com.sg/profile.html

Will Dr Koh be a full time MP? Is he even committed in the first place? Why didn’t he resign all his positions before contesting? Will $16000 a month MP salary affect his standard of living?

3) Dr Koh Poh Koon called himself “the son of Punggol”, “teochew kia” and “HDB heartlander”, Lee Lilian simply called herself “Lee Lilian”. No fanfare, no hypocrisy.

4) Dr Koh Poh Koon’s membership in PAP was so new that he wasn’t even a member when Michael Palmer resigned

Source: http://www.tnp.sg/content/meet-son-punggol

5) Dr Koh Poh Koon keeps saying he is his own man, like Desmond Choo did. But also like what Desmond Choo did, he has DPM Teo Chee Hean behind his back everyday during his campaign.

6) Dr Koh said he and his family are proof of the success of Singapore’s meritocratic system.
http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/singaporelocalnews/view/1247058/1/.html

But does Meritocracy means giving less help to those who need them most? Is Meritocracy anti-welfare? Meritocracy couldn’t be more perverted in the PAP’s definition.

7) Dr Koh Poh Koon:“The residents have to be practical and realistic – that you must choose to vote the person who can do the work for you. I think it’s a fallacy to believe that you can have the best of both worlds – choose the person to make a statement but hope that the other person who’s voted out is going to be having all the resources, all the authority, to get the work done for you.”

In other words, he is telling the residents that they can’t expect PAP to get work done for them if they vote an opposition MP into Parliament.

No worries about 3 corner fights in Punggol East By-election

cheeThe Singapore Democratic Party has shot themselves in the foot this time, with an unorthodox idea lambasted by both Opposition and PAP supporters. In a calculated move which publicized 3 letters [Source] to the Workers’ Party, Dr Chee Soon Juan proposed that the SDP will send in a candidate under the Workers’ Party flag and if the SDP/WP collaboration win the PAP, the SDP will take up issues in Parliament while the Workers’ Party will be in-charge of the Town Council. The Workers’ Party has since rejected them in a short one liner saying “its focus continues to be fulfilling its promise to offer a choice to voters in Punggol East”. In many postings on Facebook, many netizens however do not subscribe to the SDP logic, and instead they see that the SDP is incapable to manage a Town Council.

Now that Dr Chee has committed political hara kiri and the SDP’s reputation has taken another beating before the campaigning started, the Workers’ Party do not have to worry about having a multi-corner fight. The SDP has always relied on the internet to influence voters and garner support for their policies, which are largely censored by the mainstream media. Unfortunately this time, they have lost the battles in both the mainstream and online media with their reputation tanking further with allegations calling their secretary general a “PAP spy” as he was earlier cleared of bankruptcy on the mercy of former Prime Ministers Lee Kuan Yew and Goh Chok Tong who allowed Dr Chee annul his bankruptcy with just $30,000 [Source]. Bad publicity is already plaguing SDP and the PAP-controlled mainstream media hasn’t even strike yet.

Here is a history of Dr Chee’s political life:

1992: 
Recruited by SDP Sec Gen Chiam See Tong
Contested in Marine Parade GRC during GE’92 – Result SDP 24% vs PAP 73%

1993 “Ousting of Chiam See Tong”: 
Staged 5 day hunger strike to protest his sacking fm NUS by his boss PAP MP Dr Vasoo.
Consumed glucose during hunger strike.
Dr Vasoo and 2 other members of staff at NUS sued CSJ for alleging his sacking is politically motivated, Dr Chee was then ordered to pay damages by Court
Ousting of Chiam See Tong: Potong Pasir MP Chiam See Tong criticizes Dr Chee’s hunger strike
Chiam See Tong condemns CSJ public comments condemning the PAP politics for his sacking 
Chiam See Tong wanted to censure CSJ for his comments about Vasoo & PAP, but SDP Central Executive Committee backed Dr Chee 
Chiam See Tong criticized the SDP CEC for their misplaced loyalty & wisdom
Dr Chee and sister attempted to expel CST which could cause Chiam See Tong to lose his Potong Pasir seat in Parliament
Chiam See Tong won court order to prevent Dr Chee & his sister from doing so on procedural grounds 
Chiam See Tong remained an SDP member & MP till Parliament was dissolved for GE1997.
Chiam See Tong left SDP to create the Singapore People’s Party after Parliament dissolved before GE’97

1994: 
Dr Chee wrote a letter to ST to condemn PAP. 
PAP’s 2nd Org Secretary, Marine Parade GRC MP Matthias Yao wrote to Straits Times to reply to Dr Chee’s allegation. 
The letters exchange between CSJ & Mathhias continued for 2 more months in Straits Times
Dr Chee challenged Yao to stand against him in a SMC at next GE. 
Yao took up CST’s challenge.
Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong agreed to separate Yao’s MacPherson SMC fm MParade GRC to facilitate e challenge.

1997:
SDP’s 1st GE under Dr Chee in 1997 proved to be a major setback.
SDP failed to win any seats in Parliament. 
SDP 2MPs; LHW & CCC failed re-election bid. 
Dr Chee lost the high-profile contest in MacPherson SMC to Yao by a huge margin 34% vs 66%.
Former Sect-Gen of SDP, Chiam See Tong was re-elected as the MP for PP under the Singapore People’s Party ticket.

2001:
GE2001 CSJ moved to Jurong GRC after rejection in MParade & Macpherson and heckled PM Goh Chok Tong with loudhailer from across the street in a hawker centre alleging Goh Chok Tong gave $18bil loan to Indonesia’s PM Suharto.
Dr Chee again, lost badly to PAP by even worst margin 20% to 80%, the lowest an opposition party team has ever attained in a GRC. 
SDP lost all electoral deposits in other wards they contested.

2002:
Lee Kuan Yew and Goh Chok Tong sued CSJ for his allegation that Spore gave Suharto $18bil.
Dr Chee lost the suit and was ordered to pay $500k to LKY & GCT & was bankrupted in ’06 when he couldn’t.

Dr Chee fined S$3k for making a public speech at Singapore’s Speakers’ Corner without registering w SPF.
Dr Chee charged for trespassing & for attempting to hold rally in front of Istana without a police permit, he was then sentenced to 5 weeks in jail.

2006:
Attorney General filed contempt of court charges against Dr Chee for refusing to answer the court’s questions and scandalizing the Singapore judiciary during the bankruptcy petition hearing; sentenced to 1 day jail & fined S$6k.
Refused to pay fine; Jailed for an additional 7 days.
Dr Chee alleged PM Lee Hsien Loong & Lee Kuan Yew tried to cover up NKF scandal in SDP’s party newspaper; CSJ was again charged by LKY & LHL & lost, again.

2012:
LKY & GCT accepted CSJ’s $30k offer to settle the 2002 $500k suit.
Raised $30k in 2 weeks by selling books in Raffles.
Chased outta Raffles Place Shopping Ctr.

2013:
SDP to contest Punggol East BE.
Claim SDP is the only party with capable candidates.
Offered WP Punggol East TC Chairmanship if WP help SDP
45 members of the Singapore Democratic Party have also resigned en masse today at noon citing no confidence in the party leadership after its insistence on promoting a 3 corner fight with the Workers Party.

In the meantime, the PAP candidate has given himself names like “Son of Punggol”, “HDB hearlander” and “Teochew Kia” barely a week after his first appearance in mainstream media. Unlike before, the PAP had a hard time finding a candidate for Punggol East and it was revealed that Dr Koh Poh Koon’s PAP membership was only approved just barely a month ago [Link]. Technically, Punggol East is not a part of Punggol because the area is officially Rivervale and is rightfully Sengkang East. It is unknown why the “son of Punggol” called himself such title as Dr Koh was only in Punggol until 3 years old until he moved to Toa Payoh and elsewhere. As of now, Dr Koh do not live in Punggol, and it is unknown if the self-proclaimed “HDB heartlander” lives in a HDB flat or if he can even speak Teochew.

Dr Koh Poon Koh is currently holding the following positions [Source]:

 


Dr Koh Poh Koon
Director & Consultant Surgeon, Capstone Colorectal Surgery Centre
Adjunct Assistant Professor, DUKE-NUS Graduate Medical School, Singapore
Consultant Surgeon, Department of Colorectal Surgery, Singapore General Hospital (SGH)
Visiting Consultant, Department of General Surgery, Changi General Hospital
Acting Director, Colorectal Cancer Molecular Genetics Research Laboratory, SGH
Acting Director, Colorectal Cancer Genomic Health Service, SGH
Clinical Lecturer, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore (NUS)
Co-Supervisor (PhD Program), Department of Pharmacy, Faculty of Science, NUS
Adjunct Clinician Scientist, Institute of Bioengineering & Nanotechnology (IBN), A*Star

The PAP candidate did not clarify if he will serve Punggol East full time or will he become like the other PAP MPs who hold multiple profiles.

Over at the Workers’ Party, Hougang MP Png Eng Huat has collected one set of nomination forms from the Election Office but the party remained tight-lipped over its choice of candidate. The Workers’ Party candidate for Punggol East in GE2011 was Lee Lilian, a trainer for a private institution.

TOC Editorial: The problem with the AIM case, and what YOU can do

By TOC Team –

The People’s Action Party’s (PAP) historical dominance of Singapore politics and government has always rested on the twin pillars of efficacy and incorruptibility. Its record of economic progress since independence is undoubtedly impressive, while winning a global reputation for zero tolerance for corruption.

While 2012 has rocked the establishment with a series of sex and corruption scandals, the PAP, both as the Government and as a political organization, has tried to respond robustly to these in an effort to maintain its aura of incorruptibility.

Which makes its weak and opaque comments about the sale of the Town Council Management System to the PAP-owned $2 company Action Information Management Pte Ltd even more striking.

While so far there is nothing to suggest that any individual had corruptly received personal benefits from this entire transaction, it does not follow that the information currently available shows that the transaction was completely unquestionable.

Indeed, there remain many unanswered questions that the PAP seems to be trying to sidestep. This threatens to cause the simmering controversy to boil over and undermine the PAP’s longstanding claims to accountability and incorruptibility.

 

A seriously flawed tender process?

Most of the questions to date have rightly focused on the propriety of the tender process and the role of AIM. Much has already been written by others, and we will not rehash those unanswered questions here.

But the latest revelations about the tender notice actually published in the Straits Times on 30 June 2010 (see here for TOC’s coverage) make us wonder whether there was a genuine effort to attract a broad range of competitive bids.

At best, the tender notice demonstrated unimaginable incompetence on the part of the PAP Town Councils; at worst, it begs for more investigation and more information to clarify why this tender is different from the Nparks Brompton bicycle fiasco.

The PAP has also admitted that AIM is owned by the party. This begs the question of exactly how the PAP Town Councils, led and controlled by PAP MPs and their appointees, managed and resolved the glaring conflict of interest in awarding the contract to a PAP-owned company when there was only one bid.

The Town Councils presumably did not even seek an independent valuation of the TCMS, since Dr. Teo Ho Pin, the coordinating chairman for the PAP Town Councils, has said one of the aims of the tender exercise was to value the software.

The question of valuation is of fundamental importance, because the TCMS was developed using HDB residents’ funds, which are essentially public monies. The PAP Town Councils, as custodians of public funds and assets, have a duty to their residents to use those funds and assets in the residents’ best interests, and to extract maximum value from the assets if they are being disposed of.

So the disposal of a public asset like the TCMS must be properly handled to ensure that the public is not shortchanged. When the people in charge of the sale (the PAP MPs) are from the same organization that owns the purchaser (AIM), the Town Councils must spare no effort in ensuring that it is done on an arms-length basis and everything stands up to scrutiny.

One glaring question that the PAP has not explained is why it was necessary or desirable, or in the interests of the residents, to sell the TCMS in the first place.

Commercial entities do sale-and-leaseback exercises to convert capital expenditure into operating expenditure; this is a legitimate financial engineering exercise to improve the balance sheet.

But Town Councils are not commercial enterprises and do not have financial metrics like profitability and return on equity, and so have no need for such exercises. Tellingly, the PAP does not appear to have even attempted to explain why it undertook this exercise in the first place.

For instance, if this exercise was to save money for the Town Councils in the long run (which may well be the only acceptable reason for such an exercise), then it would have been the easiest thing for Dr. Teo to share the cost saving projections used when the Town Councils deliberated on AIM’s proposal. Instead, we get nothing.

Dr. Teo can keep repeating his assertion that the tender process followed the applicable “financial regulations”, but the available facts raise many questions that he and the PAP have so far chosen not to answer.

 

The PAP’s seriously inadequate response

The PAP’s response to this controversy has been entirely lacking, especially when contrasted with the Government’s robust response to the Brompton bike scandal and the PAP’s quick action when it learnt of Mr. Michael Palmer’s affair. In those cases, the responses were decisive and information was relatively openly shared.

But when it came to this case, all Singaporeans got were statements from Dr. Teo that were long on bare assertions and short on the details that we really want. Instead, Dr. Teo keeps talking about the Workers’ Party (WP) supposed desire to terminate their contract with AIM. This is particularly strange, given that Dr Teo has put it on record that AIM did in fact terminate the contract with the Aljunied-Hougang Town Council. So whether or not the WP had wanted to terminate the contract with AIM was moot, because AIM had struck first.

Singaporeans want answers as to how public assets and public funds have been used by the PAP Town Councils; instead, we get irrelevant comments about a non-issue.

The obvious outcome, of course, is that the controversy continues simmering, coming ever closer to boiling over as more and more troubling information surfaces, when a straightforward and open response would be far more effective in reassuring Singaporeans about how the Town Councils administer public funds and public assets.

 

What Singaporeans can do

Singaporeans are not powerless in all this. Besides keeping the spotlight focused on this case that the mainstream media has conveniently chosen to forget, Singaporeans can do their part in getting us all closer to the truth. It’s important to do this, because it is our money that is involved.

TOC calls on all affected Singaporeans living in HDB estates in PAP constituencies to write to their PAP MPs, to ask for a full and proper accounting about this case. Here is a simple step-by-step guide on what to do:

  1. Find out who’s your MP here: http://www.parliament.gov.sg/whos-my-mp. It will take you 2 clicks after you key in your postal code to find the email address, but you will get it.
  1. Compose an email to your MP. Please add theonlinecitizen@gmail.com in the “cc” field, so that TOC can track the number of emails sent to MPs.
  1. Use “Your resident’s questions about the AIM case” as the subject-heading. You can use a different subject-heading, but using this subject-heading will help us to track numbers better.
  1. You can copy-and-paste the text below to get you started, and then amend as you like. For instance, you can replace “Member of Parliament” in the first line with the name of your MP.
  1. Sign off with your full name per your NRIC, and your address. You can use a partial address (e.g. “Block 123, Pasir Panjang Street 45”) if you like, but ideally there should be enough information to show that you are in fact the MP’s constituent. You may, but do not have to, include your NRIC number.
  1. Send the email to your MP, cc-ed to TOC as described above.
  1. If you receive any responses from your MP (or his/her representatives), they are likely to omit TOC. So please make sure to forward all responses (even if it is just an acknowledgment receipt) to TOC.

This is our suggested text for sending to your MP:

“Dear Member of Parliament,

I am your constituent. I write to you to seek more information on the controversy surrounding the sale of the Town Councils Management Software to the PAP-owned $2 company, Action Information Management Pte Ltd.

As a HDB resident in a constituency managed by a PAP town council, I am affected by this transaction, either because my money was used to develop the TCMS or because the sale of the TCMS to AIM could affect me in future. As my duly-elected representative and a member of my town council, you have a duty to account to me on how my money has been spent or how I will be affected in future.

My questions are set out below:

  1. How much did my town council pay to National Computer Systems to develop the TCMS originally?
  1. Why did my town council decide to sell the TCMS to a third-party in the first place? Did the town council discuss this decision to sell the TCMS? Please provide to me a copy of the minutes of the town council meeting (or at least, a copy of the portion of the minutes dealing with this) where this decision was made.
  1. Who were the other 4 companies, other than AIM, who obtained the tender documents?
  1. What due diligence did my town council do on AIM, before awarding the contract to AIM?
  1. What protections are there in the contract with AIM, to ensure that it could properly deliver on its contractual obligations? For instance, was a performance bond or bankers’ guarantee required from this $2 company?
  1. Was the fact that AIM is a PAP-owned company disclosed to my town council? If so, how did my town council address the conflict of interest, when AIM submitted the only bid for this tender?
  1. Was National Computer Systems, who originally developed the TCMS, asked to participate in the tender?
  1. Did my town council know that AIM would engage NCS as a sub-contractor? If so, why did my town council not decide to cut out the middleman (i.e. AIM) and simply renew its contract with NCS?

Please let me have a response as soon as practicable, and in any event within 30 days of my email. Thank you for your attention to this matter.”

TOC hopes that all Singaporeans can work together, to bring some more clarity to this case. We deserve a full accounting from the PAP on this case.