Political Links: What's buzzing online in political news (June 24)

Phey Yew Kok (far left) and NTUC president Devan Nair at the press conference where the NTUC announced that Phey had resigned as secretary-general of two influential unions. - ST FILE PHOTO
Phey Yew Kok (far left) and NTUC president Devan Nair at the press conference where the NTUC announced that Phey had resigned as secretary-general of two influential unions. - ST FILE PHOTO

The ST Political Desk's round-up of what's buzzing online in political news.

Phey Yew Kok

Former Member of Parliament and former National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) chief Phey Yew Kok was in court on Wednesday after 35 years on the run. He had jumped bail and fled Singapore on Dec 31, 1980 to escape charges for misuse of union funds.

News of Phey's return to Singapore to face his charges had most Singaporeans cheering the long arm of the law. Straits Times reader Edmund Sim commented on Facebook: "The government has a responsibility in accounting public funds. No one is above the law when public funds are missing or unaccounted. No one, even if he is a former MP. That's the standard our government is."

A few readers, like Jude Tan, compared Phey's actions to those of the Workers' Party (WP), whose Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council (AHPETC) has faced brickbats both in Parliament and at the High Court for grave lapses in accounting and governance. She wrote: "The principle is that no one is above the law. That is an axiom brought about under the PAP. It contrasts glaringly with the WP where the MPs choose to ignore the law or what is indeed morally right. There lies the key difference between the 2 parties." 

Some, like former Nominated MP Calvin Cheng questioned the timing of Phey's return. He said: "Turning himself in at 81? Probably came back for the free medical care in prison. Would actually be better to strip him of his citizenship and send him back to Bangkok. Better punishment. Now taxpayers have to fund his old age."

More DBSS woes

Also dominating online discussions are two separate Design, Build and Sell Scheme (DBSS) projects.

At Parkland Residences in Hougang, one resident has filed a court application demanding the refund of service and conservancy charges (S&CC) that she paid to her town council, AHPETC, between November last year and May this year. This was because AHPETC had only taken over the management and maintenance of the property from June. 

This latest development comes after more than 300 residents of Parkland Residences sent a petition to AHPETC demanding to have their S&CC waived or refunded. But they say this appeal was not answered by either the town council or the WP MPs. 

Elsewhere at Pasir Ris One, residents have complained about flaws and lack of corridor space. 

In a blog post, socio-political site The Middle Ground lists other DBSS projects that have encountered complaints of shoddy workmanship in the past. The author of the post raised one question: "What are the responsibilities of the Housing Board and the private developer for the state of the finished product?"