Lim withdraws motion on AIM issue, pledges to give input to Govt review

Workers' Party(WP) chairman Sylvia Lim is withdrawing an adjournment motion that she filed on the sale of software used by PAP town councils to Action Information Management (AIM).

Originally scheduled for next Monday's Parliament sitting, the motion was pulled, she said, because "the goal of protecting the public and residents' interests would be better served if the government investigation and review were to first proceed."

"After the completion of the review and publication of its findings, the matter can be raised in Parliament again as the circumstances require," she said in a statement.

Ms Lim, who is the chairman of WP-run Aljunied-Hougang Town Council (AHTC), welcomed the announcement of the review and pledged to provide its input to the Ministry of National Development which is leading the review.

Following weeks of debate, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had announced on Tuesday that he had ordered a full review of the sale of software from 14 PAP town councils to Aim, in the interest of transparency and to maintain trust in the system.

The ministry has also been asked to re-examine the "fundamental nature" of town councils, to ensure high standards of corporate governance, he had said.

The software sale by open tender to Aim actually took place in 2010.

But it came to light only a month ago, when the WP blamed lapses in its performance running the AHTC in a town council report, on the termination of its IT contract with Aim.

Ms Lim's claim triggered a war of words between the WP, AIM and the PAP town councils as to who was at fault. PAP leaders argued that the salvos directed at AIM were intended as a diversion from the AHTC's poor showing, a charge which Ms Lim rejected.

The WP and critics, including those online, also questioned why a PAP-linked company - whose directors are former PAP MPs - had bought the software only to lease it back to the town councils.

They asked if public funds were at stake and residents' interests were compromised.

Ms Lim said that despite media statements by AIM and PAP representatives, "critical questions remain unanswered".

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