GE2015: AHPETC hits back at statements from DPM Teo Chee Hean, Charles Chong

The Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East town council at Rivervale Crescent in Sengkang. ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN

SINGAPORE - There is no evidence for PAP candidate Charles Chong's claim that there was a surplus of $1 million in the accounts of Punggol East SMC, the Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council (AHPETC) said on Tuesday (Sept 8).

In a statement, the AHPETC said Mr Chong's statement is "misleading" and it is "obliged to set the record straight".

The PAP and Workers' Party have been trading barbs over the financial management of the AHPETC, and this statement is the WP's latest salvo.

The AHPETC brought up how Mr Chong, the People's Action Party candidate for Punggol East, had told Chinese daily Lianhe Zaobao on Aug 28 that Punggol East SMC had approximately $1 million of surplus when it was carved out of Pasir Ris-Punggol Town Council after the 2013 by-election.

"We have seen no supporting evidence for Mr Chong's claim that there was a surplus of $1 million in the accounts of Punggol East SMC at the point of merger into AHPETC," the WP-run town council said.

The AHPETC also said it has not received any clarification from the PAP on this issue.

It also hit back at Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean's recent comments that Pasir Ris-Punggol Town Council had handed over $22.5 million in cash to AHPETC.

"It is irrelevant and misleading for DPM Teo Chee Hean to say that Pasir Ris-Punggol TC handed over $22.5 million to AHPETC, when he is actually referring to the sinking fund transferred to AHPETC after the 2013 Punggol East by-election," it said.

The AHPETC said sinking fund monies are "not relevant" when discussing operating surpluses or deficits of town councils, as they are locked away for sinking fund expenditures and cannot be used for operating fund expenditures.

"Town Councils' bottom line figures comprise of monies in its operating fund only," it said.

It noted that Hougang Town Council transferred $22.5 million to Aljunied-Hougang Town Council's sinking fund as well when Hougang SMC was merged with Aljunied GRC in 2011.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.