Recently, the PAP govt came up with a set of criteria to measure town council performance and released the Town Council Report. The report showed that estate in by opposition members ward fared poorly based on the criteria. One of the indicators is how well the town council go after arrears[Link]. One PAP MP explained how they did so well in this area:
"Even after a person has passed away, the liability is passed on to the next-of-kin. It is possible to collect these sums" -MP Zainudin Nordin, who chairs the Bishan-Toa Payoh Town Council
For your information, they do the same for hospital bills....you liability does not disappear with your death and the financial burden is passed to your family members. We are supposed to be impressed?
MP Low argued that the PAP constituencies are prime beneficiaries of various upgrading programmes which gives priority to PAP constitencies. The PAP govt has refused to disclose how much tax payers' money has been spent on this form of pork barrel politics.
Lets get this very clear - your PAP MP is not the person running your estate. Most PAP MPs have full time jobs and their MP role is only a part time job. While he chairs the town council, the actual running of the estate is done by professionals. The PAP town council are beneficiaries of various upgrading schemes which helps to reduce the maintenance cost. At the end of the day, how well the estate is run has little to do with your MPs performance.
The Town Council Management Report which tracks a narrow set of measures that puts the opposition constituencies is a completely meaningless exercise and a waste of tax payers money that serve only to score political points for the ruling PAP party.
Singaporeans should be more interested in the performance of the PAP govt and I suggest a few KPIs for the measurement of this:
- GINI Index - how high is the income disparity in Singapore compared with the rest of the developed world.
- Cost of Public Housing - What can be more important than housing? Surely, providing affordable high quality housing is important ...I don't think anyone will disagree.
- Cost of utilities - What does it cost to light your home?
- Cost of govt - Is the govt costing too much? Surely, performance has to be measured relative to cost.
- Cost of transport - something the affects the live of all citizens.
- Quality of life - stress level of citizens, ability to live of full life i.e. raise a family etc.
The above are KPIs that matter to Singaporeans.....and it is important we know them to make an informed decision when the next elections comes...
Opposition MP urges MND to reveal town council benefits from upgrading programmes [Link]
By S Ramesh Posted: 17 June 2010 1913 hrs
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Opposition MP Low Thia Khiang
SINGAPORE : Opposition MP for Hougang, Low Thia Khiang, has called on the Ministry of National Development to let the public know how much each town council has benefited from various upgrading programmes from the time they were started.
These are the Interim Upgrading Programme (IUP), Main Upgrading Programme (MUP) and Community Improvement Projects Committee (CIPC) funds.
In his latest salvo on the Town Council Management Report released recently, Mr Low said in a statement on Thursday that he had asked in Parliament, and again on June 14, for the information on the amount of funding to be made public.
But he said he was disappointed that the ministry had kept silent on this.
Mr Low was replying to several points made by Senior Minister of State for National Development, Grace Fu, in her statement released on Wednesday.
Ms Fu had said that Mr Low was using the town council report to pursue his political objectives.
The opposition MP now argues that the PAP government has spent huge sums of money over the years to upgrade HDB flats in PAP constituencies. He said this has benefited the PAP town councils immensely.
As a result, he said these town councils could have saved substantial sums of expenditure in cyclical works and routine maintenance. And the savings, he argued, would have contributed to the operating surplus and higher sinking funds over the years.
So Mr Low felt that the public should know how much additional funding is given to the town councils of the PAP wards - directly or indirectly - through the upgrading programmes.
He said Singaporeans can then judge for themselves whether this could affect the outcome of the town management and financial position of the town council.