By S Ramesh
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.