AHPETC-NEA Stand-Off: What’s Really Going On? (Part 2)

This is Part 2 of the article. In Part 1, I had discussed how the NEA had seemed to constantly changed tack in its argument, as the AHPETC had managed to successfully counter each accusation. In this article, I would explore loopholes by both parties and the information that we would require to make a more informed understanding of the matter.

Part 1 can be found here.

Who Manages The Contracts?

On 9 June, “NEA (then) released a letter dated 8 May from Aljunied MP and town council member, Muhamad Faisal Abdul Manap, appealing to the town council on the hawkers of Blk 511 Bedok North St 3 Market Association’s behalf”, which it suggested “is proof Mr Faisal had considered the hawkers’ appeal against the town council’s requirement that hawkers paid the extra charges, to be serious and valid”.

AHPETC rebutted to say that what the letter, “showed was that Mr Faisal was aware that it was not town council policy to not clean the high areas of the market nor collect additional charges from the hawkers” instead.

So, who’s right?

More importantly, if you look at the wording of Mr Faisal’s letter, it had said that, “Mr. Chan said that he was informed by your good office that the contract with the vendors does not include the cost for cleaning above 2.5 metres above the ground”.

This is where it gets blurry. If Mr Faisal had to write to the NEA regarding the “contract”, then who exactly is in charge of the contract, if not the AHPETC? If the AHPETC had to write to the NEA, is the NEA in charge of the contract? Yet, the AHPETC had invited “Anyone who is interested is welcome to inspect the contracts”, so who is managing the contracts?

NEA And Hawkers Knew That They Had To Pay Additional Already?

The NEA had also released “A second document (which) was a quotation by the cleaning contractor ATL Maintenance for high-rise cleaning at the hawker centre at Blk 538 Bedok North St 3, for the sum of S$7,200” and said that, “this shows the contractor wanted hawkers to pay them separately for both the scaffolding and cleaning of high areas”.

But the AHPETC rebutted in their media release to say that, “It was the Market Association of Blk 538 Market that requested the quotation, as confirmed by ATL’s media release on 6 June 2013. Attributing the quotation to AHPETC is misleading and politically motivated to tarnish the reputation of AHPETC.”

So, did the market already know that it had to pay additional anyway? Did the NEA knew that the market had to pay additional anyway? Does it mean that the AHPTEC was right all along?

Yet, this continues to beg the question– does the AHPETC or the NEA manage the contracts? And why is it that the contracts are not released but only the quotation? Without the contract(s), how are we to sensibly make sense of the quotation?

A Petition With No Dates And Signatures?

The NEA had also released, “the hawkers’ petition to the media, dated 3 June 2013, saying the town council and its cleaning contractor had said told them “they will not clean anything above two-and-a-half metres”.

However, if you look at the “petitions”, they weren’t dated or signed. How representative are these petitions of the hawkers?

AHPETC Reaffirms Their Same Stand Yet Again

Finally, the AHPETC reiterated its stand yet again by saying that, “The Blk 538 market incident was caused by NEA’s email of 7 Feb 2013. NEA had confirmed that the hawkers’ association would be providing the scaffolding which was not done for reasons unknown to us. In addition, any decision for market closure came from the hawkers’ association and not from the town council, as it was not needed by us.

The appeal letter by Mr Faisal released by NEA pertained to Blk 511 Market, which is scheduled for cleaning at the end of June 2013 by the Market Association. Contrary to NEA’s portrayal, the letter evidently shows MP Faisal’s awareness that it was not the policy of AHPETC not to clean the high areas of the market during annual cleaning, nor to collect any additional charges from the hawkers; otherwise, MP Faisal would not have written to AHPETC to look into Mr Chan Kheng Heng’s claim.”

Who Is Playing Politics?

But yesterday, Environment and Water Resources Minister Vivian Balakrishnan chimed in and said that, Workers’ Party (WP) chairman Sylvia Lim was “arrogant and wrong” to make a “political attack” on NEA. He had also said that, “It is obvious that the hawkers are speaking the truth.”

Obviously, many observers would consider that the PAP and the Worker’s Party are both playing politics, so it would be seen as a case of the pot calling the kettle black – perhaps one more so than the other.

But as to whether it’s obvious that the hawkers are “speaking the truth”, who really knows at this point? The only evidence that we have so far are the “hawkers’ petition to the media” that the NEA had released and AHPETC’s claim that they had “investigated the claim and found the claim published in the press report to be baseless”.

I hardly consider that Mr Balakrishnan could make such a sweeping statement at this point about who is speaking the truth. This is political.

NEA and AHPETC Have To Release More Documents and Evidence

All in, there are still some loopholes. I am more inclined to believe that the AHPETC is telling the truth because there is more consistency in their arguments. However, I stumbled at the point where the NEA had released a letter by Mr Faisal – I simply do not have enough information to make an informed understanding.

I am less inclined to align myself with what the NEA had said because of what seems like stances which flip-flop. The NEA doesn’t seem to hold on to a consistent argument but relies on new ones, as the AHPETC constantly defends itself successfully.

But in order for there to be clarity, the following needs to be released to the public:

  1. All the contracts involved, if not, the managers of these contracts – so that we know who should rightfully be taking responsibility, but has shifted the “blame” away
  2. The full schedule of the cleaning of the food centres in the past 2 years – so that we know what the regular schedule has been like and whether the demands made are reasonable
  3. An independent survey and/or report with all the hawkers to find out what their involvement and agreement in this issue is like – so that know if all the hawkers are agreeable to the current matter or only certain hawkers have been given fair airing

These documents would allow us to have better clarity on this issue.

The question is, would this issue end up as how the Aim saga had ended, where the Worker’s Party would invite the NEA to invite “the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau or other relevant agencies to investigate the matter”? Would the NEA remain silent after that as well?

Afterword: After I had written Part 2 of this article, “The AHPETC … invited the Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Vivian Balakrishnan to a dialogue with the MPs in the council to “settle any outstanding matters”.” AHPETC Vice-Chairman, Workers’ Party MP Pritam Singh, had also said that, “the council has been consistent in its attitude and always prepared to cooperate with government agencies for residents’ benefit. “However, the Minister should not mistake this to mean that AHPETC can be bullied or is an easy target to be used by the government to score political points.”

As expected, the Worker’s Party had fired their salvo. To know how this will end, you just need to look at how Vivian went silent after making disrespect and disparaging remarks about politician Vincent Wijeysingha during the general elections in 2011.

Our Civil Service Are Pawns On The Chess Board?

Actually, the whole thing is very simple. When you have belief and conviction in what you do, it will come out in what you say. Why do I say that? When you believe in what you do, you would be consistent in what you say. I say that because in my emails to the MDA, this is also what I’ve encountered – there seems to be a constant shifting in the goal posts by the MDA, as does the NEA. Which is why I’m more inclined to agree with the AHPETC because their responses have by far been much more consistent.

The problem is when you start playing politics, the strategies you use are about keeping yourself in power, and sometimes, you lose what you had originally stood for. In my analysis, this is what has happened – has our civil service become pawns in a chess set, where they are powerless to control their own destiny, being that for years, they’ve been controlled by the PAP?

This is why the independence of our civil service and the other estates of governance – presidency, judiciary and media – needs to remain independent, so that they would always be held responsible and accountable for what they say or do. Otherwise, you can already see how the ridicule that has lent itself to the NEA and the MDA can be detrimental for the stability and strength of our institutions. When our civil service loses its credibility, and then when the government falters, what can we count on to prop our country up?

In playing politics, have our politicians become so short-sighted that they are willing to allow our civil service to languish and the reputation of the strength of our institutions to languish, at their pride and ego?

Have they allowed their personal interests to get ahead in the long term interests of our country and people? I am honestly quite tired that my country’s history and truths are constantly being manipulated out of our common senses. A country which loses its sense of history loses a wealth of experience that it needs to base itself on.

We Need to Protect the Freedom of Our Internet

This episode has shown us one thing – it is important that the Internet is free. When we are able to have an open access to information on the Internet, we can make better sense of what is going on in Singapore.

I am also better able to form an opinion of what is going on by sieving through the information.

If the government can successfully impose a $50,000 performance bond and to ask a website to take down its article within 24 hours, I might not be able to access information which can provide me with more insight.

Thus we need to take a stand to ensure that the independence of our Internet is protected. You can sign the online petition by #FreeMyInternet here to protect our right to access information on the Internet:

http://www.petitions24.com/petition_for_the_immediate_withdrawal_of_the_licensing_regime

You can also see the infographics in Part 3 here.

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16 comments

  1. Peter

    Well done. Good and fair article. One thing I might comment ( And I know that you have deliberately left out because you want to keep it fatual) is – history. The AIM saga, the bullying of Mr. Chiam See Tong at Potong Pasir, Mr. LHL’s assertion that he would fix the opposition and the muzzling of the uncontrolled internet………all these have made the government’s dreadful credibility. Whereas the WP’s record in YSL and AIM has given them them a good reputation.

    • My Right to Love

      Hi Peter,

      I do have to agree with you. In recent cases, the WP’s handling of the town councils and the food centers have been mainly consistent, whereas the stance of PAP and the NEA has been less clear – in my analysis.

      The PAP had been concerned about “fixing” the opposition and unfortunately, they haven’t been able to do a good job – not when the opposition is doing a good job maintaining their standards.

      I would think that if the PAP wants to retain high ground, they should get down to the actual work – once they fix the “right things”, their credibility can be better “fixed”

      🙂

      Roy

  2. Pingback: AHPETC-NEA Stand-Off: What’s Really Going On? (Part 1) | The Heart Truths
  3. sbksim

    I think you can ask AHPETC for all the correspondence and they will gladly show you, else they too have something to hide, which does not seem to be the case for now. I am not so sure about NEA though. Many levels & loops to go through. I won’t be surprised if the minister does not have full clarity of the issue. A totally separate issue if he had.

    • My Right to Love

      To be frank, I believe that everyone involved is hiding something at this point.

      However, I’m with the opinion that the WP has been more consistent in its responses and hasn’t flip-flopped in its arguments as much.

      But this is no longer about facts. It’s about politics and thus I think everyone involved will be wary in what they say and reveal.

      Roy

  4. 路人甲

    Is there a typo in this para: “This is where it gets blurry. If Mr Faisal had to write to the NEA regarding the “contract”, then who exactly is in charge of the contract, if not the AHPETC? If the AHPETC had to write to the NEA, is the NEA in charge of the contract? Yet, the AHPETC had invited “Anyone who is interested is welcome to inspect the contracts”, so who is managing the contracts?”

    Did you mean “If Mr Faisal had to write to AHPETC regarding the ‘contract’…”? That letter by Mr Faisal came into NEA’s hands cos it was copied to the Hawkers Association guy Chan Kheng Heng who was the whistle blower. It was not the case Mr Faisal wrote to NEA.

    The curious part to me as a bystander: As a member of the AHPETC himself, how is it that Mr Faisal didn’t know what’s included in the contract and had to write to AHPETC to verify? Like you, I’m curious too “who exactly is in charge of the contract”. It seems to betray the fact that Mr Faisal (and possibly AHPETC Vice Chairman Pritam Singh who covered Chairman Sylvia Lim earlier as spokesperson) didn’t know what his TC’s contractual obligations were, until being alerted by the Hawkers and “check-mate” by NEA later.

    In my view, it was a grave tactical mistake that Mr Faisal pen that letter and c.c. Hawkers Association to his own comrades at AHPETC. It exposed his ignorance of the TC Act and the ATL-AHPETC contract terms as an elected MP of the GRC.

    When first approached by the disgruntled Hawkers, Mr Faisal should have quickly and discreetly consulted his TC Chairman to:
    1) Check that scaffolding for cleaning of areas above 2.5m were included in their contract;
    2) Verify that scaffolding for EVERYTHING was to be arranged by the Hawkers as ambivalently stated in NEA officer’s email of 7 Feb; and
    3) Immediately flag to FMSS property manager Mr Tai Vie Shun and incumbent cleaning contractor ATL that the scaffolding fees (except erection of canvass to cover own stalls) mustn’t be in the quotation when he first got it from the Hawkers who complained to him.

    Regrettably, Mr Faisal did not. He was unsuspecting and assumed it “as-is”. And I bet with you, FMSS’ Mr Tai and ATL were unaware of all these requirements and the “exclusion areas” either, as they were likely doing this kind of cleaning for hawker centres for the FIRST time. NB: Remember that Hougang SMC got no more hawker centre, so Mr Low Thia Khiang and gang possibly won’t know the new post-SARS guidelines, which is non-excusable of course.

    Methinks the misinterpretation and confusion arose because the stakeholders were all copied in that NEA email of 7 Feb 2013. Happily assuming it was not within their service scope, ATL went ahead to give a scaffolding quotation to the Hawkers. And FMSS didn’t check either–possibly left it to ATL to settle.

    NOW, here is the part which got me wondering: When the Hawker Chieftain Mr Chan got that quotation, why didn’t he intercept and kindly share this critical piece of “institutional memory” with Mr Faisal, “Hey Abang, I think you guys got it wrong lah. Last time, scaffolding for high areas done by Town Council, not us hawkers lei. We only pay for the canvass erection, Abang. Pls tell Mr Tai to change his quotation cos maybe his company never do before.”

    Or maybe the Hawkers did, just that Mr Faisal failed to conduct his own due diligence as I mentioned above? Mr Faisal, in my opinion, was careless and naive enough to be manipulated by those Hawkers to draft that embarrassing letter to his own AHPETC. By doing so, was he not telling everyone that AHPETC members don’t communicate internally? It’s like an implicit acknowledgement that Alamak, I don’t know what’s provided for in our contract; I don’t know if we need to pay for the scaffolding or not; AHPETC, can tolong look into the matter for my Hawkers, please?

    And exactly how “honest” are those Hawkers really? I’m inclined to believe they harboured intentions to embarrass their new managers, with the backing of their old masters who are still accessible in the estate. They wanted to see their new managers make mistakes and not alert them before damage or misunderstanding was resulted. That was why there was no attempt to stop Mr Faisal from copying Mr Chan in his letter to his own boss, so that they could use this letter to embarrass the entire clan, expose their ignorance, and produce to media via the govt. It’s like hiak hiak, I know the exam answers, but I don’t want to tell you, but want you to continue making the same wrong assumptions, so that I can malu you publicly.

    When confronted by all these letters and quotations from their OWN camp, of course WP was malu. They tried to save their faces by coming up with many reasons, including some uncalled for ones, like “playing victim” and “damsel in distress”–which appealed to hardcore supporters. However, such position is starting to irk some swing voters, therefore they should start to act like a man and acknowledge that there were lapses in the internal comms and there was a genuine oversight on the part of the TC and contractor due to their property manager and MP not verifying with headquarters, etc. If you did that, the public would be more sympathetic towards you. Alas, they are starting to look like a team of quarrelsome politicians who like to constantly accuse the whites of bullying whenever they are put in an embarrassed situation. Having said that, the civil servants should also assume a more neutral/objective and professional position; of late, the tone employed in their letters to WP has been rather caustic, which is unnecessary. As to whether Ministers should and could adopt a more sarcastic and accusatory tone towards fellow Parliamentarians, I tend to think yes. Cabinet Ministers belong to a political party and by definition of the 1st World Parliament, they are licensed and expected to slam their Shadow Cabinet members if they disagree on certain issues. In a 1st World Parliament, all Parliamentarians should get used to this mode of communication. They should also not assume they are forever the underdogs/victims because as elected MPs, they are expected to be able to stand tall and defend themselves. So be a good gentleman and a good soldier; don’t come KPKB to the voters, battered and bruised, and cry foul like a childish kid to media that they have been bullied and “assassinated” by their opponents in some politically motivated conspiracy. If they hadn’t accused the civil servants in their first media statement, NEA wouldn’t have unraveled pieces of evidence that all this while they had up their sleeves, to discredit and further embarrass them.

    Grace period is over. It’s time to get up to speed with their obligations. Because if they continue to engage with their opponents in such endless quarrels, MSM is going to put them in negative light, and their swing voters are going to be burnt out by their constant cross-fires with the govt and eventually, walk away.

    Lastly, regarding to your second question in that same para: “If the AHPETC had to write to the NEA, is the NEA in charge of the contract?”, my answer is this: Nope, AHPETC won’t need to and will never write to NEA. Why would Ms Lim do that? It’s like shooting herself in the foot right? She knows very well what the Town Council regulations are and forwarding Mr Faisal’s questions to the govt is making her and her whole team of lawyers and veterans look dumb. Besides, contractual terms are inked between her TC and the cleaning contractor, so SHE as the Chairman of AHPETC is managing their own contract, not NEA.

    • My Right to Love

      Hi, thanks for this! You just wrote an article and I think many people would find this comment very useful, me included!

      Like you say, I don’t think MP Faisal might have realised how one single letter could become manipulated beyond its intentions.

      Some people question if the WP should not have worked with operators that they are familiar with and who had supported them. Well, this episode answers the question.

      If the WP had trusted just anyone, this is exactly what can happen. They can be flamed.

      Roy

  5. mablelee

    Thousands of words typed. So many sides taken.

    One simple question not asked: If everyone agrees that it is the TC’s job to clean the ceiling. Why is the ceiling of Blk 538 still not cleaned? Even, if there is a misunderstanding over an email.Now that it’s clear, why is the TC not cleaning it? Why can’t they do that first, and then go and fight and produce evidence?

    Here we have an article that sides with AHPETC over NEA. But what about the hawkers?

    • My Right to Love

      Hi mablelee,

      I don’t think we have sufficient answers at this point for now.

      As I’ve explained, the WP had tried to explain that they would do whatever is in their means to resolve this issue and to clean the ceilings. But of course the proof is in the pudding and we need to also see more evidence from both parties.

      But at this point, it seems to me that the WP is more consistent in their responses.

      Roy

  6. Ace

    “On 9 June, “NEA (then) released a letter dated 8 May from Aljunied MP and town council member, Muhamad Faisal Abdul Manap, appealing to the town council on the hawkers of Blk 511 Bedok North St 3 Market Association’s behalf”, which it suggested “is proof Mr Faisal had considered the hawkers’ appeal against the town council’s requirement that hawkers paid the extra charges, to be serious and valid”.

    I totally think that such an interpretation has no basis at all. For example, if you has a traffic summon and appeal to the MP to write a letter to the Traffic Police for you, does it mean that your MP had considered your appeal against the fine by the Traffic Police to be an error and to be serious and valid? I believe that when an MP writes a letter (and in many cases to a department which is in-charge by a party colleague), he is simply requesting for the issue/case to be reviewed by the person in charge. That is all.

    What we fail to appreciate in Mr Faisal’s letter is that he is efficient (letter wrote on the same day as the request) and helpful. How many cases have we come across where emails, letters, phone calls to some departments are not handled promptly. In this same icase, NEA officer had to apologize in her email for the delay in replying to AHPETC as she was away. Shouldn’t there be someone else to take over such matter when a person is not in the office and reply promptly or provide an interim reply?

    • My Right to Love

      Hi Ace,

      Thank you for this. As I was thinking through, I was imagining too that MP Faisal would have many other responsibilities to think about as well.

      Which thus begs the question – who is managing the contract? It could be the good centre, since they had requested for a quotation? Or is it the town council or NEA?

      At this point, the problems have arose because of a lack of clarity in job responsibilities and their distinctions, and this needs to be sorted out.

      Roy

  7. George

    There is always a learning curve and I don’t mean that of the NEA and Vivian Balakrishnan. If they really prioritize and respect the needs of the people, they wouldn’t have used the national service press to try to score political points against the WP. It is very uncalled for and it is very clear in our minds what this much ado about a minor thing by the govt is all about, namely, is to discredit the WP with an eye on GE16. IMO, as voters with vested interest in our country, we cannot afford to sit back and not take side, for this is about OUR civil servants. The civil service is OUR civil service, it don’t belong to the party in power. The party in power may come and go, but not the civil administration of the country!

    In the right perspective, the issue is all about a process, a process of getting essential functions going and done, in this case, cleaning the hawker centres. The NEA being the govt dept tasked with the responsibility of maintaining hawker centres should have discharged its duty professionally without fuss and bother and not made waves, which it unfortunately has failed to do. As civil servants it is incumbent upon NEA officials to ensure that work is carried out properly no matter which or what political party sits in the TCs. They could have easily advised the incoming TC members as and when this is necessary to break them in. And if they gave good advice and are helpful I don’t see why the TC members wouldn’t appreciate this. It is uncalled for for it to conduct its business with the TC in the press. Civil servants HAVE to be neutral in order to maintain the integrity of the civil service. I am 100% sure that had it been a govt controlled TC, there would not have even be even a whimper from the NEA officials, let alone the public trading of punches with the WP TC!

    In the manner the case has panned out, it is evident that the NEA has allowed itself to be politically manipulated by the party in govt. This is sad and disgraceful and reflects really how deep the rot has apparently taken hold in the civil service! The NEA officials seemed to have forgotten that they are in office to serve the people and not a political party. That’s why a civil servant who decides to take up politics and to vie for political office must RESIGN before he can stand in election.

    I tend to be on the AHPETC side for the simple reason that it has NOTHING to gain in this public altercation. We can all see that it is fighting to maintain its reputation against a politically motivated assault carried out by the govt using public servants. Also, anybody can see that the WP TC members are new to their job and responsibility and there is understandably a learning curve. And many discerning Singaporeans can see too, from the previous examples of similar behaviour of the PAP govt that is up to no good again by hijacking and sensationalizing an issue out of proportion to its true content and context. After the AIM saga there can be little doubts about the real intention and ulterior motive of the govt. To me, it is simply to find every excuse and opportunity to discredit the WP for what it hoped to be political gains for the PAP. But I think the vast majority of Singaporeans would agree with me that it has cut itself more with the knife it is using to cut the opposition. We are not fools.

    It is apparent that the PAP is going after Sylvia Lim. I can recall how she was talked down to by Jayakumar in parliament. And recently, was unfairly accused of being ‘arrogant’ by Khaw Boon Wan again in parliament during the AIM debate. And now Vivian Balakrishnan has also used the same adjective on her. The plot to ruin her public image is unmistakable! But, on the contrary, this is a clear admission that the PAP politicians FEAR her because she has been FEARLESS in asking all the right and HARD questions in parliament. So, typically when Khaw and Balakrishnan has no credible replies to her hard talk, they start to attack her personally! But, IMO, it has backfired on both ministers. For all the pains they have taken to malign her, they have effectively tarred and feathered themselves.

    The regrettable thing really is that in the process, it has only brought disrepute and discredit to the civil service, damaging its image in the eyes of the public, again and again. In the final analysis it undermines the country as a whole when civil servants become willing pawns in partisan politics or allowed itself to be used in this manner. We don’t have to look far for the reasons why Singaporeans are fast losing faith in public institutions.

    • My Right to Love

      Hi George,

      Thank you for writing this. I think you wrote what many people have been thinking.

      I think too, that not only the NEA, but the MDA, has also been left to hang. Like you say, we need to maintain the independence and strength of our civil service and I’m not sure if this can be done at this point.

      Like you, I believe that the WP wants to close the chapter because they just want to get on with the work, but they have felt compelled to release firmer and more assertive statements as the attacks continued relentlessly.

      I do think that the WP had tried to be as consistent as they could, as they had been with the Aim saga.

      If the politics keep being played, more and more of our institutions in the civil service will be left out to dry and this will threaten the integrity of our civil service.

      Unfortunately, our civil service is in the hands of the government. And we need to delink that once we get to that stage, in the near future, hopefully.

      Roy

  8. Pingback: [Infographics] AHPETC-NEA Stand-Off: What’s Really Going On? (Part 3) | The Heart Truths
  9. SK Tan

    “On 7th Feb 2013, NEA wrote to WP’s AHPETC to say that “the Hawkers Association will make the necessary arrangements with their contractors on the scaffold erection/dismantling during the spring cleaning period from 4 – 8 March 2013”. The cleaning here refers to Block 538 Market.
    What NEA could produce was a price quotation for high areas cleaning made by AHPETC’s contractor to one Mr. Ng Kok Khim of Hawker Association for Block 538 Market. (19th Feb 2013)”

    Why was the quotation sent to Mr. Ng Kok Khim?
    Why was the quotation not sent to the Secretary of Hawker Association for Block 538 Market?
    Hawkers Association of Block 511 Market has a Secretary, Mr. Chan Kheng Heng.
    Hawker Association for Block 538 Market should have a Secretary.
    Why called for only one quotation?
    Why “the Hawkers Association will make the necessary arrangements with their contractors on the scaffold erection/dismantling during the spring cleaning period from 4 – 8 March 2013”, when AHPETC has to make the payment?
    If AHPETC has to pay for the cleaning, it is logical for AHPETC to call for the quotation?
    Why did NEA interfere and make a mess?

    “However on 8 May 2013, Mr. Chan Kheng Heng, Secretary of Hawkers Association of Block 511 Market, approached WP MP Faisal for assistance. He alleged to the MP that AHPETC informed him that stallholders had to bear the cost of cleaning areas above 2.5 metres above the ground.”
    Did Mr. Chan Kheng Heng produce a letter from AHPETC on that matter? If he did not produce concrete evidence, I cannot believe what he said is true.
    If AHPETC wanted the hawkers to make extra payment for the cleaning of hawker centre, AHPETC would have to write a letter to them. Did Mr. Chan Kheng Heng demand a letter from AHPETC?
    I am beginning to believe that “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely’.

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