PAP refutes WP’s claims on Punggol East accounts
SINGAPORE — The Punggol East Town Council was “in good financial health” when it was handed over to the Workers’ Party after the 2013 Punggol East by-election, said Mr Zainal Sapari, a People’s Action Party (PAP) candidate for Pasir Ris-Punggol Group Representation Constituency.
Mr Sapari, who was chairman of the Pasir Ris-Punggol Town Council which managed Punggol East before the by-election in 2013 that was won by the Workers’ Party (WP), was refuting a statement made by WP chief Low Thia Khiang during its rally last night.
Mr Low had charged that Punggol East’s accounts showed a accumulated deficit of more than S$280,000 when the WP took over. To prove his point, Mr Low had held up a copy of an income and expenditure statement of Pasir Ris-Punggol Town Council dated April 30, 2013.
According to Mr Zainal, as of March 31, 2012, Punggol East had an “accumulated routine fund surplus of S$804,945”. He added that S$782,563 was set aside for town improvement projects, and the balance was transferred to the sinking fund as required by the Town Councils Act when there is a change in party managing a constituency.
Although there was a deficit in the accumulated routine fund at the point where Punggol East was handed over to the WP, Mr Zainal said: “The same set of accounts also showed an amount of S$303,372 claimable as reimbursement from the CIPC (Community Improvement Projects Committee) fund, which Pasir Ris-Punggol Town Council had already secured for Punggol East. This was made known...to (the WP) at the point of takeover...which would give an actual net surplus of S$21,363.”
When asked about Mr Zainal’s statement during their respective walkabouts at Bedok South and Punggol East this morning, WP leaders Low Thia Khiang and Sylvia Lim did not comment further. “If there is need to clarify, we will clarify during the rally,” Mr Low said.