AHPETC Court Hearing: MND’s Actions not part of Political Dispute, Lawyer says

AHPETC Court Hearing: MND’s Actions not part of Political Dispute, Lawyer says
04.05.2015

SINGAPORE: The Ministry of National Development’s (MND) application to the courts to appoint independent accountants to safeguard government grants to the Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council (AHPETC) is not a move as part of a “political dispute”, said its lawyers on Monday (May 4).

Attorney-General’s Chambers Deputy chief counsel for litigation Aurill Kam, who is acting for MND, said that the Workers’ Party-run town council has “mischaracterised” MND’s actions by saying that it is action between the ruling People’s Action Party and the WP.

Speaking at the start of a two-day hearing in the High Court, Ms Kam said that it is action between MND, which has regulatory oversight over the Town Council Act, and AHPETC, which is a statutory body.

“This concerns obligations of a statutory body that is holding funds. The leadership of the town council being WP members is not the point. These are legal questions,” she said.

The court hearing is the latest development following a report by the Auditor-General’s Office in February that flagged lapses in the town council’s books.

STEPS TAKEN ‘INADEQUATE’

On Monday, Ms Kam said that the steps taken to date following the report have been “inadequate”.

She noted that AHPETC has appointed an external accounting firm Audit Alliance to look at their accounts, and financial consultants Business Assurance to review their processes. Click here