ST letter by Mr David Lam
AS EXPECTED, the explanation by the coordinating chairman of PAP town councils Teo Ho Pin (‘Well protected, with positive returns’, Nov 28) is a regurgitation of what he told Parliament recently.
The general idea is that town councils have done a good job – no argument there. Not only have they not frittered away public money, they have also grown our estate funds by some clever investing, thus keeping inflation at bay and council charges low.
In fact, I would like to express my thanks to the many unpaid town councillors who volunteer their time and energies to help their MPs carry out the myriad essential housekeeping services of public housing estates.
But Dr Teo’s reply still does not address the issue of why town councils with expert advice from approved fund managers chose to ‘gamble big to gain small’, knowing full well that with risky money products, there is a chance that whatever capital invested could be wiped out. It does not require prescience or hindsight to know this. Good times or bad, one simply doesn’t stake $1,000 to get back $3.
Also, no mention was made of how town councils intend to make good on the loss and avoid repeating this anomaly. If it cannot be recovered, do we write off the millions as extraordinary expenses like a business concern? Whether town councils are to be treated as non-profit or business entities, Dr Teo should be more open with HDB home owners who, as stakeholders of estate funds, have the right to know.