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11 Apr 2020
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Are cronies favored?

The recent outbreak of infection in the worker dormitories have raised the following question - who are the owners of the dormitories and are the owners and directors connected to the PAP?

A search of the ACRA records will probably disclose that some of the shareholders or directors are former MPs or are members of the grassroots organizations under the Peoples' Association.

How will this be interpreted?

It does not imply cronyism or that these parties were favored because of the connections.

It is likely that the dormitories were won by the operators in an open tender. Here are the likely reasons for the 'connection'.

a) The operator invited former MPs to server as independent director to provide 'credibility' to the company.

b) The owners and operator decide to join the grassroots organizations to 'contribute or serve the community'.

The underlying problem is a climate of distrust and a belief that the PAP, as a ruling party, give out favors to their connected parties. This distrust came from a period of non-transparent behavior of the PAP and its unwillingness to address the rumors at an early stage, allowing the distrust to gain credibility.

A better way is for these kinds of facilities to be operated by non-profit organizations whose leaders are elected in a democratic and transparent manner, and whose mission is to serve the stake holders, and not aimed at generating maximum profit.

Tan Kin Lian

Vote - should worker dormitories be operated by non-profit organizations with social goals?


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