Sigh! Sometimes people just do not learn. That’s all I can say when M/s Action Information Management Pte Ltd (AIM) tried to defend their deal with the PAP town councils.
For those of you that did not know, there’s a potential scandal in Singapore when the opposition Worker’s Party (WP) revealed that a computer system developed collectively by 14 PAP town councils for over a period of more than 15 months was sold in January 2011, to a little-known company called AIM. The town councils who paid to develop the computer system then had to lease back the system from AIM, paying the company monthly fees for the usage of the computer system.
Since then, it has been revealed that AIM does not seem to have a office and it consisted of just three people, chairman S Chandra Das, and directors Lau Ping Sum and Chew Heng Ching. All of whom were former PAP Members of Parliament. It is also been noted that the company only had a total paid-up capital of just $2.
The PAP-owned IT company has been defending itself, claiming that it won the bid to own the system in an open tender and paid $140,000 for it. It also charges each town council a monthly fee of $785 for usage of the system and engaged NCS to maintain and further develop the system.
Talk about digging a hole for yourself!
This defense by AIM is a god-sent for the opposition parties here in
because it just open a can of worms for the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP).
Seriously, if we take what AIM said at face value, then how in the world did a
company with a paid-up capital of just $2 managed to pay $140,000 to win the
bid to own the system? If they got a loan, it begs the question which bank
actually loaned AIM $140,000 when the company is worth all of $2!
Also at the monthly cost of $785, why didn’t the town councils maintain the system themselves and questions will be asked about how much was spent to develop the system in the first place? I mean at $785 a month per town council, AIM would recoup the $140,000 in just slightly over a year! And in drawing NCS into the picture, now questions will be asked of them as well!
How in the world is any of this good for the PAP? It isn’t. Even if everything is legal (and it seem they took pains to make sure it is), it still looks bad and smell worse. And the whole mess is totally avoidable! Just get rid of the agreement between AIM and the town councils before more awkward questions get asked! Surely that is preferable than to have the whole thing brewing during the next by-election!