MPs from WP and PAP exchange jabs over Punggol East funds

Questions surrounding $22.5 million in "missing" funds from Punggol East have resurfaced after they were first raised during the General Election in 2015.

Last Thursday, Workers' Party (WP) MP Png Eng Huat brought up the issue in a Facebook post, after independent auditor KPMG said in its final report issued the same day that the Aljunied-Hougang Town Council had fixed all its financial and governance lapses. He said it indicated there was "no such missing money" in the first place.

People's Action Party MP Charles Chong maintained on Saturday that there was no reliable way to ascertain what happened to the money because the WP had not submitted clean accounts when Punggol East came under its Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council from 2013 to 2015.

During the 2015 General Election campaign, WP chief Low Thia Khiang said Punggol East was in deficit when the WP took over the single-member constituency following the 2013 by-election.

Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean disputed this, saying that Pasir Ris-Punggol Town Council had handed over more than $22.5 million in cash to the WP-run town council, which was now unaccounted for.

On Thursday, Mr Png said an independent audit by KPMGdid not shed light on the matter. He added that there had been $22.8 million to $26.3 million attributed to Punggol East sitting in the accounts in every financial statement since 2013.

And he said after Punggol East came under the Pasir Ris-Punggol Town Council, the town council submitted an unqualified financial statement for the 2016/2017 financial year, which "means there was no such missing money".

On Saturday, Mr Chong said that in 2015, the WP-run town council's financial statements were all qualified by their own auditors.

Singapore Politics