ACRA and ROS should also clarify on the AIM-PAP saga

Latest: ACRA has now clarified 'that under the Companies Act which ACRA administers, there are no restrictions or prohibitions against an organisation gazetted as a political association from owning a for-profit company.'

After much public disquiet about PAP town councils' sale of its computer system to AIM, a PAP-owned company, the Prime Minister has now called for a review of this transaction (link: This Review will also look at corporate governance of the town councils.

I agree with PM Lee that there must be a review of corporate governance of town councils. The fact that the external auditors who audited the town councils' transaction with AIM did not flag the sale, must mean that the financial control policies of the town councils must be wanting, and do not reflect the high overall standards of corporate governance the general public expect from town councils.

The Prime Minister's admission that this review should fully scrutinise PAP town councils sale of the computer system to AIM, and satisfy itself that public funds were safeguarded and residents' interests were not compromised, means that Teo Ho Pin's 2 explanations (see and and Grace Fu's defense of the transaction were not up to mark, and were only fudging the issue.

This Review of town councils sanctioned by the Prime Minister answers an important, but only a part of the outcry against the possible conflict of interest in the AIM saga. For there to be full closure to this issue, the Registrar of Societies should clarify if PAP's constitution allows it to own companies, and ACRA should explain what the laws are for organisations that are gazetted as political associations to own for profit companies.

I have now written to ACRA and ROS to enquire on this issue. My emails below:
"Ms Juthika Ramanathan
Chief Executive Registrar
Accounting & Corporate Regulatory Authority 
Dear Ms Ramanathan 
In view of the admission by the People's Action Party that it owns at least one for-profit company, Action Information Management Pte Ltd, I write to enquire if there are any regulations against an organisation gazetted as a political association for the purpose of political donations act, to own such for-profit companies. 
I will look forward to hearing from you. 
Thank you."
"Mr Ng Yeow Boon
Registrar of Societies
Registry of Societies 
Dear Mr Ng 
I refer to the political party, People's Action Party (S61SS0141A), registered as a society. This society has recently admitted that it owns at least one for-profit company. 
Since this society is also the ruling political party, and forms the government of Singapore, it is in public interest to ask if the Constitution of this society permits it to own for-profit companies. 
I will look forward to your reply. 
Thank you."


Jafri said…
All this while; WHY the public was kept in the dark about PAP owning businesses ??
Being a supposedly an accountable, transparent and a worthy government; why should the very people that elected the party (PAP) being made to feel "short changed" ??