Workers’ Party (WP) member Kenneth Foo Seck Guan, who serves as one of the town councillors of the WP-held Aljunied-Hougang Town Council (AHTC), has questioned the Government’s “lavish” spending on billboards around Singapore featuring People’s Action Party (PAP) parliamentarians.
Revealing that he did some research on what these billboards cost, Mr Foo said that his curiosity about the cost of such billboards was piqued when he took part in the WP’s walkabout in Tampines on Sunday (10 Nov). He wrote on Facebook:
“As we go around the Tampines estate on Sunday morning, it was hard not to notice the huge greetings billboard put up where he MPs stand like a giant to catch the attention of the residents. A few months back, it was mid-autumn and now it’s Deepavali. Out of curiosity, I checked with a vendor of the cost of setting up such a structure.”
The vendor Mr Foo spoke to gave him the following breakdown of costs:
1. Printing of board – approx $15,000
2. Counter weight – approx $10,000
3. Structure – approx $2,000
4. PE – approx $1,000
Total cost approx $28,000
Noting that he spotted three such billboards in Tampines, Mr Foo wrote that two separate rounds of printing and setting up billboards to commemorate the mid-Autumn Festival and Deepavali would have cost “about $200,000” and that this sum would have been budgeted by the People’s Association (PA) through Our Tampines Hub (OTH) and other grassroots groups:
“Just by 2 separate rounds of printing and setting up the greetings, it could have cost about $200,000. As the logos suggest, the budget would have come from PA through OTH and the Grassroots Organisations.”
Asking why these greetings couldn’t have been put up in the digital panels in the lifts at Tampines, Mr Foo questioned what the justification is for such “lavish” spending and whether it is right to spend taxpayers’ money in such a way:
“With the installation of the digital billboards in the lifts for Tampines, the greetings could have been easily put on screen. So what is the justification for spending taxpayers money lavishly for such an installation? A total of over $500,000,000 was allocated to PA for FY2019. Is the money most well spent to benefit the residents?
“The processes of getting the huge billboards may be in place and all seem right. But, is it right to spend in this way? What purpose does it serve? Can the budget be better spent for the benefits of residents?
“Sometimes, doing the right thing may be more important to just doing things right.”
Doing the Right Things VS Doing Things RightAs we go around the Tampines estate on Sunday morning, it was hard not to…
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