AIM debate in Parliament: (Round 6) – AHPE vs HBP?

theonlinecitizen May 20, 2013

By Leong Sze Hian

Relentless attacks?

As a resident of AHPETC, I was rather perturbed and annoyed by the seemingly relentless attacks on the financial management of AHPETC.

To put it crudely (pardon my language) – it was like people were coming to “shit in your own backyard”.


So, I decided to go look at the annual reports of AHPETC and HBPTC.

1. For FY2011/2012, AHPETC had an accumulated surplus of $2,748,196 against HBPTC’s accumulated deficit of $849,414.

2.AHPETC’s surplus for the year was $1,104,388 against HBPTC’s deficit of $689,624.

3.AHPETC’s operating deficit of $3,396,800 was about 21 per cent less than HBPTC’s deficit of $4,306,324.

4.AHPETC’s ratio of operating income to expenditure at 0.89 ($28,682,516 divided by $32,079,316) was better than HBPTC’s 0.84 ($22,530,581 divided by $26,836,905) – So, does this mean that AHPETC is more efficient than HBPTC?

5.AHPETC’s total comprehensive income for the year attributable to the town council at $3,226,962 was much higher than HBPTC’s $687,889 – about more than 4 times higher.

6.AHPETC’s managing agent’s fees was $3,827,113 against HBPTC’s $3,307,510. But, what I found to be rather interesting is that HBPTC’s fees decreased by about 11 per cent from $3,708,874 in the previous year – 2011.

Fees decrease?

I don’t know much about town council management, but is it normal for the fees to drop so much in a year considering that inflation was I believe rather high in that year (I think about 4 to 5 per cent – financial year ending 31 March very hard for a layman like me to try to figure out what was the exact inflation for that period).

Was it a one-time abnormally?

But S & CC increase?

Also, I am confused as I don’t understand why HBPTC increased their S & CC last year when their fees dropped, whereas AHPETC was able to decrease theirs?

I am sorry I was not able to find the fees for AHPETC in 2011 – maybe because it was then called Aljunied town council under a different management. I tried googling “Aljunied town council” – but I think the web site does not exist anymore or something.

Looking at the above statistics, perhaps like they always say in a debate – “I rest my case”.

Looking at the above, I am glad (at least from a resident’s perspective) that I am living in AHPETC (for over 50 years now) and not in HBPTC.

“Related party transactions”

AHPETC also had a statement – “Related party transactions – On 15 July 2011, the Town Council appointed FM Solutions and Services Pte Ltd as the Managing Agent for a period of one year for which Mr Danny Loh, Secretary is the Managing Director. Mrs How Weng Pan, the spouse of Mr Danny Loh, is also a director of FM Solutions and Services Pte Ltd and also acted as the town council’s General Manager. The total management fee for the year is $3,827,113.”

I didn’t see any “Related party transactions” statement in HBPTC’s annual report – but you know all these reports are very very long – and if I had missed it – do please forgive me – as I’m just a layman and ordinary citizen who lives in AHPETC. Anyway, it would seem that HBPTC did not have any ”Related party transactions”.

P.S. I am not an accountant and accounting was my worse subject in school (just managed to pass lah – I always avoided accounting subjects if I had a choice in selecting elective subjects). S0, if I have made an “honest mistake” in the above – may I apologise in advance.

About the Author

Leong Sze Hian has served as the president of 4 professional bodies, honorary consul of 2 countries, an alumnus of Harvard University, authored 4 books, quoted over 1500 times in the media , has been a radio talkshow host, a newspaper daily columnist, Wharton Fellow, SEACeM Fellow, columnist for theonlinecitizen and Malaysiakini, executive producer of Ilo Ilo (40 international awards), Hotel Mumbai (associate producer), invited to speak more than 200 times in about 40 countries, CIFA advisory board member, founding advisor to the Financial Planning Associations of 2 countries. He has 3 Masters, 2 Bachelors degrees and 13 professional  qualifications.