WP hammered for questioning impartiality of civil service – is the service really impartial?

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By: Leong Sze Hian

WP chided for questioning impartiality of civil service

I refer to the article “WP chided for questioning impartiality of civil service” (Straits Times, Mar 11).

It states that “But Senior Minister of State for National Development Desmond Lee defended the impartiality of the civil service, saying her allegations were serious and unwarranted.

He cited three broad reasons. First, public servants understand the need for fairness and will act and do what is right, he said.

Second, the People’s Action Party’s track record shows it will act on alleged wrongdoing and not sweep things under the carpet. A case in point is the investigation of Ang Mo Kio Town Council’s general manager and secretary, said Mr Lee. AMKTC is the town council of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

“Even in the PM’s town council, when allegations were made, they took the first step to make a report and now the CPIB (Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau) is investigating,” he said.

Third, any abuse of public powers is subject to the jurisdiction of the courts.

“Politicisation of the public service”

Mr Singh said this can lead to the politicisation of the public service, adding: “The MND risks becoming a tool of the ruling party of the day to fix the opposition.”

History of “politically (not) neutral body”

Ms Lim said: “It is not possible to argue that the ministry is a politically neutral body as recent history unfortunately belies that claim.”

“An active campaigner against the WP”

She said the ministry was “an active campaigner against the WP” in the 2015 General Election, regularly issuing statements on alleged misconduct of the WP-run town council. But after Polling Day, she said, little was heard for weeks. She added that civil servants cannot be expected to issue stinging reports against a town council run by a minister.”

The historical record of “impartiality”?

Let’s look at some analysis of how impartial the civil service has been, particularly to the opposition, over the years:

Town councils’ controversies in history?” (Feb 12, 2017)

People’s Association is not partisan?” (Apr 14, 2016)

Which constituency has highest no. of “not upgraded” flats?” (Apr 6, 2016)

HDB rejects AHTC’s 3rd accountants? Foreign firm OK, local “No”?” (Jan 22, 2016)

Town councils: Another “half the story” clarification?” (Nov 21, 2014)

Why Aljunied always fail town councils’ report?” (Nov 4, 2014)

Strange things are happening in Singapore?” (Oct 21, 2014)

NEA: ‘No’ Especially (to) Aljunied?” (Oct 15, 2014)

Why don’t you sue my town council?” (Feb 15, 2014)

The alternative news in 1 day? (part 49) – Grassroots leader/PAP branch chairman?” (Feb 4, 2014)

The alternative news in 1 day? (part 47) – “Fixing” my town council?” (Feb 1, 2014)

NEA: Some issues and questions?” (Sep 1, 2013)

NEA vs AHPETC: Who to believe?” (Jun 3, 2013)

AIM debate in Parliament: (Round 4) – Revisiting conflicts of interest?” (May 29, 2013)

AIM debate in Parliament: MND vs WP (Round 3)?” (May 29, 2013)

MND responds to Workers’ Party” (May 28, 2013)

Highlights of the Debate on the MND Town Council Review Report” (May 14, 2013)

AIM Review Report: So everything was OK?” (May 3, 2013)

… and many many more over the years!

Uniquely Singapore!