Mr Kwan can you please give your salary to the Internet this month?

July 25, 2012

Ministry of National Development has announced that the National Parks Board (NParks) officer involved in making the purchase of 26 foldable Brompton bicycles, totalling $57,200, has been suspended.

Mr Khaw Boon Wan, the Minister for National Development, who had initially defended the purchases of the bicycles is not forced to do one of the tightest U turns ever – all thanks to the Internet.

What this incident highlights is how social media can hold it’s own even against the likes of juggernauts such as ST and TNP who both missed the boat by the proverbial mile. And this should prompt many to ask, is the MSM too close to the party political hegemony for it’s own good?

Why didn’t the MSM pick up on this infraction? Do they lack resources? Why were they so quick to run with Kwan’s explanation without bothering to drill deeper that they even came across as bovine, inept and complicit to those observing this scandal?

On a more disturbing note what Bromptongate highlights is Ministers simply have no idea what is happening in their own backyard – all too often they are quick to defend and justify the acts and omissions of their ministries without bothering to drill deeper themselves. While it’s understandable for a leader to shield and protect his charges – it beggars the imagination why in a government that prides itself on the “pursuit of excellence.”

All it really took was a few weekend bicycle hobbyist and a bicycle shop owner to blow the lid on something that should have been picked up by a routine internal audit.

One can only wonder with trepidation what else these government internal auditors missed out? Maybe the government should outsource this watch dog function to the Internet? Maybe Kwan should consider giving part of his salary to the Internet this month. As they seem to be doing a more capable job than him and his ministry and the MSM put together.

Darkness 2012


“When you sell yourself as the gold standard of governance and even go to the extend of paying the highest salary in the world. But you cannot even plug a simple leak. Then you cannot blame others for wondering – are we really getting our money’s worth?”

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