$100,000? $200,000? More? How much more? More than the amount of money that is allegedly unaccounted for in the former AHPETC?
An old lady had to suffer the trauma of losing her hand after it got stuck between lift doors. I hope that her family, loved ones and all those who care for her can give her the courage and support to recover from this incident.
The family members are, rightfully, demanding answers. Was it simply an “unfortunate” incident? Could it have been prevented? Were there lapses in maintenance? Apparently the lift had undergone some maintenance the week before the incident happened. Did something go wrong during the maintenance? How could that have happened? Could the Town Council have done anything to have prevented it?
Some unsympathetic people who seem to lack the capacity for empathy have called the family members who are rightfully demanding answers whining babies. They feel that an accident happened, the lady, the family and the rest of Singapore should just accept it and move on. I am worried that there are Singaporeans who are so unsympathetic amongst us.
Then there are those who are a little more moderate. These are saying that since investigations are ongoing, we should not speculate. We should let the investigation run its course. I hope that we will indeed get full and frank answers. And if there are indeed any lapses, the people responsible (or rather irresponsible people) will be suitably punished. I hope that all town councils will learn from this incident so that everything is done to prevent such incidents from ever happening.
Not surprisingly, this issue has also been politicised. Of course, this has raised the ire of many PAP supporters who have asked that this issue not to be politicised. That is really the pot calling the kettle black. It was the PAP who made everything that had anything to do with Town Councils a political issue. PAP started it and now that something went wrong in their Town Councils, their supporters ask people not to politicise the incident? Very funny.
So I hope that this will also make PAP more humble in dealing with AHTC. Anyone and everyone can make mistakes. There has still not been any evidence of criminal wrongdoing (e.g. corruption) regarding the AHPETC accounts, I would conclude that whatever issues AHPETC had with their accounts were administrative mistakes. Grave as that mistake may be, as far as I know, the opposition run town councils of the past had not had any incidents that resulted in people losing their limbs. So I hope that before PAP MPs and supporters comment about opposition run town councils (now only one, AHTC), they would remember this incident and know that they too are not infallible, that shit happens in their own town councils too.
So. How much is a hand worth? If this had happen during the campaigning period of GE, would it have cost PAP another GRC and a few SMCs? We don’t know. But I am certain that a hand, beyond monetary compensation, is at least worth some answers, some introspection, some humility to learn what went wrong and make necessary improvements in process.
[Featured image: From ChannelNewsAsia website, photo by Ngau Kai Yan]