Thumbs up for Nicole Seah | Thumbs down for Goh Meng Seng

Donate to my personal saving account, will you?
Photo source here


Mr Goh Meng Seng from National Solidary Party really gripes me. See, he finally leapt to defend Nicole Seah's initiative of misusing her personal saving account to raise fund (Note here that I insist on the word 'misuse' as I strongly believe a personal saving account is for personal purpose only!).

But he's so patronizing when he said it 'could have been managed better'.

The word 'it' in the above refers to 'how the present issue was blown out of proportion due to the utilization of the New Media'.

Mr Goh, you might as well declare: "My name is Norman Osborn Goh Meng Seng and I disapprove these this Avengers New Media!"

Is this issue really blown out of proportion? Perhaps.

And whose fault is that?

C'mon, Mr Goh! Don't you think as the chief of NSP, you are supposed to set a guideline and direction to your party members specifically with regards to this political donation thing?

Kudos for Nicole Seah for her initiative! In my previous post about this issue, "Nicole Seah: controversy over elections donations", my opinion had been kinda negative about her.

But, Mr Goh, with you entering to the picture (albeit late), you've helped me to picture Nicole Seah (slightly) more positive.

Being a very intelligent, promising politician, I believe Nicole Seah has started eyeing to join other Opposition Party.

Why?

Scroll down & read the part highlighted in red below. Don't you feel upset about it?

"Thus, it would be technically tedious for us to differentiate between funding meant for Marine Parade Team if donations are made to the Party bank account."



NATIONAL Solidarity Party (NSP) chief Goh Meng Seng has jumped to the defence of Ms Nicole Seah, who has been criticised for the way she is raising funds to pay for the cost of campaigning in Marine Parade GRC.

On Monday, he put up a blog post saying her call to donors to send their contributions to her personal account would simplify the accounting for the party.

'It would be technically tedious for us to differentiate between funding meant for the Marine Parade team if donations are made to the party's bank account.

'Besides, financial reporting for the party will be very complex if every team or individual candidate utilise the party's bank account for their fund-raising activities,' he wrote on his blog.

But Mr Goh told The Straits Times that in future, a more appropriate way of raising funds might be for candidates to open a joint account with a fellow GRC team member for such monies.

Some netizens had criticised Ms Seah for using her personal account instead of one in the name of the party.

From Straits Times, "Nicole Seah's fund-raising method is OK: NSP chief".




Dear All,

Thank you for all the concerns raised here. I apologize for the great confusion and anxiety caused by this episode.

Under the Political Donation Act, it is LEGAL for candidates to solicit donations under their names. Thus what Nicole has done is legal. The main concern is why personal bank account has been used instead of Party bank account. First of all, Nicole is soliciting funds for her candidacy in Marine Parade. She is also trying to get funding for her whole Marine Parade Team. Thus, it would be technically tedious for us to differentiate between funding meant for Marine Parade Team if donations are made to the Party bank account. Besides, financial reporting for the Party will be very complex if every Teams or individual candidates utilize the Party bank account for their fund raising activities.

I believe that those who have donated to Nicole or any other opposition members would have full confidence and trust in them to utilize the funds solely for the GE only. Having said that, I also understand the demand for transparency from the public on the fund raised. Rest be assured that due diligence will be carried out by the whole Marine Parade Team since the fund raised is intended to defray the cost of its election campaign.

As I have mentioned before to the press, young people are using the New Media more often and it will become a trend for them to utilize New Media for their political work and engagement which will include soliciting political donations. It is unfortunate that this present issue was blown out of proportion due to the utilization of the New Media. On hindsight, it could have been managed better.

Nevertheless, I have full confidence in Nicole and her Marine Parade Team in managing public funding properly. The stakeholders who have contributed money to their funds have the right to know how the funds have been utilized. This is a matter of transparency. This can be done by sending them the details via emails.

However, I think it is totally inappropriate for the members of public to insinuate corrupt practices, intent or misconduct with regards to this issue. It would be unfair to Nicole and her team to suggest that because they have acted within the legal limits. Unless there is any proof of misappropriation of funds, I think such slander is totally unwarranted. I hope the members of public should refrain from making such insinuations.

I think that this issue would be a good public education process for both politicians as well as Singaporeans. Singaporeans may not be used to politicians soliciting funds under their names but this is perfectly legal for candidates to do so, just as any other democratic countries in the world (US, Europe countries etc). On the other hand, politicians have to be mindful about perceptions of the public as well as the transparency of the whole fund raising exercise.

To conclude, I hope that Singaporeans could bear with us while we move on to a more open society. It is perfectly healthy for Singaporeans to raise their concerns on transparency and accountability when such public donations are involved. But I hope that my explanations and clarifications here could address their concerns adequately.

Yours Sincerely ,

Goh Meng Seng

From Singapore Alternatives, "Nicole Seah's fund raising".

Technically tedious? Puh-leaze!! If this is something needs to be done to have a separate Party account for the team to rally for donation, it needs to be done! Do not give the excuse it's technically tedious!

It reflects badly to one's leadership in the Party.

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