Darebin councillor Tim Singh shot back at FIAV president Vasan Srinivasan’s statement, on the issue of conflict of interest, earlier on Friday. In an opinion piece submitted to The Indian Sun, Cr Tim Singh says, “One of the unfortunate things with the lack of success in elections for some in our Indian community is that they are unaware of the concept of conflict of interest.” He says: “A conflict of interest can be created via a commercial relationship but it is not ended just because you cease business dealings.”
Vasan, earlier this week, rejected claims that there was any conflict of interest when he made a statement to the Herald Sun on how Cambridge College is helping one of its students Manrajwinder Singh. Manrajwinder was attacked by a gang in Melbourne on 30 December and later had to be put in induced coma for seven days in Alfred Hospital. Reacting to Cr Singh’s concerns about Cambridge College, Vasan, in an SMS to The Indian Sun, stated: “My company stopped recruiting students since 2010 July after the racism rally held by FISA”.
Arguing his point on conflict of interest, Cr Singh says: “The conflict between public duties and private commercial relationships can continue in reality and in public perception due to the relationship it has created.
“In Australia, a raft of laws govern the disclosure of such links and relationships. In the Indian community we need to apply these Australian governance standards too.”
On Thursday, Cr Tim Singh and Cr Gautam Gupta from Wyndham City, issued a joint statement earlier saying that they have not been in touch with Cambridge College or with Vasan regarding the attack on Manrajwinder Singh.
“I have not had any calls from Cambridge College returned. I am busy with this and other resident issues and have not spoken to Vasan,” Singh’s statement says.
Cr Singh says he had not asked the college for any rent assistance for the victim nor had he asked the College for air fares for the family of the victim.
“The $4,000 plus collected from the local Indian community in the first few days will cover Manrajwinder’s parents’ airfare,” he says.
“Thanks to all those kind selfless souls who gave in those first days while others were busy making false statements to media.”
He adds that a fee refund by the college will cover 6 months’ rent for Manrajwinder and his brother and cousin.
The college had, according to Cr Singh, offered support for the victim’s parents following media coverage.
Singh concludes his piece with a call to the Prime Minister to assist the victim. “Tony Abbott has blamed the drink culture and state governments for gang attacks, but the Liberals have forgotten that the victim of the crime is still in hospital waiting for a sign of Liberal’s new concern about crime,” he says.