Rejecting allegations that they have acted in breach of their fiduciary duties, three Workers’ Party Members of Parliament said on Wednesday (July 26) they will contest the lawsuit brought against them by the Aljunied-Hougang Town Council (AHTC). TODAY file photos
SINGAPORE – Rejecting allegations that they have acted in breach of their fiduciary duties, three Workers’ Party (WP) Members of Parliament (MPs) said on Wednesday (July 26) they will contest the lawsuit brought against them by the Aljunied-Hougang Town Council (AHTC).
In a public statement, WP chief Low Thia Khiang, town council chairman Pritam Singh and vice-chairman Sylvia Lim said they have “acted in good faith and in the best interests of the Town Council and our residents”.
Confirming that they received the individual statements of claim filed by AHTC, the Aljunied Group Representation Constituency MPs said they have engaged law firm Tan Rajah and Cheah to defend them.
They also categorically rejected "all" allegations cited in the lawsuit. The WP MPs' statement listed out three specific allegations, which they rejected:
That they acted in breach of their fiduciary duties and duties of care and skill owed to ATHC.
That they had set up a faulty system that allowed the appointment of the town council's former managing agent firm, FM Solutions & Services (FMSS), and made it possible for FMSS and/or officers to benefit themselves.
That they entered into contracts with architects in breach of duties owed to AHTC.
On being asked to give an account of profits made from the appointment of FMSS or pay damages not less than S$1.25 million, Mr Low and Ms Lim responded that they have “not benefitted a single cent”.
In the lawsuit, Ms Lim and Mr Singh have also been asked to pay damages of S$2.8 million for the wrongful appointment of architects.
The three WP MPs said they will be furnishing more information during the course of legal proceedings so that “all concerned will be clearer on the issues and why we made the decisions and acted as we did”.
The suit was filed by an independent panel, chaired by Senior Counsel Philip Jeyaretnam, which was appointed in February to recommend the recovery actions the AHTC needs to take over the large sums of improper payments that it had made from its funds. The payments were flagged by the town council’s auditor KPMG in October last year.
The other members of the panel are Senior Counsel N Sreenivasan and Mr Ong Pang Thye, the managing partner of KPMG.
In a statement, the Housing Development Board (HDB) said it had been notified by the panel that a claim was filed with the High Court, adding: "A copy of the statement of claim has been extended to HDB pursuant to the (panel's) terms of appointment.
HDB added that it was studying the details of the suit, and that it had asked the Attorney-General's Chambers to "advise on the matter". It did not elaborate.
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