Low Thia Khiang on AHTC lawsuit: Workers’ Party 'prepared to be judged' by Singaporeans

Low Thia Khiang speaking in Parliament on 3 July 2017 after Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong delivered his Ministerial Statement on the Lee family feud. Photo: TV screen shot

The Workers’ Party (WP) has again dismissed the allegations in the lawsuit filed by an independent panel on behalf of the Aljunied-Hougang Town Council (AHTC) over alleged improper payments, saying that its MPs are “prepared to be judged” by the residents and Singaporeans.

The comments by Workers’ Party chief Low Thia Khiang on Wednesday night (26 July) came after the panel alleged that three AHTC town councillors – Low, WP chairman Sylvia Lim and assistant secretary-general Pritam Singh – have breached their fiduciary duties over the invalid payments of up to $33,717,535 to AHTC’s former managing agent and service provider.

The lawsuit stated that Low and Lim had misled AHTC and failed to justify a waiver of tender and the appointment of AHTC’s former managing agent FM Solutions and Services (FMSS).

Speaking on the sidelines of a Meet-The-People session, Low, who was flanked by Lim and Pritam, told reporters, “I don’t think Singaporeans have lost faith in us. We are prepared to be judged by the people. The residents can see for themselves. I have been in politics for more than 20 years, I think people know me,” Low said.

Lim said that the town councillors would not elaborate on the lawsuit, as advised by their lawyers. She added that they are preparing to file a memorandum of appearance followed by their “substantive defence”.

While lawsuits are “never pleasant”, WP welcomed the opportunity to tell the public why the town councillors made “certain decisions at the point in time”, she added.

When asked by reporters about their contingency plans if they were to lose the lawsuit, Lim said, “I supposed we will have to look at the amount and see whether we have the means to pay. If we don’t, we may have to consider other options, perhaps raising funds.”

Low expressed confidence that the lawsuit would not erode support from the Aljunied-Hougang residents and Singaporeans for WP.

“My conscience is clear. We have acted in good faith, and to the best interest of our residents,” Low said.