The three Workers’ Party MPs being sued by two town councils over $33.7 million in residents’ monies alleged to have been improperly spent are appealing to the public for financial help.
In a blog post on Wednesday (24 October), Workers’ Party chief Pritam Singh, chairman Sylvia Lim and former chief Low Thia Khiang said the trio have paid nearly $600,000 to their lawyers so far for the case and “depleted our personal resources”.
“We need financial resources to fight the legal battle and to deal with the prospect of being made a bankrupt,” they added. An MP who is declared bankrupt will lose his or her seat.
In their blog post, the three WP MPs said, “The total sum claimed against us is potentially more than $30 million, even though we are not accused of receiving any of these monies personally.
“The claims against us are unfounded. We have acted in good faith, and did what we believed to be in the best interests of our residents and the Town Council. We have mounted rigorous defences in the two suits, and engaged a legal team from M/s Tan Rajah & Cheah. We will fight the claims vigorously.”
Aljunied-Hougang Town Council (AHTC) and Pasir Ris-Punggol Town Council (PRPTC) are suing Low, Lim and Singh, along with AHTC councillors Chua Zhi Hon, Kenneth Foo Seck Guan, WP supporter How Weng Fan and FM Solutions and Services (FMSS), which was AHTC’s former managing agent. How and her late husband Danny Loh Chong Meng were directors and shareholders of FMSS.
The two town councils allege, among other things, a breach of fiduciary duties and improper payments made to FMSS and its service provider FM Solutions and Integrated Services (FMSI), between 15 July 2011 and 14 July 2015.
AHTC was formed after the WP won Aljunied GRC and Hougang SMC in the 2011 GE. In the January 2013 by-election, the WP won Punggol East SMC and it joined AHTC, which became known as AHPETC. But WP lost Punggol East in the 2015 GE and it became part of PRPTC, while AHPETC reverted to AHTC.
AHTC’s suit was initiated in July last year at the direction of an independent panel. Two months later, PRPTC followed suit.
Public hearings began in the High Court on 5 October. The suits are being heard before Justice Kannan Ramesh, with hearings expected to run till next Friday (2 November).