Workers' Party MPs raise $1 million to fight lawsuits, close appeal for funding

Staff Writer, Singapore
·Editorial Team
(From left) Workers’ Party ex-chief Low Thia Khiang, WP secretary-general Pritam Singh and WP chairman Sylvia Lim. (Yahoo News Singapore file photos)
(From left) Workers’ Party ex-chief Low Thia Khiang, WP secretary-general Pritam Singh and WP chairman Sylvia Lim. (Yahoo News Singapore file photos)

The three Workers’ Party (WP) Members of Parliament embroiled in lawsuits filed by two town councils have raised more than $1 million within three days after making a public appeal for financial help.

According to their “In Good Faith” blog, WP secretary-general Pritam Singh, chairman Sylvia Lim, and former party chief Low Thia Khiang have received $1008,802 since they launched their appeal on Wednesday. The trio closed the appeal for funding at 10am on Saturday (27 October).

In a joint statement, they said, “We are very touched by the incredible outpouring of support from the public for the appeal that we launched barely three days ago. The amount raised has crossed a million dollars.

“We are closing the appeal for now, as the amount raised substantially covers the legal fees required at this point in time. We would like to ask you to hold your contributions if you have not transferred them. We will provide updates here on how the funds are used. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts. The financial support is crucial but the moral support you have given us is incalculable.”

Appeal for financial help

In an earlier blog post, the WP MPs made a plea for monetary contributions to help fight the cases brought against them by the Aljunied-Hougang Town Council (AHTC) and the Pasir Ris-Punggol Town Council (PRPTC).

Low, Lim and Singh – along with two other town councillors – have been accused by AHTC and PRPTC of breaching their fiduciary duties and making improper payments to their then managing agent between 15 July 2011 and 14 July 2015.

AHTC was formed after the WP won Aljunied GRC and Hougang SMC in the 2011 general elections (GE). In the January 2013 by-election, the WP won Punggol East SMC and the latter joined AHTC, which became known as AHPETC. But WP lost Punggol East in the 2015 GE and Punggol East became part of PRPTC, while AHPETC reverted to AHTC.

Party funds not used for legal fees

The trio said in the same post that they had paid close to $600,000 in to their lawyers for work done before the start of the trial and that these costs have “depleted our personal resources”.

They also noted that they have not used any WP funds in their legal battle and that the total sum claimed against them is “potentially more than $30 million”.

“We will fight the claims vigorously. If we lose the suits and are adjudged to pay large sums of money, and are unable to pay, we would face bankruptcy,” they said in the post.

Related stories:

Workers’ Party MPs embroiled in civil suits appeal to public for funds

WP ex-chief Low Thia Khiang gave FMSS ‘a gun to put to AHTC’s head’: lawyer

WP ex-chief Low Thia Khiang testifies he didn’t spend AHTC residents’ monies improperly

WP town council case: It began a long time ago…

WP AHTC town councillors ‘acted in good faith, complied with the law’: lawyer for MPs