Workers' Party MPs will contest lawsuit filed over 'improper' payments at AHTC

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The Workers’ Party (WP) has denied allegations that three of its MPs had breached their fiduciary duties in managing the Aljunied-Hougang Town Council (AHTC) and will “vigorously” contest a lawsuit filed by an independent panel over alleged improper payments totalling $33.7 million.

In a statement to the media on Wednesday (26 July), the WP said the town councillors – WP chief Low Thia Khiang, chairman Sylvia Lim and assistant secretary-general Pritam Singh – “acted in good faith and in the best interests of the Town Council and our residents”.

The independent panel, acting on behalf of AHTC, is claiming up to $33.7 million from the town councillors and AHTC’s former managing agent and service provider.

It alleged that the payments made to the former managing agent FM Solutions and Services (FMSS) and service provider FM Solutions and Integrated Services (FMSI) are invalid as the town councillors had breached their fiduciary duties, according to media reports.

The joint statement by Low, Lim and Singh said, “In the suit against us, amongst other things, it is alleged that: (a) We have acted in breach of our fiduciary duties and duties of care and skill owed to AHTC, (b) We set up a faulty system which allowed the appointment of FMSS and made it possible for FMSS and/or their officers to benefit themselves, (c) We entered into contracts with architects in breach of duties owed to AHTC.

“Our reply to all these allegations is NO.”

The statement said that the MPs were asked to account for profits made from appointing FMSS or pay damages of at least $1.25 million. “We have not benefited a single cent,” they said.

Lim and Singh have also been asked to pay $2.8 million damages for the wrongful appointment of architects, the statement added.

Low, Lim and Singh said they would provide more details during the course of the proceedings “so that all concerned will be clearer on the issues and why we made the decisions and acted as we did”.