People’s Action Party (PAP) Member of Parliament (MP) for Nee Soon Group Representation Constituency, Lee Bee Wah, has defended her company’s involvement in a construction project in Yishun.
Ms Lee is the Principal Partner and a director in LBW Consultant LLP, a consultancy firm which “[provides] high quality Civil, Structural, Project Management and golf course design services”, its website says.
LBW Consultant LLP had bid for 11 projects in 2013, and had won two of them, including the one for Khatib Court.
LBW Consultant LLP was awarded the contract to provide Civil and Structural engineering services for the development.
Khatib Court is located within Ms Lee’s constituency.
The website, States Times Review, had reported the story a week ago.
However, the original “expose” was by another website, TR Emeritus, which highlighted it in February.
TR Emeritus reported:
[Khatib Court] is sited next to the Khatib MRT station. The development consists of two 14-storey residential blocks and offers 310 units of Studio Apartments and 3-room flats. The expected completion date is in 2nd quarter of 2017.
Specifically, it is located at Yishun Neighbourhood 8, part of Nee Soon South ward. Nee Soon South generally encompasses Yishun Neighbourhood 8 (Khatib), part of Neighbourhood 7 and private residential areas along Sembawang Road (near Sembawang Army Camp).
The PAP MP specifically in-charge of Nee Soon South is Er Dr Lee Bee Wah. She is also the grassroots adviser there.
States Times Review repeated the same information, namely that Ms Lee was an MP of the area and her company had won the tender for the contract.
Ms Lee, however, took umbrage with the States Times Review’s report.
“There is an article, full of falsehoods, which has been circulating about LBW Consultants LLP (LBW),” Ms Lee posted on her Facebook page on Tuesday.
“The article suggests, falsely, some impropriety in the awarding of the HDB contract to LBW for Khatib Court,” she added.
“LBW tendered openly for 11 HDB projects in 2013. It was successful in two of the projects, including Khatib Court. The tender was carried out fairly and transparently. To suggest otherwise is malicious.
LBW Consultants LLP was acquired by Meinhardt Group International in January 2014, given its track record.”
The States Times Review has defended its article.
“The article posted was to report and inform Singaporeans that a company that Yishun MP Lee Bee Wah has connection with has won a tender in an area where she is in charge of,” it said in its response to Ms Lee’s post. “Suggestions of impropriety in the awarding of the HDB contract is conjured by readers and States Times Review takes no responsibility for misinterpretation of others.”
It added that “if sufficient and reasonable proof is presented to show the MP’s innocence, an apology note will be posted.”
“However, to label the site malicious and full of falsehoods without presenting strong evidence, the PAP MP herself is knocking credibility off herself,” the site said.
After the General Election of 2011, secretary general of the PAP, Lee Hsien Loong, issued a seven-page code of conduct for its MPs.
Mr Lee reminded his MPs that they “must uphold the rigorous standards that we have set for ourselves, and do nothing to compromise them”.
One of the main issues highlighted by Mr Lee was MPs’ private business and their public political positions.
“You must separate your public political position from your private business or professional interests,” Mr Lee said. “MPs who are in business, who occupy senior management positions in companies, or who sit on company boards should be especially vigilant. You must not exploit your public position as Government MPs, your close contacts with the Ministers, or your access to government departments and civil servants, for your personal business interest or the benefit of your employers. Your conduct must always be above board.”
Incidentally, Ms Lee is also the chairman of the Government Parliamentary Committee (GPC) on National Development and Environment.