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Workers’ Party town councillors issue statement of clarification over AHTC’s legal action

The three Workers' Party (WP) Members of Parliament who have been filed with a statement of claim by the Aljunied-Hougang Town Council (AHTC) have issued a joint statement to confirm the receipt of the claims. It also rejects the allegations made against them and emphasises that the MPs have acted in good faith and in the best interests of the Town Council and their residents.

It is said that in the suit filed against the three MPs, it is alleged amongst other things that

(a) The WP MPs have acted in breach of their fiduciary duties and duties of care and skill owed to AHTC.
(b) That they 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) They entered into contracts with architects in breach of duties owed to AHTC.

All three deny the allegations.

According to the statement,  WP Secretary-General Low Thia Khiang and the town council's vice-chairman, Sylvia Lim have been asked to give an account of profits made from the appointment of FM Solutions and Services (FMSS) or pay damages not less than $1.25 million. Both Mr Low and Ms Lim state that they have not benefitted a single cent.

Ms Lim and the town council's chairman, Pritam Singh have been asked to pay damages of $2.8 million for the wrongful appointment of architects.

M/s Tan Rajah and Cheah have been engaged to defend the claim for the 1st to 5th Defendants. The three have expressed that they are taking legal advice and will contest the lawsuit and lay out their case vigorously in court.

It is also stated that more information will be furnished in the course of proceedings so that all concerned about the matter will be clearer on the issues and be informed why they made the decisions and acted as they did.

It has been earlier reported that the independent panel which was appointed to Aljunied-Hougang Town Council (AHTC) in consultation with Housing Development Board on Feb 2017, is taking several of the town councillors to court over a breach of fiduciary duties.

It is said that AHTC is seeking to claim $622,593.78 in liquidated claims from multiple parties, as well as $4,167,501.71 in unliquidated claims. Additional sums may be involved. The writ of summons was filed last Friday by the town council in the High Court.

The six defendants listed in the case are Workers' Party (WP) Secretary-General Low Thia Khiang, the town council's chairman, Mr Pritam Singh, its vice-chairman, Ms Sylvia Lim, Mr Chua Zhi Hon, Mr Kenneth Foo, deputy organising secretary of the WP and Ms How Weng Fan.

It is said that the legal action was initiated as part of the work of a panel tasked with looking into improper payments made by AHTC.