Records of SMS between CPG Facilities Management Services, General Manager, Jeffery Chua and Workers’ Party Chairman, Sylvia Lim, revealed that it was CPG which initiated the termination of the contract between the managing agent and the town council back in 2011 when WP took over the Aljunied Town Council after winning in the General Election 2011.
During the hearing today (8 Oct) at high court over the civil suit between the elected Members of Parliament of Aljunied GRC and theAljunied-Hougang Town Council (AHTC), the court read a series of SMSes which were exchanged between Ms Lim and Mr Chua on 10 August 2011.
Senior Counsel Chelva Retnam Rajah who is representing the WP MPs, read out the exchange of SMSes
Sylvia: Jeff, Straits Times asked me today why we did not retain CPG. I had to tell them CPG requested release as people are accusing us of terminating CPG. Article is not coming out tmr; Fri maybe only.
Jeffrey: Too much. These people like to sensationalize news.
Sylvia: Anyway we can talk tomorrow. ST may call you guys to ask.
In the messages, Ms Lim wrote to Mr Chua that she had been interviewed by a reporter from Straits Times and they are going to run a story that the town council is terminating the contract with the management agent. She asked Mr Chua to clarify with the reporter, who is likely to call him the next day, that it is the managing agent who initiated the termination. Note that Mr Chua did not object to Ms Lim's request.
Mr Davinder Singh, lead lawyer for Pasir Ris-Punggol Town Council (PRPTC), had earlier said on Friday that the appointment of FM Solutions and Services (FMSS) was "tainted".
He alleged that the defendants "misled" the residents, Parliament and the public by saying in a media release by AHTC that there was an urgent need to put in place a new managing agent for Aljunied GRC as the incumbent managing agent had indicated its wish to be released from the managing agent contract.
The civil lawsuits were brought upon by an independent panel on behalf of the AHTC against its town councillors over an alleged breach of fiduciary duties, accusing the town councillors of "breaching their duty of care and skill ... in tort".
Former Workers' Party (WP) Secretary-General Low Thia Khiang, present WP Secretary-General and town council chairman Mr Pritam Singh, vice-chairperson Ms Sylvia Lim, were among the defendants named in the civil lawsuits.
Former member of the WP Youth Wing executive committee Mr Chua Zhi Hon, deputy organising secretary of the WP and WP candidate for Nee Soon GRC in General Election 2015 Mr Kenneth Foo Seck Guan, owner of the town council's former managing agent firm FMSS, Ms How Weng Fan, and FMSS itself were also among the defendants named in the lawsuit.
In addition, the defendants were queried about the S$33.7 million paid to FMSS and its service provider, FM Solutions & Integrated Services, and were ordered to make up for any alleged improper payments.