The three Workers' Party Members of Parliament who are being sued being sued by the Pasir Ris-Punggol Town Council (PRPTC) and an independent panel acting on behalf of the Aljunied-Hougang Town Council (AHTC) over an alleged breach of fiduciary duties as town councillors have managed to raise close to $500,000, following their appeal to the public through their blog, "In Good Faith."
As of 10 p.m. yesterday (25 Oct), the trio has raised $477,653 from 2,832 contributors.
In a statement today (26 Oct), the Workers' Party has issued a statement declaring that they are not in any way involved in the fundraising.
The Party said in its Facebook post that "the three MPs are undertaking a private fundraising effort," and cautioned the public against "donating money to any persons claiming to represent the Workers’ Party."
Additionally, WP had also urged "supporters not to use the Workers’ Party logo or make any claims to represent the Party in their personal efforts to promote the private fundraising."
On Wednesday (24 Oct), the WP MPs – former secretary-general Low Thia Khiang, current secretary-general Pritam Singh, and chairperson Sylvia Lim – appealed to the public to assist them in funding their ongoing legal costs for the lawsuit, stressing that the allegations made against them are "unfounded."
They reiterated what they have stated in the court hearings - that they "have acted in good faith," acted what they believed to be in "the best interests" of their residents and the Town Council itself.
"We have mounted rigorous defences in the two suits, and engaged a legal team from M/s Tan Rajah & Cheah.
"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," stressed the trio. If the three MPs are to be made bankrupt, there is a high chance that they will lose their parliamentary seats.
From the start of the trial, the three WP MPs have been funding their legal costs using their "personal savings," and also by "contributions from friends," adding that they "have not used any funds from the Workers’ Party."
"The total we have paid to our own lawyers to date is close to $600,000, covering the work done before the trial. The costs incurred so far have depleted our personal resources.
"We need financial resources to fight the legal battle and to deal with the prospect of being made a bankrupt."
The trio received $65,196 in monetary contributions as of 10 p.m. on Wednesday (24 Oct).
The three WP MPs took the opportunity to express their gratitude towards the contributors, adding: "Every contribution, large and small, counts."
Contributions to the WP MPs can be made through the following channels:
• PayNow to +65 9852 5901 (Sylvia’s public line)
• Internet fund transfer to UOB account no. 396 309 388 6
• Cheque made payable to any one of the three WP MPs: Lim Swee Lian Sylvia, Low Thia Khiang, or Pritam Singh
Alternatively, contributors may reach them through post at “My Mail Box 882560 Singapore 919191,” or arrange to meet them in person by contacting them at [email protected]
"If it is convenient, please include your email address so that we can thank you," wrote the WP MPs.
The three WP MPs and two other town councillors are being sued by the Pasir Ris-Punggol Town Council (PRPTC) and an independent panel acting on behalf of the Aljunied-Hougang Town Council (AHTC) for allegedly making "improper" payments worth S$33.7 million to managing agent FM Solutions and Services and other third-party service providers between 2011 and 2015.
Both suits allege that the defendants have failed in their duties, and are liable to pay damages to the two town councils amounting to more than $30 million. The town councillors, however, were not accused of personally pocketing the sums themselves.