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PRPTC resident questions town council on decision to spend on non-estate expenses without asking residents, by engaging SC Davinder Singh

Mr Augustin Lee Zixu, former People's Power Party candidate for Chua Chu Kang GRC in GE2011, posed several questions regarding the source of funding in relation to the legal fees incurred by the Pasir Ris-Punggol Town Council (PRPTC) in the high-profile lawsuit against three Workers' Party (WP) Members of Parliament (MPs) who are town councillors of Aljunied Hougang Town Council (AHTC).

Mr Lee, in his Facebook post on Friday (2 Nov), shared an email which was written by his friend who is a resident of PRPTC to her town council.

She wrote the following questions:

1. Can the TC choose to spend big amount on whatever non estate expenses depending on their own wishes without informing the residents?

2. Can the TC withhold information on big expenses from their residents?

3. Did the TC gather 3 quotations before deciding on which lawyer to choose?

4. Did the TC breach any TC rules and regulations?

The questions arose as his friend wanted "to ask if any funds are used for the lawsuit, as they have engaged one of the most expensive lawyers [in Singapore]," referring to Senior Counsel Davinder Singh of the law firm, Drew & Napier.

However, Mr Lee said, "they did not reply to her emails after 2 weeks," and that PRPTC only responded after his friend had made repeated phone calls, to which they stated that they "will not reply when the court case is ongoing."

"Please help to share as we need more accountability in handling of residents money," concluded Mr Lee in his post.

Several commenters seem to concur with his post, and appear to share the same suspicions regarding the source of funding for PRPTC's legal fees:

Previously in 2014, SC Singh, who is a former PAP Member of Parliament, represented billionaire and founder of budget hotel chain Fragrance Hotel James Koh Wee Meng in a civil lawsuit against Trans Eurokars, in which it was stated that his legal fees amounted to more than S$2 million.

Mr Koh initiated the lawsuit against Trans Eurokars over "a Rolls-Royce Phantom limousine," which he deemed to have "made loud noises and vibrated when making three-point turns".

Given the trial between AHTC and PRPTC transpires over a longer period of time and over 10,000 pages of legal documents produced by both sides of the suit, one has to ponder about the eventual legal bill that will come out from SC Singh's law firm to the PRPTC.