Surbana Jurong Private Limited said that it was “called upon” to quickly construct Community Care Facilities (CCFs) to house patients with early symptoms of COVID-19 and those recovering from it in Singapore.
In a media statement released on Tuesday (19 May), the urban and infrastructure consulting firm also refuted claims stating that it was involved in profiteering and corruption in the construction of one of the CCFs at Singapore Expo.
“Unfortunately, our involvement in Singapore Expo has been most unfairly subjected to unfounded accusations of profiteering and corruption in some social media posts,” Surbana Jurong said.
It continued, “These allegations are not only untrue, they are disrespectful of our colleagues who have made enormous sacrifices, including putting their health at risk, to deliver the projects under challenging conditions, for the benefit of our community”, adding that it will “not hesitate to take legal action against any perpetrator who continues to make scurrilous attacks” against the company.
Recently, a post about Manpower Minister Josephine Teo made rounds on WhatsApp about questionable benefits from the creation of CCFs, particularly the one at Singapore Expo. This is because the project was awarded to Surbana Jurong and her husband, Teo Eng Cheong, is the CEO of Surbana Jurong Group.
As of 2016, Surbana Jurong is wholly owned by Temasek which is headed by Ho Ching, spouse of PM Lee.
In the statement, the company explained that in the last two months it had been providing technical services to different government agencies involved in the setting up and running of CCFs, which is part of the Ministry of Health’s public health strategy to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
As such, it said that its shareholder Temasek engaged some companies under its portfolio that would be able to offer specialist support, and is ready to step up to support.
“Surbana Jurong was called upon to help quickly develop facilities. In March 2020, we were asked to identify and study possible locations. We explored various sites and found Singapore Expo, with its existing mechanical and electrical (M&E) infrastructure and extensive indoor space, to be large enough and fit for purpose,” it stated.
It added, “As Singapore Expo is also a Temasek portfolio company and was already engaged to support this initiative, Surbana Jurong was immediately able to embark on converting Singapore Expo into the first CCF.”
As such, the company noted that it formed a team of 50 people, consisting of healthcare planners, architects, M&E engineers, project managers and procurement staff, to set up 10 halls with 8,000 beds in four weeks.
“It was no mean task, and required tremendous dedication, focus and long hours of hard work,” Surbana Jurong expressed.
The company also pointed out that it is “proud and happy” to play an important role in projects that serve the nation’s interests.
“In service of the community, we will continue to provide our expertise to projects related to managing the COVID-19 crisis on a cost-recovery basis.
“Surbana Jurong remains focused on supporting Singapore’s efforts to contain COVID-19, and demonstrating the nation’s resolve to helping those affected by the pandemic.”
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