Lately, Surbana Jurong Private Limited has caught the public’s attention as a series of social media posts raised questions about how this particular firm was involved in constructing the Community Care Facility (CCF) to cater to the COVID-19 patients in Singapore.
Yesterday (19 May), Surbana Jurong released a statement denying claims that suggested the urban and infrastructure firm was involved in proliferating and corruption in the construction of one of the CCFs in Singapore. The firm claimed that they were being “called upon” to build the CCFs.
It was earlier revealed that the CEO of Surbana Jurong Group, Teo Eng Cheong, is the husband of Manpower Minister Josephine Teo. The statement did make mention about this fact, neither did it address the issue of whether a tender had been called for the project at Expo.
Regarding the firm’s refute, the chief of People’s Voice (PV), Lim Tean, had written a Facebook post earlier today (20 May). He insisted that citizens have “every right” to question about possible conflicts of interest over Surbana Jurong’s role in CCFs.
Mr Lim believed that Singaporeans should not be intimidated by the firm’s “threat to sue scurrilous attacks”, especially with reference to the case about the CCFs.
Apart from recalling that the purpose of these CCFs was due to the boom of the COVID-19 cases among the migrant workers’ dormitories, he accused Ms Teo of being incompetent and “directly involved” in the mishandled disaster.
“These CCFs came about because of the explosion of Covid-19 cases in the foreign workers’ dormitories. The Minister directly involved is of course Josephine Teo. PV has repeatedly demanded for her resignation because of her gross incompetence in the whole affair.”
Mr Lim proceeded to state that the construction of CCFs and how Surbana Jurong was “called upon” by Temasek to set up the Facilities, suggested a conflict of interest.
Besides describing the entire issue revolving Surbana Jurong, Mr Lim mentioned that the firm is an urban and infrastructure consultancy. It implies that this particular firm would have to engage other Contractors to set up and manage the CCFs.
He went on to question why would Temasek “called upon” Surbana Jurong, and not other consultancies available. Assuming that Surbana Jurong did not provide their services for free, Mr Lim figured “calling upon” the firm would make people wonder about the underlying intentions.
“It’s “calling upon” Surbana Jurong was bound to raise many eyebrows, given that Surbana Jurong is not rendering their services for free in this instance, I assume.”
Commenting that Surbana Jurong should have just “recused” themselves, Mr Lim thought it would have been the “right course of action”.
Other than that, the PV chief mentioned that Temasek could have approached other companies to set up and manage the CCFs, and questioned why this step was not done.
“In Singapore, we have many companies which Temasek could have approached to set up and manage the CCFs. Why was this not done? If these companies had in turn decided to appoint Surbana Jurong as their consultant, then that is their business.”
Mr Lim concluded his post by calling for the matter to be brought up in Parliament.
“This matter should definitely be pursued by the WP in Parliament. I would if I am an MP!”