Manpower Minister Josephine Teo has sent letters of demand to two people on Wednesday (20 May) to withdraw statements made about her and her husband — which are said to be defamatory.
The legal letters were sent to civil rights activist Jolovan Wham and another person by the name Donald Liew through the Minister’s lawyers.
Ms Teo explained that the statements, which highlighted about the development of quarantine centres for COVID-19 patients at Singapore Expo Convention and Exhibition Centre by Surbana Jurong, were “untrue, scurrilous and completely baseless”.
Singapore Expo is one of the few care centres created to house patients with early symptoms of COVID-19 as well as those who are recovering from the virus. All 10 halls in this premise has be transformed into a well-equipped care unit with a total capacity of 8,000 beds.
In the statement issued via her lawyers, Ms Teo said: “On these projects, Surbana Jurong dealt directly with the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Ministry of National Development (MND).”
She added, “Neither my spouse not I have any involvement with the commissioning of these projects or the monetary transactions.”
Ms Teo also stated that she will not proceed further on the matter if the allegations are retracted and an apology is given.
“I understand that I am legally entitled to substantial damages for these serious and baseless allegations. However, I do not intend to pursue the matter further, or to claim damages, if the allegations are publicly withdrawn, and apologies given,” she said.
She continued, “This has been made clear in my lawyers’ letters. The letters also require the two persons to make a donation of S$1,000 each to the Migrant Workers’ Assistance Fund.”
Following this, on Wednesday, Facebook user Donald Liew has apologised to Ms Teo for falsely accusing her and her husband for corruption.
He said in a Facebook post that he “apologies unreservedly” to the Minister and admitted that “these allegations are false and completely without foundation”.
However, Mr Wham has not come forward with any statement at the time of writing.