Civil rights activist Jolovan Wham has released a statement on his Facebook page today (22 May) apologising for a statement he made in a comment on the social media platform about Manpower Minister and Second Minister for Home Affairs Josephine Teo on 16 May.
In the statement, Mr Wham said: “My statement alleged and is understood to mean that Mrs Josephine Teo, the Minister for Manpower and Second Minister for Home Affairs, ad acted improperly and corruptly in relation to the development of emergency housing facilities by Surbana Jurong Pte Ltd.”
The statement continued, “I admit and acknowledge that these allegations are false and completely without foundation. I apologised unreservedly to Mrs Josephine Teo for making them.”
Mr Wham went on to say that he has removed the statement and undertakes “not to publish any further statements on this, or to make any allegations to the same minister or similar effect, in any manner whatsoever.”
Ms Teo said statement made about her and her husband are defamatory; demanded retractions and apologies
On Wednesday (20 May) Ms Teo sent two letters of demand—one to Mr Wham and another to a person name Donald Liew—via her lawyers to withdraw statements made about her and her husband which are said to be defamatory.
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 being utilised as a care centre to house patients with early symptoms of COVID-19 as well as those who are recovering from the infection.
In a statement issued via Ms Teo’s lawyer, she 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’s husband, Mr Teo Eng Cheong is the CEO of Subrana Jurong.
In the statement, Ms Teo also stated that she will not proceed further on the matter if the allegations made are retracted and apologies are isued.
“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 However, I do not intend to pursue the matter further, or to claim damages, if the allegations are publicly withdrawn, and apologies given,” she said.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.”
Subsequently on the same day, Facebook user Donald Liew issued an apology 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”.