First day of trial for lawsuits against Workers' Party MPs
Workers' Party secretary-general Pritam Singh (centre) and chairman Sylvia Lim (right) arrive at the High Court on Friday (Oct 5). (Photo: Hani Amin)
SINGAPORE: The civil lawsuits brought by the Aljunied-Hougang Town Council (AHTC) and Pasir Ris-Punggol Town Council (PRPTC) against three Workers’ Party Members of Parliament over an alleged breach of fiduciary duties went to trial on Friday (Oct 5).
Among the defendants named in the suits are MPs Low Thia Khiang, Sylvia Lim and Pritam Singh.
READ: AHTC-appointed independent panel files lawsuit against Workers' Party MPs over 'improper' payments
The others are AHTC councillors Chua Zhi Hon, Kenneth Foo Seck Guan and How Weng Fan. The town council's former managing agent FM Solutions and Services (FMSS), and its owner Danny Loh, who died in 2015, are also named as defendants.
Workers' Party secretary-general Pritam Singh (left) and chairman Sylvia Lim (right) arrive at the High Court on Friday (Oct 5). (Photo: Hani Amin)
Some members of the public arrived as early as 7am, with a short queue forming outside the courtroom by around 8.30am. Non-Constituency MP Daniel Goh was also spotted entering the courts at around 9am.
making “improper payments” of more than S$33 million to FMSS and its service provider, FM Solutions and Integrated Services. They are also accused of deciding that Ms How, who was then the deputy secretary and general manager of the town council, would set up and incorporate FMSS with her husband Mr Loh, the secretary of AHTC at the time.
The independent panel was set up in February 2017 to review the findings of a KPMG report. The report said that the town council had “serious flaws” in governance and made improper payments amounting to millions of dollars to third parties.
In September 2017, PRPTC filed a similar suit against the councillors, seeking claims and reliefs pertaining to Punggol East. Punggol East was previously managed by the WP after it won a by-election in 2013. The WP lost the single-member constituency in the 2015 General Election, and PRPTC took over management of the ward.
READ: Pasir Ris-Punggol Town Council initiates legal action against AHTC councillorsAHTC is represented by Shook Lin & Bok, while PRPTC is represented by Drew and Napier. The WP members are represented by Tan Rajah & Cheah, while Netto & Magin is representing FMSS and Ms How, who is the personal representative of her late husband Mr Loh.The trial, which is expected to run until Nov 2, continues.