AHTC Independent Panel takes Workers’ Party Top Brass to Court over Improper Payments

Posted on Jul 26 2017 - 10:59am by Redwire Singapore

redwire-singapore-sylvia-lim-low-thia-khian-wpAHTC Independent Panel takes Workers’ Party Top Brass to Court over Improper Payments

The independent panel which was appointed by Aljunied-Hougang Town Council to look into the issue of improper payments is taking the town council’s heads to court.

These include Workers’ Party chief Low Thia Khiang, party and town council chairman Sylvia Lim, and town council vice-chairman Pritam Singh.

The 3 WP MPs were served a statement of claim yesterday evening while the writ of summons regarding a breach of fiduciary duty was filed last Friday by AHTC in the High Court.

Acting on behalf of AHTC, the independent panel is seeking to claim S$622,593.78 in liquidated claims from multiple parties, as well as S$4,167,501.71 in unliquidated claims.

Besides the three Aljunied GRC MPs, other defendants named are: Mr Chua Zhi Hon, a former member of the WP Youth Wing executive committee; Mr Kenneth Foo, deputy organising secretary of the WP and WP candidate in Nee Soon GRC in the 2015 General Election; Ms How Weng Fan, owner of the town council’s former managing agent firm FM Solutions and Services (FMSS); and FMSS.

A pre-trial conference date of 31 Aug has been listed.

The independent panel is taking legal action on behalf of AHTC to recover improper payments made from town council funds.

In a report last year, audit firm KPMG found that governance lapses at AHTC between 2011 and 2015 had put public funds running into millions of dollars at risk of improper use.

Some of the improper payments to AHTC’s then managing agent FMSS.

Ms How and her late husband, Mr Danny Loh, were owners of FMSS and held key management and financial control positions in the town council at the same time.

The KPMG report said that this meant they effectively approved and made payments to themselves when they paid FMSS.

The independent panel was appointed by AHTC in February at the behest of the HDB.

It is chaired by senior counsel Philip Jeyaretnam, and comprises senior counsel N. Sreenivasan and KPMG managing partner Ong Pang Thye.

 

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