Wednesday, 14 days into the Aljunied-Hougang Town Council (AHTC) trial, Senior Counsel Davinder Singh called the effort of the defendants – to draw parallels between how FM Solutions and Services (FMSS) and CPG Facilities Management both did not disclose the interests of their shareholders – ‘disingenuous.’
He also told former Workers Party Member of Parliament Sylvia Lim, before the court, “You have no qualms lying.”
Jeffrey Chua, then director of CPG, the former managing agent of Aljunied Town Council under the People’s Action Party (PAP), had on June 2, 2010, declared his interest during a town council meeting, while he was yet functioning as secretary and general manager.
At that time, Mr.Singh said, the shareholding options of Mr Chua were only 0.0015 percent. This is stark in contrast to How Weng Fan and the late Danny Loh, the owners of FMSS, who together held a majority 70 percent stake when FMSS was awarded contracts to be the managing agent in 2011 and 2012. At that point Ms. How and Mr. Low were officeholders at the Aljunied-Hougang Town Council (AHTC), run by the Workers’ Party (WP).
Back then Mr. Loh was the secretary, and Ms. How was general manager and deputy secretary.
The trial came about because of two lawsuits filed by Pasir Ris-Punggol Town Council (PRPTC) as well as an independent panel in AHTC’s behalf, alleging that improper payments had been made to FMSS and other service providers.
Senior Counsel Chelva Rajah, lawyer for Ms. Sylvia Lim, who is one of the defendants in the trial, had said that if Mr. Loh and Ms. How were considered as “conflicted,” then so should Mr. Chua.
Mr. Rajah had, earlier in the trial, alleged that Mr. Chua also had a “profit motive” since he also held options for above 600 shares and rights for more than 200 shares in Downer EDI, which was the “ultimate shareholder of CPG.
Mr. Singh said, “What the defendants have sought to do is to disingenuously draw a parallel between Jeffrey Chua, yet, as plain from the documents, there is a disclosure of interest when there was none in the case of FMSS.”
“That attempt to draw that parallel was made in circumstances where there was a disclosure of interest by Jeffrey Chua to the town council, but there was no disclosure of Mr. Loh, Ms. How, and the others’ ownership interest to the town council, correct?”
Ms. Lim eventually admitted that Mr. Loh’s and Ms. How’s interests had never been disclosed to the town council.
Mr. Singh told her: “Ms. Lim, if that disclosure of interest was of all of his (Mr. Chua’s) interest, then the attempt to draw the parallel is disingenuous.”
Ms. Lim repeated the word “If” after Mr. Singh.
Which led him to tell her, “So you see, Ms. Lim, as you have been giving evidence to this court in your defense, in Parliament, in your media statements, you have no qualms lying.”
Ms. Lim promptly rejected this statement.
Mr. Singh finished cross-examining Ms. Lim by Wednesday, October 24, after which the head of the Worker’s Party, Pritam Singh, was expected to be called to the stand.