Activist Jolovan Wham apologised to Manpower Minister Josephine Teo today (22 May) after the ruling party politician sent a legal letter to Mr Wham asking him to withdraw and apologise for making allegations of profiteering and corruption against her.
Last week, Mr Wham and Facebook user Donald Liew shared posts that Mrs Teo may be involved in the Government’s decision to commission Surbana Jurong Pte Ltd to develop COVID care facilities, since her husband Teo Eng Cheong is the CEO (International) of the firm.
Mrs Teo also refuted the allegations, in a statement issued by Allen & Gledhill on her behalf on Wednesday (20 May). Calling the claims “untrue, scurrilous and completely baseless.” Mrs Teo asserted: “Neither my spouse nor I have any involvement with the commissioning of these projects or the monetary transactions.”
The Minister also instructed her lawyers to send formal letters of demand to the two men who made the claims asking them to withdraw the allegations. Mrs Teo added that she will not claim damages or pursue the matter further if the claims are withdrawn and she receives apologies from the two men:
“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 However, I do not intend to pursue the matter further, or to claim damages, if the allegations are publicly withdrawn, and apologies given. This has been made clear in my lawyers’ letters.”
While she does not intend to claim damages, the Minister asked both persons to donate S$1,000 each to the Migrant Workers’ Assistance Fund.
Mr Liew was the first to withdraw the allegations and apologise. Mr Wham has now apologised to the Minister as well.
In a signed statement published on his Facebook page, Mr Wham said that his post had alleged that the Manpower Minister acted improperly or corruptly in relation to the development of the COVID care facilities by Surbana Jurong. Accepting that the allegations are “false and completely without foundation,” Mr Wham apologised unreservedly and undertook not to publish similar claims in the future.