Home News AHTC Trial Day 16: FMSS head doubted about Sylvia Lim’s competence, telling...

AHTC Trial Day 16: FMSS head doubted about Sylvia Lim’s competence, telling KPMG staffer ‘the town council would die’

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A recorded phone conversation in 2016 between How Weng Fan, majority owner of AHTC managing agent FMSS, and a staff member from auditing firm KPMG revealed Ms. How’s doubt and distrust concerning the competence of former Workers Party head Sylvia Lim.

Ms. Low is also the former Deputy Secretary of Aljunied-Hougang Town Council as well as former Secretary of Hougang Town Council (HTC). She and her husband, the late Danny Loh, started FMSS (FM Solutions & Services) together and were also longtime supporters of the Workers Party.

The high profile trial revolves around supposedly improper payments that the town council made from 2011 and 2015 to FMSS stemming from a lawsuit brought by the Pasir Ris-Punggol Town Council (PRPTC) and an independent panel acting on behalf of AHTC. The eight defendants in the suit include Ms. How, Ms. Lim, two other Workers Party MPs, Low Thia Khiang and Pritam Singh, and a few others.

Davinder Singh, the senior counsel representing PRPTC, asked Ms. How about a conversation she had on the phone two years ago with an employee from KPMG. The employee had called Ms. How to talk about the findings of KPMG’s audit report.

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Mr. Singh read aloud portions of the conversation, wherein Ms. How called Ms. Lim as town council chairman, “hopeless,” “inexperienced,” and “so scared of everything.”

Ms. How also said that under Ms. Lim’s leadership the town council would die.

The majority owner of FMSS also alleged that Ms. Lim had kept back information about “improper payments” to KPMG and that the former WP chairman wanted to do away with Action Information Management (AIM)’s computer system.

Read related: AHTC trial Day 14: Davinder Singh to Sylvia Lim, “You have no qualms lying.”

Moreover, Ms. How had told the KPMG staffer that she had thought of asking former WP chief Low Thia Khiang to replace Ms. Lim as chairperson of the town council, alleging that he had “played out” Ms. How since he had installed an MP without experience as the head of the town council.

Ms. How also said to the KPMG employer, “From Day One, when I knew that she was going to be the chairman… oh dear, the town council is going to die. She will do things to protect herself only. Then I told (Mr. Low) you have to replace her… (to straighten out the town council). He doesn’t want to listen.”
According to Ms. How, by not defending her, the town council was “digging (its) grave.” She said she would not hesitate to tell all about the WP MPs, and that all that the PAP (People’s Action Party) needed to do was ask her about this.

Concerning Ms. Lim’s lack of disclosure about payments to the Housing and Development Board (HDB) for elevator services, Ms. How said, “The fact that the payments made to HDB were for lifts and services (that were) not rendered… these were improper and should (be) raised to KPMG to look into.”
In a dramatic turn, Ms. How even blamed the death of her husband Danny Loh, who died an accidental death in 2015, on Ms. Lim. “You know I had to lose my husband… because of her.”

Apparently, Ms. How and Mr. Loh went through a very stressful period to set up the town council and had to face audits and the Auditor-General’s Office (AGO).

“Because of the AGO report… (Ms. Lim) felt compelled to impose liquidated damages on us,” Ms. How lamented. These liquidated damages cost  S$250,000.

Ms. How also recounted that her husband had been working on the bonuses for staff members of FMSS when he passed away due to a heart attack while on vacation in Japan.

Ms. How will be called back to continue her testimony on October 30, Tuesday.

 

 

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