Singapore—On Monday, March 4, Workers’ Party (WP) leader Pritam Singh posted the reply submissions in their high-profile AHTC case on his Facebook account, on behalf of himself, Sylvia Lim and Low Thia Khiang.
Mr Singh, Ms Lim, and Mr Low are fellow WP MPs and co-defendants in the case.
These reply submissions had been submitted in court on Friday, March 1.
The WP leader’s post is entitled “The Unrebutted Evidence of the Town Councillors.”
In the AHTC case, in order for the complainants to win, there has to be proof that the appointment of FMSS and other third-party contractors, as well as payments made to them, had been done with impropriety. In light of this, Mr Singh listed evidence from the Town Councillors that had yet to be refuted.
Upon WP’s election to Aljunied GRC, the existing Managing Agent requested to cease its position.
- Ms Lim had acted in accordance with the authority given her by the Town Council in order to oversee the hand over when she appointed and paid FMSS (FM Solutions and Services), which had taken over as managing agent.
3. FMSS was the only bidder when a tender was called in 2012 for the 2nd MA Contract and 2nd EMSU Contract.
4. It was Action Information Management Pte Ltd (AIM) that actually terminated the provision of the Town Council Management System in June 2011.
5. After September 30, 2011, the EMSU contractors, CPG and EM Services had no intention of further providing EMSU services.
Concerning the appointment and payment of FMSS and third-party contractors, Mr Singh’s statement contained the following points:
- All contractors (FMSS, FMSI, and others) performed the services they were hired to do
2. All contractors (FMSS, FMSI, and others) received payment according to their contracts, with rates that were deemed reasonable to the Town Councillors and/or set by former contractors
3. All payments and appointments followed TC’s processes.
The AHTC trial ran for 17 days last October and was closely followed by many. It involves a lawsuit filed against five town councillors for the Workers’ Party (WP), which included Low Thia Khiang, Sylvia Lim, and Pritam Singh as well as AHTC town councillors Kenneth Foo and Chua Zhi Hon. The five stand accused of transgressing their fiduciary duties when they appointed FM Solutions and Services (FMSS) as AHTC’s managing agent.
Another allegation in the case is that the managing agent was hired without the proper tender process.
In their reply submission, AHTC’s town councillors’ lawyers wrote, “No evidence was called by the plaintiffs in support of their case that (previous managing agent) CPG did not request to be released. The defendants’ evidence that CPG had requested to be released stands unrebutted.”
Furthermore, they claimed that PwC partner Goh Thien Phong and KPMG executive director Owen Hawkes were not independent experts.
Shook Lin & Bok, lawyers for AHTC, claimed that Ms Lim, Mr Low and, or possibly, or, Mr Singh had instructed AHTC to appoint KPMG, since the Court of Appeal had in March 2016 ordered them to procure an accountant to examine the books.
According to Shook Lin & Bok, “This exposes the present allegations of partisanship on Mr Hawkes’ part as a mere afterthought, raised as an unjustifiable attempt to taint the credibility of his evidence and the KPMG Report.”
The lawyers added that they were liable under the Town Councils Act and Town Councils Financial Rules. One portion of the Act protects personal liability in cases of good faith. A major argument by the defense is that they did indeed act in good faith.
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