Workers’ Party (WP) parliamentarians Low Thia Khiang, Sylvia Lim and Pritam Singh have been found liable for damages suffered by the Aljunied-Hougang Town Council (AHTC).
Between July 2011 to July 2015, AHTC had paid at least S$33.7 million to their town council managing agent FM Solutions & Services (FMSS), which was appointed without tender. Mr Low was the secretary-general of the WP at that time while Ms Lim had chaired AHTC, with Mr Pritam serving as a member of the town council’s committee for tenders and contracts.
In his judgment released today (11 Oct), High Court Judge Kannan Ramesh said that Mr Low and Ms Lim had breached their fiduciary duties to AHTC and that Mr Pritam breached his duties of skill and care to the town council. Judge Kannan said:
“Their conduct was improper and the attempt to cloak the same with a veneer of truth and credibility collectively leads to the conclusion that they had not acted honestly and therefore breached their duty of unflinching loyalty to AHTC as fiduciaries.”
The case is set to move on to a second set of hearings to determine the quantum of damages suffered by AHTC and how much is recoverable from the parliamentarians. The MPs can also appeal the High Court’s decision.
Unless the WP MPs are unable to pay the damages, it is unlikely that the judgment will affect their parliamentary positions since the lawsuit arises from civil proceedings. If they are unable to pay up, they will be made bankrupt and lose their seats in parliament. -/TISG