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Workers’ Party leaders and town councilors file appeal in AHTC case

Sylvia Lim, Low Thia Khiang and Pritam Singh filed a notice to appeal on Nov 11

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Workers’ Party (WP) leaders Sylvia Lim, Low Thia Khiang and Pritam Singh have filed a notice to appeal in the case of misuse of funds by Aljunied Hougang Town Council (AHTC). Two Pasir Ris-Punggol Town Council (PRPTC) also joined WP leaders in filing the appeal.

According to a statement by Sylvia Lim on Monday (Nov 11), the court had accepted the notice to appeal.

The recently delivered verdict of High Court Judge Kannan Ramesh, wherein he called out Ms Lim and Mr Low for improper and dishonest conduct.

The Judge said that the WP MPs “acted dishonestly” and were “in breach of their fiduciary duties,” which Mr Heng’s motion reiterated, adding that Ms Lim and Mr Low’s behavior “lacked integrity and candour”.

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The motion also said, “Ms Lim and Mr Low were fully aware that their conduct was of questionable legality,” and asks the Members of Parliament to “affirm the vital importance of MPs maintaining high standards of integrity and accountability”.

The two WP MPs maintain positions in the AHTC, with Mr Low being an elected member of the town council and Ms Lim its Vice-Chairperson.

The town council was found to have paid millions in improper payments under the WP MP’s oversight.

On October 11, the High Court Judge said that Ms Lim and Mr Low had placed their own political interests over the interest of their constituents when they awarded contracts to FM Solutions & Services and FM Solutions and Integrated Services (FMSI) without calling a tender.

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, 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.

Last Tuesday (Nov 5), Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat introduced a motion in Parliament calling on AHTC to require Ms Lim and Mr Low to “recuse themselves” from all financial matters related to the town council.

The motion was passed with 52 MPs supporting it, nine opposing it and two abstentions. /TISG

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