AHTC lawsuit: Workers' Party MPs say they will contest lawsuit, and 'have not benefited a single cent'

(From left) Mr Low Thia Khiang, Mr Pritam Singh and Ms Sylvia Lim.
(From left) Mr Low Thia Khiang, Mr Pritam Singh and Ms Sylvia Lim.PHOTOS: SHIN MIN, ST FILE, LIANHE ZAOBAO

SINGAPORE - The three Workers' Party MPs at the center of the lawsuit brought by Aljunied-Hougang Town Council (AHTC) have rejected the allegations that they acted in breach of their fiduciary duties.

Party chief Low Thia Khiang, town council vice-chairman Sylvia Lim and chairman Pritam Singh said they acted in good faith and in the best interests of the residents, in a joint statement sent to the media on Wednesday (July 26).

The Aljunied GRC MPs said they would contest the lawsuit, which was filed against them by the town council. It had been served on them the night before (July 25), following the work of an independent panel that had been tasked with looking into improper payments made by AHTC.

The lawsuit alleged, among other things, that Mr Low and Ms Lim acted in breach of their fiduciary duties and duties of care and skill owed to AHTC.

It also accused them of setting a faulty system which allowed the appointment of FM Solutions and Services (FMSS), which was the town council's former managing agent firm.

This made it possible for FMSS and their officers to benefit themselves, said a statement of claim obtained by The Straits Times.

Additionally, the lawsuit alleged that the MPs entered into contracts with architects in breach of duties owed to AHTC.

In response, the WP MPs said: "Our reply to all these allegations is NO."

"We are taking legal advice and will contest the lawsuit and lay out our case vigorously in court," they added.

Mr Low and Ms Lim were also asked to account for the profits made from the appointment of FMSS or pay damages not less than $1.25 million.

"We have not benefitted a single cent," they said in the statement.

Ms Lim and Mr Singh were also asked to pay damages of $2.8 million for the wrongful appointment of architects, the statement noted.

"The WP MPs have acted in good faith and in the best interests of the Town Council and our residents," they said.

"In the course of these proceedings, we will be furnishing more information so that all concerned will be clearer on the issues and why we made the decisions and acted as we did."

Law firm Tan Rajah and Cheah has been engaged to defend the claim for the three MPs, as well as the two other defendants Chua Zhi Hon and Kenneth Foo, who are appointed members of the town council.

The last two defendants are Ms How Weng Fan, who is the owner of FMSS, and FMSS itself.

The independent panel has asked Mr Low and Ms Lim, Ms How and FMSS to account for more than $33 million, for payments made to FMSS from July 15, 2011 to July 14, 2015.

It contends that the payments are void as the town councillors had breached their fiduciary duties, and is claiming equitable compensation for any losses suffered.