Duo behind managing agent long linked to WP and Hougang Town Council

They are known as the couple who set up FM Solutions and Services (FMSS) in 2011 to take on the role of managing agent at Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council (AHPETC).

But Ms How Weng Fan and her husband, Mr Danny Loh Chong Meng, had cut their teeth in estate management years ago, at the former Hougang Town Council.

Working for Workers' Party (WP) chief Low Thia Khiang since the 1990s, Ms How rose up the ranks from estate manager to secretary of the town council.

Mr Loh, meanwhile, was providing lift maintenance and rescue services to the town council.

The couple are long-time WP supporters, and were assentor and proposer to the WP candidates who contested Ang Mo Kio GRC in the 2006 General Election.

An Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority check shows that they are also linked to a number of estate management and property companies.

Besides being a shareholder at FMSS, Mr Loh is also the sole owner of FM Solutions and Integrated Services and a director of DTZ Debenham Tie Leung Property Management Services. Ms How, meanwhile, is an owner of Everbloom Property Services.

The majority-owners of FMSS, who are also employees of AHPETC, came under scrutiny by the Auditor-General's Office (AGO) over their dual roles.

The AGO said AHPETC had not properly managed the conflicts of interest that arose from this arrangement, and this plagued transactions worth $25.9 million between the town council and FMSS. But the town council said it had not hidden any material information on the links.

Among areas of concern the AGO flagged was a contract for lift services that FMSS was awarded in 2012. AHPETC had not called a tender for it, citing time constraints, and had set up a committee of four town councillors to assess the fee proposed by FMSS.

But while FMSS promised to charge rates similar to those of former contractors, it quoted a fee 30 per cent higher. As a result, AHPETC ended up overpaying for the service, AGO said.

The town council said the mistake had happened as FMSS had "used the wrong unit multiplier" to compute prices. It has since recovered $122,411.98 from FMSS in the form of a credit note.

Yesterday, the couple could not be reached for comment.

yuenc@sph.com.sg