AHTC lawsuits

AHTC trial: FMSS not 'locked in' as managing agent, says ex-WP chief

Former Workers' Party chief Low Thia Khiang arriving at the Supreme Court, on Oct 18, 2018.
Former Workers' Party chief Low Thia Khiang arriving at the Supreme Court, on Oct 18, 2018.PHOTO: ST FILE

Former Workers' Party (WP) chief Low Thia Khiang clarified yesterday that he had not agreed to a previous assertion by Senior Counsel Davinder Singh that FM Solutions & Services (FMSS) had been "locked in" as the managing agent of the opposition-run town council.

Instead, when he replied in the affirmative, it was to the first part of Mr Singh's question.

The question put to Mr Low was whether he had said that none of three experienced companies would have been prepared to provide managing agent services to the Aljunied-Hougang Town Council (AHTC), and that FMSS was "locked in" as AHTC's agent.

His clarification was made when he was re-examined by his own lawyer Chelva Rajah.

Senior Counsel Rajah had asked him what his answer was to the second part of Mr Singh's question - on whether FMSS was locked in.

Mr Low replied: "No."

Yesterday, Mr Rajah also sought to establish that a hypothetical scenario put to Mr Low by Mr Singh on Wednesday was not realistic.

 
 
 

Mr Singh had said that it seems Mr Low would have rejected a cheaper tenderer with more experience than FMSS and more qualified staff - if it did not fulfil one condition. And that condition is that it must hire the existing staff of WP-run Hougang Town Council, because Mr Low's overriding concern was their employment.

Mr Low had replied: "Yes."

Yesterday, Mr Rajah asked Mr Low if, in reality, he expected any of the established companies to put in such a tender.

Before Mr Low could answer, Mr Singh objected, saying that was a different question and not a clarification of Mr Low's earlier reply.

Justice Kannan Ramesh noted that the thrust of Mr Singh's question had been whether Mr Low's overarching consideration was the employment of the Hougang staff, suggesting the clarification was not relevant.

To this, Mr Rajah replied: "The relevance of my question is to show that the hypothetical is, in fact, a non-existent (one)."

Mr Singh interjected: "My question was not designed to ask him if that hypothetical is something that he accepts, (if it) is realistic or unrealistic; my question was to explore his state of mind and what was driving him at that time."

Mr Rajah replied: "The state of mind that is driving him is not one that is formed by the hypothetical, especially non-existent (ones)... it is formed by reality."

Justice Ramesh said the point had been raised in Mr Low's affidavit, bringing the matter to a close.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 19, 2018, with the headline 'FMSS not 'locked in' as managing agent, says ex-WP chief'. Print Edition | Subscribe