Workers' Party MPs end fund-raising appeal as public donations cross million-dollar mark

(From left) Workers’ Party town councillors Pritam Singh, Low Thia Khiang and Sylvia Lim at the Supreme Court, on Oct 8, 2018. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The Workers' Party (WP) town councillors involved in multimillion-dollar lawsuits over alleged improper payments ended their fundraising effort on Saturday (Oct 27), after collecting more than $1 million.

It had launched the online crowdsourcing appeal on Wednesday.

At the close of the appeal, WP chairman Sylvia Lim, secretary-general Pritam Singh and former chief Low Thia Khiang had raised a total of $1,008,802.

"We are closing the appeal for now, as the amount raised substantially covers the legal fees required at this point in time," they said in an update on their blog In Good Faith.

They also added that they will provide updates on the blog on how the funds are used.

"We thank you from the bottom of our hearts. The financial support is crucial but the moral support you have given us is incalculable," they wrote.

The trio first sought the public's help on Wednesday evening, saying that they have spent close to $600,000 so far on the legal battle, using their savings and contributions from friends.

This has "depleted our personal resources", they said. "We need financial resources to fight the legal battle and to deal with the prospect of being made a bankrupt," they added.

The trio and two other town councillors are facing two suits over $33.7 million in alleged improper payments - one brought by Aljunied-Hougang Town Council as directed by an independent panel, and the other by Pasir Ris-Punggol Town Council.

The suits claim that the quintet breached their fiduciary duties, and have to repay the improper payments made.

They are represented by Senior Counsel Chelva Rajah from Tan, Rajah & Cheah in the case now before the High Court. The trial, which began on Oct 5, is scheduled to run until Nov 2.

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