WP's Sylvia Lim, Low Thia Khiang, Pritam Singh and PRPTC file appeals against AHTC judgment

The judgment by High Court Judge Kannan Ramesh, issued on Oct 11, found that the MPs had breached their duties towards the Aljunied Hougang Town Council and residents.
The judgment by High Court Judge Kannan Ramesh, issued on Oct 11, found that the MPs had breached their duties towards the Aljunied Hougang Town Council and residents. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Workers’ Party MPs Sylvia Lim, Low Thia Khiang and Pritam Singh as well as the Pasir Ris-Punggol Town Council (PRPTC) have filed appeals against a High Court ruling on a civil case brought against the MPs.

The judgment by High Court Judge Kannan Ramesh, issued on Oct 11, found that the MPs had breached their duties towards Aljunied-Hougang Town Council (AHTC) and residents.

But Justice Ramesh had also ruled against some of the claims by the two town councils.

In response to queries from The Straits Times, a Supreme Court spokesman said on Monday (Nov 11) that all the defendants and PRPTC have filed appeals against the judgment.
 

The other parties named in the suit are AHTC town councillors Kenneth Foo and David Chua Zhi Hon, as well as the owners of managing agent company FM Solutions & Services (FMSS) and its sister company FM Solutions and Integrated Services (FMSI), Ms How Weng Fan and her late husband, Mr Danny Loh.

The lawsuit was initiated by an independent panel appointed by AHTC to recover improper payments made by the town council.

PRPTC had also sued to recover its share of losses incurred when Punggol East constituency was managed by the WP-led town council from 2013 to 2015.

The WP had won the seat in a 2013 by-election but lost it in the 2015 General Election.

During a debate in Parliament on Tuesday last week on a motion referencing the judgment, Ms Lim had said they would file an appeal.

 
 
 
 

Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat had tabled a motion, which Parliament then backed, that called for Ms Lim and Mr Low to recuse themselves from financial matters at AHTC, among other things.

This came three weeks after the High Court found, among other things, that the two opposition leaders had acted dishonestly in awarding contracts without a tender to FMSS and FMSI, set up by their supporters.

The WP had taken over the town council after winning Aljunied GRC in the 2011 General Election

Justice Ramesh found Ms Lim and Mr Low had breached their fiduciary duties and were liable for damages suffered by the town council, which is said to have made millions in improper payments.

He said they had put their own political interests above the interests of their residents.

Mr Heng, during the parliamentary debate, had criticised the WP for remaining "totally silent" for over three weeks and not accounting to their residents after the Oct 11 judgment.

Mr Singh, who is WP chief, called the motion "premature" and did not agree to the call for recusal.

The judge also found that Mr Singh, Mr Foo and Mr Chua had breached their duties of skill and care when they did not question the decision to waive tender.

Meanwhile, Ms How and the late Mr Loh were found to have breached their fiduciary duty.

The article has been edited for clarity.