Legal issues thrown up by General Election for Punggol-East ward now under Sengkang TC

This is the 11th in The ST series by Senior Law Correspondent K.C. Vijayan on legal issues. Monday's (Dec 21) write-up underlines how in negligence cases, broadly at least, seven out of 10 cases are settled before reaching trial. Also, we look at some issues that made a difference to court cases this year and a landmark case that would make it to any potential list for 2020's case of the year.

Ms Marina Chin of Tan Kok Quan Partnership leads a team appointed by the independent panel for SKTC.
Ms Marina Chin of Tan Kok Quan Partnership leads a team appointed by the independent panel for SKTC.

SINGAPORE - Questions of law emerged in relation to the lawsuit filed against Workers' Party (WP) MPs Sylvia Lim and Pritam Singh and others following the redrawing of boundaries for the general election in July.

Punggol East, a single-member constituency (SMC) under WP from 2013 to 2015 following a by-election, is a party in the case.

In 2015, the People's Action Party won the SMC. But following changes to the electoral boundaries in this year's election, Punggol East became part of Sengkang GRC, which was won by the WP.

The election result means the former SMC now comes under the new Sengkang Town Council (SKTC), whose independent panel has appointed a new legal team led by Ms Marina Chin of Tan Kok Quan Partnership to handle an appeal filed by its predecessor Punggol East alongside the WP-run Aljunied-Hougang Town Council (AHTC).

The Court of Appeal hearing due last month was postponed to early next year at the law firm's request.

The firm said that with the changes to electoral boundaries, the case may now be in effect an appeal pursued by SKTC. It " involves novel and complex issues of law," it said in its request filed in court.

Pasir Ris-Punggol Town Council had filed legal papers to recover alleged losses incurred by Punggol East when it was an SMC under WP. It initiated the civil suit after AHTC took Ms Lim and the others to court.