MND reviewing AHTC reply on why it did not require Sylvia Lim, Low Thia Khiang to recuse themselves on financial matters

AHTC subsequently said in a statement that Ms Sylvia Lim (right) and Mr Low Thia Khiang will not need to recuse themselves from all financial matters.
AHTC subsequently said in a statement that Ms Sylvia Lim (right) and Mr Low Thia Khiang will not need to recuse themselves from all financial matters.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The Ministry of National Development said on Friday evening (Dec 13) that it has received a reply from the Aljunied-Hougang Town Council (AHTC) explaining its decision to continue allowing Ms Sylvia Lim and Mr Low Thia Khiang to be involved in its financial affairs.

"MND has received and is reviewing AHTC's reply," a ministry spokesman said.

The ministry had written a letter to the town council's chairman, Workers' Party MP Faisal Manap, on Dec 4.

Apart from seeking AHTC's reasons for not requiring the recusal, the ministry had also asked whether the WP-run town council intends to implement other interim measures or safeguards.

MND had given AHTC until this Friday to respond.

Last month, Parliament voted in favour of a motion that called on Ms Lim and Mr Low to discharge themselves from all financial matters at AHTC.

This followed a High Court verdict in October which found that both WP MPs had acted dishonestly. The two are challenging the High Court's decision.

AHTC subsequently said in a statement that Ms Lim and Mr Low will not need to recuse themselves from all financial matters.

It said the decision was made at its recent quarterly meeting, where the council voted 17 to 1 against the recusal.

 
 

But the ministry later responded to say that until and unless their appeal succeeds, the High Court's findings "remain good and should be taken seriously by AHTC".

It added: "In particular, MND remains concerned as to whether the measures implemented under (audit firm) KPMG's guidance are adequate to guard against a recurrence of the past control failures if Ms Lim and Mr Low continue to be involved with AHTC's financial affairs, especially since the adequacy of the measures is entirely dependent on their implementation by the individuals involved with AHTC's financial affairs."