Pasir Ris- Punggol Town Council sues 3 WP MPs

Three Workers' Party MPs are facing a second lawsuit, this time over claims relating to Punggol East, a constituency now in the hands of the People's Action Party.

Party chief Low Thia Khiang, party chairman Sylvia Lim and assistant secretary-general Pritam Singh are being sued by Pasir Ris-Punggol Town Council (PRPTC), which now manages the affairs of Punggol East.

The trio, who are MPs of Aljunied GRC, have also been sued by the Aljunied-Hougang Town Council (AHTC).

Both lawsuits are linked to $33 million spent between July 2011 and July 2015. AHTC wants the MPs to account for the sum and to repay any money which was wrongfully paid out.

The money was allegedly paid improperly to AHTC's former managing agent FM Solutions and Services (FMSS).

FMSS, its owner, Mr How Weng Fan, and two other town councillors - former member of the WP Youth Wing executive committee Chua Zhi Hon, WP deputy organising secretary Kenneth Foo - are also included in both lawsuits.

PRPTC said yesterday that it had filed the lawsuit in July to "discharge its duty to its residents to recover what is due".

In its statement, PRPTC noted that it had to bring legal action as AHTC, in its current form, no longer has legal rights to make claims and seek repayment of money related to Punggol East.

Punggol East was managed from 2013 to 2015 by the WP's Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council (AHPETC).

It came under PRPTC after the WP lost the constituency in the 2015 General Election. AHPETC was later reconstituted as AHTC.

In its statement, PRPTC noted that it had to bring legal action as AHTC, in its current form, no longer has legal rights to make claims and seek repayment of money related to Punggol East.

The lawsuit by AHTC was initiated by an independent panel acting on behalf of the town council.

The panel was tasked with looking into improper payments made by AHTC and to recover the money.

AHTC had alleged that the three MPs breached their core fiduciary duties to the town council by appointing FMSS as managing agent.

Mr Low, Ms Lim and Mr Singh said yesterday that they had received the legal documents from Pasir Ris-Punggol Town Council.

"Our lawyers are reviewing the document. We will issue a statement after discussing the matter with them," they said in a statement posted on the WP Facebook page.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 12, 2017, with the headline 'Pasir Ris- Punggol Town Council sues 3 WP MPs'. Print Edition | Subscribe