HDB Statement on the court action by the Independent Panel

  • Published Date: 26 Jul 2017

           HDB has received notice from the Independent Panel (“IP”), appointed by Aljunied-Hougang Town Council (“AHTC”), that the IP has filed a claim in the Singapore High Court.

     

    2      HDB understands that the claim has been made on behalf of AHTC, against several Town Councillors, including Mr Low Thia Khiang, Ms Sylvia Lim and Mr Pritam Singh, as well as FMSS (AHTC’s former Managing Agent ("MA")) and Ms How Weng Fan (shareholder of FMSS and AHTC’s former Deputy Secretary and General Manager). A copy of the Statement of Claim has been extended to HDB pursuant to the IP’s terms of appointment.

     

    3      The claim document sets out amongst others, allegations of breaches of fiduciary duty and improper payment of town council funds. The claim document also contains serious allegations of misconduct by various Defendants, including the following:

     

    1.  Ms Sylvia Lim and Mr Low Thia Khiang misled the Town Council, and gave false or inadequate reasons to justify a waiver of tender and secure FMSS’s appointment as MA.(See paragraphs 4.3.3, 4.3.4)
       
    2. Ms Sylvia Lim and Mr Low Thia Khiang decided purportedly on behalf of AHTC that Danny Loh and How Weng Fan would be instructed to set up and incorporate FMSS.This was done even before the incumbent MA, CPG, had apparently expressed a preference to be released. (See paragraphs 4.3.2, 4.2.2(a)), 4.3.4(a))
       
    3. The appointment of FMSS/FMSI[1], brought about by Ms Sylvia Lim and Mr Low Thia Khiang, was “made in bad faith and/or for improper purposes”, including to benefit Danny Loh and How Weng Fan. (See paragraph 6.6.1(a)).It was “so unreasonable and/or irrational that no reasonable Town Councillor would have made the same decision”. (See paragraph 6.6.1(c))

     

    4      The IP is asking for the Court to rescind the contracts with FMSS/FMSI, which have a total value in excess of S$33 million. The IP is seeking compensation of monies wrongfully paid out to FMSS/ FMSI which is to be taken as the entire sum of over $33 million, subject to Ms Sylvia Lim, Mr Low Thia Khiang, FMSS/FMSI or How Weng Fan showing which payments were lawful.

     

    5      HDB is studying the details of the claim, and has asked AGC to advise on the matter.

     

    [1] FMSI refers to “FM Solutions and Integrated Services”, the former Essential Maintenance Services Unit (EMSU) contractor for AHTC