MND asking AHTC about Sylvia Lim's & Pritam Singh's roles in payment & procurement processes

The Ministry will consider if regulatory actions are needed pending the response.

Keyla Supharta | August 22, 2023, 07:17 PM

Telegram WhatsappThe Ministry of National Development (MND) issued a media statement on Tuesday (Aug. 22) stating that it has cancelled the Rectification Order issued to Aljunied-Hougang Town Council (AHTC) in January 2020.

The statement was made in relation to the case of the handling of AHTC funds.

Order to restrict Sylvia Lim and Low Thia Khiang's powers cancelled

The order, made by the Minister of National Development before the AHTC case was heard before the Court of Appeal, required AHTC to restrict their town councillors Sylvia Lim and former Leader of Opposition Low Thia Khiang's powers concerning certain financial decisions.

The statement explained that the order was made because High Court had found Lim and Low had breached their fiduciary duties.

After considering the Court of Appeal's findings that they do not owe fiduciary duties to AHTC, the minister decided to cancel the order.

MND asking for information on Sylvia Lim and Pritam Singh

However, MND noted that the Court of Appeal found both Lim, Singh and other AHTC then-councillors to have acted "without good faith" and in "gross negligence" in discharging their duties and acting for payment processes.

MND also pointed out that they allowed the managing agent FM Solutions & Services Pte Ltd to "pay monies to itself and others, without proper control".

MND said it was a "serious finding".

It pointed out that the Court of Appeal also found Lim was responsible for a contract to Red-Power Electrical Engineering at four to seven times higher rates than those offered by then-existing vendors.

MND noted that Lim and Singh remained as AHTC councillors today.

MND pointed out that Lim currently serves as a member of the Audit Committee and the Estate and Community Liason Committee, while Singh chairs the Public Relations Committee and is also a member of the Tenders and Contracts Committee and the Estate & Community Liaison Committee.

It believes that their positions may allow them to be continuously involved in implementing and/or monitoring AHTC's payment process and making procurement decisions.

Seeking clarification from AHTC

With these findings, MND announced that they have written to AHTC seeking information on the following:

  • Lim and Singh's specific powers and duties in relation to their involvement in AHTC’s payment and procurement processes.
  • Actions that AHTC intends to take, if any, in relation to Lim and Singh, given the CA’s findings that they acted without good faith and in gross negligence.
  • Other actions AHTC intends to take.

Upon receiving AHTC's response, the Ministry will consider whether regulatory action under the Town Councils Act is required to safeguard public money entrusted to the town council.

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