AHTC Trial: Workers’ Party Officials Found Liable For Millions In ‘Improper Payments’

The verdict in the hotly debated Aljunied Hougang Town Council (AHTC) trial has just been announced on Friday (11 Oct).

Source

Current Secretary-General of Workers’ Party (WP) Mr Pritam Singh, and senior Aljunied GRC MPs Low Thia Khiang and Sylvia Lim have been charged for letting “millions of improper payments” slide, resulting in “damages suffered” by AHTC.

Here’s a quick breakdown of what’s at stake for the WP trio, if the verdict isn’t overturned in court by a successful appeal.

All 3 charged with breach of duty

The charges & the positions of WP leaders during the incident are as follows:

  • Ms Sylvia Lim (AHTC Chairman)
    • Breach of fiduciary duty
  • Mr Low Thia Khiang (WP Secretary-General)
    • Breach of fiduciary duty
  • Mr Pritam Singh (AHTC Member)
    • Breach of duty in hiring AHTC’s agent FM Solutions & Services (FMSS)

AHTC seeking to claim S$33.7 million in losses

As a result, the court ruled that these ‘breaches’ caused AHTC to fork out S$33.7 million in payments to FMSS over the span of 4 years, from 2011 to 2015.

A second round of hearings is expected next.

The court will be looking to quantify AHTC’s damages to “recover equitable compensation” from the WP trio.

Bankruptcy is possible, if WP trio can’t afford compensation

The Straits Times reports that the lawsuit’s results won’t affect their current jobs as Aljunied MPs, yet. This is because of the nature of the proceedings — a civil lawsuit won’t directly cause them to lose their seats.

In the event that Mr Low, Ms Lim and Mr Singh are unable to pay the amount required by AHTC, they’ll have to declare bankruptcy.

This will mean that they’ll be unable to hold on to their parliamentary seats as elected Aljunied MPs.

The 3 Workers’ Party leaders are expected to submit an appeal to overturn the verdict. Do stay tuned for further updates on the case.

What do you think of the verdict? Sound out in the comments below.

Also read:

3 AHTC-Like Cases That Seemed To Have Been Overlooked

 Featured image adapted from YouTube.