What has AHTC got to do with 26 bicycles, $2m and Vivian Lai’s husband?

By November 7, 2019Current

TL;DR – Good governance should rule, regardless of public or private sector, ruling or opposition party. Right?

Remember these cases?

Case #1

National Parks Board (NParks) officer Bernard Lim Yong Soon.

What happened?
An audit found out that Lim, who was responsible for purchasing 26 foldable Brompton bicycles for $2,200 each, had awarded the tender to supply bicycles to his friend Lawrence Lim Chun How, a Director of Bikehop Singapore. This hence suggested the “possibility of bias” in the procurement.

Pending investigations and Court trials, the NParks officer was suspended from his duties in July 2012 until the verdict was out.

Case #2

PUB technical officer Mohamed Sa’ad Mohamed Ali.

What happened?
He was accused of deceiving his colleagues at PUB into believing that he had genuinely sourced for quotations from the open market, misleading them into approving S$2 million worth of purchases to businesses controlled by him.

Pending investigations by CPIB, the technical officer with the national water agency PUB was suspended from his duties in August 2012.

Case #3

Pokka Chief Executive Officer, Alain Ong.

What happened?
Pokka alleged that he was part of a conspiracy that had caused the drinks-maker to suffer at least S$10 million in losses and that he had breached his duties as a director and employee. This case attracted more attention also because Ong is the husband of celebrity Vivian Lai.

Pending internal audit, Alain Ong was suspended from his management positions and duties in September 2018.

Case #4

Workers’ Party (WP) MPs Low Thia Khiang and Sylvia Lim who are also town councilors at the Aljunied-Hougang Town Council (AHTC)

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What happened?
The High Court Judgment was out last month and High Court Judge Kannan Ramesh had found the two WP MPs, Low Thia Khiang and Sylvia Lim, to be liable.

When delivering the judgment, the judge had said they acted dishonestly and have breached their fiduciary duties in appointing FM Solutions and Services (FMSS) as managing agent of AHTC. This resulted in the town council paying an improper payment of $33.7 million whilst under their watch. Amongst other things, under FMSS’ management, AHTC ran deficits of up to S$2 million by the third year. Meanwhile, their friends, FMSS, made a profit of $3.2 million in their second year.

Today, after Court has ruled them liable and pending the WP’s appeal, the two MPs have not recused themselves from dealing with AHTC financial matters. 


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Gabrielle Teo

Author Gabrielle Teo

I read lots, and I also spend an indecent amount of time trying to get my mostly unpopular opinions published. Oh, I argue a lot with fellow Singaporeans who complain incessantly about Singapore too.

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