Senior Counsel Davinder Singh posited that former chairman of the Aljunied-Hougang Town Council (AHTC) Sylvia Lim “misled everyone” by giving the false impression that the AHTC was forced to upscale the town council management system (TCMS) as a result of software company Action Information Management (AIM) withdrawing its system.
According to Lim’s affidavit, she was informed AIM would be terminating its TCMS in early June 2011. This led to Lim perpetuating the belief that there was an urgent need to upscale due to the “imminent termination” of the IT firm.
However, Singh charged that preparations for the upscaling of the TCMS started earlier than June, to which Lim conceded she did in fact made plans in May – a month before she knew about AIM’s termination – to replace AIM.
LIM ADMITS SHE BREACHED TOWN COUNCIL RULES
Lim also admitted to breaching the Town Councils Financial Rules (TCFR) by awarding the managing agent contract to FM Solutions & Services (FMSS) without calling for a tender under the ‘circumstances of urgency’, despite its managing agent services costing S$92,000 for the month of June 2011.
According to TCFR, cost of services estimated to cost more than S$70,000 require a tender.
CONFLICT OF INTEREST WITH MANAGING AGENT?
FMSS was set up after GE2011 by husband and wife team, Danny Loh (deceased) and How Weng Fan – both trusted Workers’ Party cadres and friends of Lim.
Despite not having any prior experience in the management of a township, FMSS was appointed as AHTC managing agent and was paid professional rates. Weng Fan also held dual roles as AHTC’s deputy secretary and shareholder of FMSS.
Lim also conceded that she chose to not disclose the FMSS proposal to other town councillors (CPG Facilities Management) even when she was obligated to do so, preferring until she received the delegation of authority to act on behalf of the town council officially.
CPG, AHTC’s managing agent – which was on contract to provide services at the time – did not know that FMSS had been appointed as managing agent.
“This entire arrangement was done to also not disclose to CPG the fact that while you had been talking about doing this in-house, you had actually entered into a managing agent contract,” Singh said, and went further by alleging that this was done to hide the fact that “no tender was done or was going to be done”.
“The reason you (Sylvia Lim) and the elected members did that is you were all aware that this was a dodgy deal: no tender, no basis to waive, passing the profit to a new company helping Workers’ Party supporters, all with the residents’ monies,” he said.
“I reject that entirely,” Lim replied.
The trial continues on Monday (Oct 22) with Lim on the stand.