The Worker’s Party court drama has concluded

If you were tasked with getting a vendor to provide services for the company you work in…and you invited your friend to provide the services, that would have been dodgy wouldn’t it? Especially so when the auditor asked you to show paperwork and you cannot/do not want to show it.

Or if you were the director of a company and you made payments to someone who is close to you. 

It’s not that you can’t do that…but auditors will need you to prove that you have conducted due diligence and have the adequate disclaimers, permission and protection in place. Especially so when such tricky arrangements are involved.

This is why the Worker’s Party’s very own town council has brought a suit against 7 of the WP MPs for this thing called “breach of fiduciary duty”, a duty that every working person is responsible for.

It puts to a close the following allegations brought against them:

  1. That the three WP MPs breached fiduciary duties in appointing FMSS as the town council’s managing agent
  1. That Ms Lim and Mr Low misled the town council into waiving a tender and appointing FMSS as AHTC’s managing agent.
  1. That they have allowed “improper” payments. More than S$33 million in payments were made to FMSS and its service provider, FM Solutions & Integrated Services (FMSI)

The above resulted in the town council paying at least $33.7 million to FMSS from July 2011 to July 2015.

The WP representatives are now liable to make good the money misappropriated. They are personally liable and must put the money back. If the WP MPs cannot pay, they will be made to pay out of pocket (which is unlikely given the large amount), made bankrupt and lose their parliamentary seats.

The case is a good reminder to every single working person, be it an ordinary executive or a company director. This is not a case of politics, it is a case of responsibility and accountability – the very traits that ironically the WP calls the PAP to do. 

On the reverse, the defendants have demonstrated irresponsibility, dishonesty and haughtiness.  

The company’s money, is not your money. If you spend it, you have to be very clear where it goes and what it is spent on. You cannot profit from it either directly, or indirectly. If your friend is providing services, you have to justify extensively why he/she should be providing the services and not anyone else. 

Fiscal responsibility is so important – it could very, very easily have become a case of corruption, and that would have even wider implications for the defendants. 

$33m is not a small amount of money. It is meant for the residents, making residents lives better and sustaining their estates. Using it for any other purpose, as it has proven in the judgement, will be unfair and inequitable. 

Breach of fiduciary duties forms the foundations of various breaches in equity, including criminal breach of trust and corruption.
The City Harvest case makes for a good case study.

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