Low Thia Khiang, Sylvia Lim and Pritam Singh have made a public call for donations to help cover their mounting legal fees and avoid potential bankruptcy.
In the latest post in their In Good Faith blog, the MPs said that if they lose the suits and are adjudged to pay large sums of money, but are unable to pay, they would face bankruptcy. This will have serious political implications for Singapore. Electoral rules stipulate that undischarged bankrupts are barred from running. This would effectively give the PAP Government a massive advantage going into the next general elections, which are speculated to take place in late 2019, to coincide with the 200th anniversary of Singapore’s founding.
Having 3 veteran opposition politicians eliminated could spell disaster for the WP, allowing the PAP to reclaim Aljunied GRC, which they lost in 2011. Historically, bankruptcy has been used as a tool to target political opponents. Prominent opposition politicians bankrupted and/or jailed in the 20th century also include Joshua Benjamin Jeyaretnam, Tang Liang Hong and Chee Soon Juan.
S$600k in legal expenses
The MPs also revealed they spent close to S$600,000 on their legal fees. Since the suits commenced, they have funded the legal expenses using their personal savings and contributions from friends. They added that they have not used any funds from the WP.
In response to media queries, the WP spokesperson said the crowdfunding site will be updated daily by 10pm, to inform the public of the amount of funds raised so far.
The public can make contributions in the following ways:
• PayNow to +65 9852 5901 (Sylvia’s public line)
• Internet fund transfer to UOB account no. 396 309 388 6
• Cheque can be made payable to Lim, Low, and Pritam at My Mail Box 882560 Singapore 919191
The 3 MPs and 2 other town councilors are facing two suits over S$33.7 million in alleged improper payments — one brought by Aljunied-Hougang Town Council as directed by an independent panel, and the other by Pasir Ris-Punggol Town Council, a PAP-run town council.
In response to the case, the MPs said:
“Both suits allege that we and two other town councillors failed in our duties managing AHTC, and are liable to pay monies to AHTC and PRPTC.
The total sum claimed against us is potentially more than S$30 million, even though we are not accused of receiving any of these monies personally.
The claims against us are unfounded. We have acted in good faith, and did what we believed to be in the best interests of our residents and the Town Council.”