Manpower Minister agrees to waive S$1,000 donation requirement for Facebook user who made false corruption claims

Manpower Minister agrees to waive S$1,000 donation requirement for Facebook user who made false corruption claims

MTF presser COVID-19 coronavirus Josephine Teo (1)
Manpower Minister Josephine Teo speaking at a press conference on Mar 17, 2020. (Photo: Marcus Mark Ramos)

SINGAPORE: Manpower Minister Josephine Teo has agreed to waive the S$1,000 donation required of the man who made corruption claims against her and her husband in a Facebook post, the man's lawyers said on Friday (May 22).

Eugene Thuraisingam LLP, representing Mr Donald Liew, said in a media release that their client was unable to make the donation due to “his personal circumstances”.

“He asked the minister to waive the requirement of a donation. The minister has considered his circumstances and kindly agreed to his request for which he is grateful,” the law firm said.

Mrs Teo had also offered to assist Mr Liew with his personal circumstances, it added.

READ: Manpower Minister takes legal action after 'baseless' corruption claims over COVID-19 community care facilities

The latest development comes after Mr Liew on Wednesday apologised unreservedly to Mrs Teo and admitted that the allegations he made on a Facebook post on May 14 were “false and completely without foundation”.

In the post, he had alleged that Mrs Teo "improperly benefited herself and her family financially, as a result of her mismanagement of the dormitory infections relating to the COVID-19 virus, and the development of emergency housing facilities by Surbana Jurong".

Mrs Teo's husband, Mr Teo Eng Cheong, is chief executive (International) of Surbana Jurong, which had developed the community care facilities at Singapore Expo and Changi Exhibition Centre.

READ: Facebook user apologises over false corruption claims about Josephine Teo and husband

The Manpower Minister said on Wednesday that the allegations are “untrue, scurrilous and completely baseless”.

"On these projects, Surbana Jurong dealt directly with the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of National Development. Neither my spouse nor I have any involvement with the commissioning of these projects or the monetary transactions," she said in a statement issued by law firm Allen & Gledhill on Wednesday.

The firm issued legal letters to Mr Liew and activist Jolovan Wham on behalf of Mrs Teo on Wednesday, demanding they publicly withdraw their accusations.

Both men were also required to make a donation of S$1,000 each to the Migrant Workers' Assistance Fund.

Mr Wham on Friday published an apology to Mrs Teo. He has also made the S$1,000 donation, according to lawyer Eugene Thuraisingam, whose firm also represents Mr Wham.

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Source: CNA/ga