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

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

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: A Facebook user apologised on Wednesday (May 20) for making corruption claims about Manpower Minister Josephine Teo and her husband over the development of COVID-19 facilities.

Mr Donald Liew said in a Facebook post that he "apologises unreservedly" to Mrs Teo and admitted that "these allegations are false and completely without foundation". 

Referring to a Facebook post he made on May 14, Mr Liew said 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.

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

On Wednesday, Mrs Teo's lawyers said the minister had instructed them to issue letters of demand to Mr Liew and activist Jolovan Wham.

The claims of profiteering and corruption are "untrue, scurrilous and completely baseless", Mrs Teo said in a statement issued by law firm Allen & Gledhill.

"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.

The legal letters demanded that the allegations be publicly withdrawn and that Mr Liew and Mr Wham each donate S$1,000 to the Migrant Workers' Assistance Fund.

The statement said the minister would not "pursue the matter further, or to claim damages" if these demands are met.

Mr Liew has not indicated if he plans to make the donation. CNA has contacted Mr Wham on whether he intends to withdraw his allegations and make the donation.

READ: Accusations of 'profiteering and corruption' over COVID-19 community care facilities untrue - Surbana Jurong

Surbana Jurong, a Temasek-owned company, had set up facilities at the Singapore Expo and Changi Exhibition Centre to house COVID-19 patients with mild or no symptoms, or recovering patients who have been discharged from hospital.

It has issued a statement rejecting "unfounded accusations of profiteering and corruption in some social media posts" and said it would not hesitate to take legal action.

The Ministry of Health and Ministry of National Development has also rejected the allegations, calling them "false and malicious".

READ: Stretched but coping: How Singapore's healthcare system has cranked up efforts to deal with COVID-19

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Source: CNA/jt(cy)