Jolovan Wham apologises over allegations of corruption against Josephine Teo

Jolovan Wham apologises over allegations of corruption against Josephine Teo

Human rights activist Jolovan Wham arrives at the State Court in Singapore
Activist Jolovan Wham arrives at the State Court in Singapore Feb 21, 2019. (Photo: Reuters/Edgar Su)

SINGAPORE: Activist Jolovan Wham has apologised for making corruption claims against Manpower Minister Josephine Teo in relation to the development of COVID-19 community care facilities. 

In a Facebook post on Friday (May 22), Mr Wham shared his statement of apology, acknowledging that the allegations are "false and completely without foundation".

Referring to a Facebook post he made on May 16, Mr Wham said he had alleged that Mrs Teo had "acted improperly and corruptly in relation to the development of emergency housing facilities by Surbana Jurong".

"I apologise unreservedly to Mrs Josephine Teo for making them," he said on Friday.

"I have removed the statement and undertake not to publish any further statements on this, or to make any allegations to the same of similar effect, in any manner whatsoever."

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

This comes a day after Facebook user Donald Liew published a similar apology to Mrs Teo, and admitted that the allegations are "false and completely without foundation". 

The two men were issued legal letters by Mrs Teo's lawyers earlier this week, demanding that they publicly withdraw the allegations. 

Mrs Teo's husband, Mr Teo Eng Cheong, is chief executive (International) of Surbana Jurong. 

The Temasek-owned company was involved in developing the community care facilities at Singapore Expo and Changi Exhibition Centre. The facilities house COVID-19 patients with mild or no symptoms, or recovering patients who have been discharged from hospital. 

The Manpower Minister had said that the allegations of profiteering and corruption against her and her husband 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 statement also said Mr Wham and Mr Liew would be required to make a donation of S$1,000 each to the Migrant Workers’ Assistance Fund.

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

Mr Wham has made the donation to the fund, according to lawyer Eugene Thuraisingam, whose law firm represents both men.  

Mr Liew however, was not able to make the donation "due to his personal circumstances", according to a statement by Eugene Thuraisingam LLP. 

The statement added that Mr Liew had asked Mrs Teo to waive the requirement. 

"The minister has considered his circumstances and kindly agreed to his request for which he is grateful," said the law firm.

"The minister has also offered to assist our client with his personal circumstances."

Source: CNA/gs

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