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Josephine Teo sends legal letters to two people over ‘completely baseless’ accusations of profiteering and corruption

SINGAPORE — Manpower Minister Josephine Teo has issued letters of demand to those who made false statements accusing her and her husband of profiteering and corruption, asking for these statements to be withdrawn.

Josephine Teo sends legal letters to two people over ‘completely baseless’ accusations of profiteering and corruption

Manpower Minister Josephine Teo (pictured) said that she and her husband were not involved with the commissioning of the projects to convert Singapore Expo into a community care facility or with the monetary transactions.

SINGAPORE — Manpower Minister Josephine Teo has issued letters of demand to those who made false statements accusing her and her husband of profiteering and corruption, asking for these statements to be withdrawn.

Her lawyers said that the legal letters were sent to activist Jolovan Wham and a person named Donald Liew.

Mrs Teo said that the statements, which are related to the development of the community care facility by Surbana Jurong at the Singapore Expo Convention and Exhibition Centre, were “untrue, scurrilous and completely baseless”. 

The Singapore Expo is one of several designated community care facilities for Covid-19 patients, including migrant workers, who are clinically well or display mild symptoms. All 10 halls in Singapore Expo have been converted for this purpose, with a total capacity of 8,000 beds.

Mrs Teo said in a statement issued through her lawyers on Wednesday (May 20): “On these projects, Surbana Jurong dealt directly with the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Ministry of National Development (MND).

“Neither my spouse nor I have any involvement with the commissioning of these projects or the monetary transactions.”

Mrs Teo said that she has asked her lawyers to issue formal letters of demand to those who made these allegations, requiring them to be withdrawn.

“I understand that I am legally entitled to substantial damages for these serious and baseless allegations. However, I do not intend to pursue the matter further, or to claim damages, if the allegations are publicly withdrawn, and apologies given,” Mrs Teo said.

“This has been made clear in my lawyers’ letters. The letters also require the two persons to make a donation of S$1,000 each to the Migrant Workers’ Assistance Fund.”

Over the weekend, a few posts had made the rounds on social media and messaging platforms, accusing Mrs Teo and Surbana Jurong of profiteering from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mrs Teo’s husband is Mr Teo Eng Cheong, the chief executive (international) of Surbana Jurong.

On Tuesday, Surbana Jurong issued a statement refuting the allegations, saying that they are “not only untrue, they are disrespectful of our colleagues who have made enormous sacrifices, including putting their health at risk, to deliver the projects under challenging conditions, for the benefit of our community”.

On Wednesday, MOH and MND said in a joint statement that the Government had asked sovereign wealth fund Temasek to help at short notice to set up a community care facility for recovering patients of Covid-19 and those with mild or no symptoms, as Temasek had the necessary resources through its subsidiaries.

They added that the Ministry of Manpower and Mrs Teo were not involved in the selection of Surbana Jurong or any of the parties to participate in the development of the Singapore Expo facility, and were not involved in the process of managing the costs of the project.

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Josephine Teo Surbana Jurong Singapore EXPO Covid-19 coronavirus corruption

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