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Goh Meng Seng receives POFMA order for FB posts on LTA contracts to Lum Chang

PPP chief Goh Meng Seng issued with POFMA correction directions by MOT over alleged false claims related to ex-minister Iswaran, Lum Chang MD Lum Kok Seng, and LTA.



SINGAPORE: Goh Meng Seng, People’s Power Party (PPP) Secretary-General, has been issued a correction direction under the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA) due to an alleged false claim made in two Facebook posts.

According to the Ministry of Transport (MOT), the posts contain false claims relating to former Transport Minister S Iswaran, Mr David Lum Kok Seng, Managing Director of Lum Chang Holdings who has recently been named in eight new charges against Iswaran, and the Land Transport Authority (LTA).

In a media statement issued by MOT on Wednesday (27 March), MOT said Transport Minister Chee Hong Tat instructed the POFMA office to issue the order to Mr Goh.

MOT shared that in the posts published on the Goh Meng Seng and Goh Meng Seng People’s Power Party Facebook pages on Tuesday evening, Mr Goh alleged that a company owned by Mr Lum was awarded a “huge contract” by LTA while Iswaran served as the Minister for Transport.

MOT refuted this claim, stating that Mr S Iswaran held the position of Minister for Transport from 15 May 2021 to 17 January 2024.

“Throughout this period, LTA did not award any contract to any of Mr David Lum Kok Seng’s companies.”

The ministry further explained that one of Mr Lum’s companies, Lum Chang Building Contractors, is involved in two ongoing projects with LTA: addition and alteration works to Tanah Merah MRT station and its existing viaducts, and the construction of the North-South Corridor tunnel between Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3 and Ang Mo Kio Avenue 9.

However, the contracts for these projects were awarded in October 2016 and December 2018 respectively, prior to Iswaran’s tenure as Transport Minister.

MOT reiterated that LTA has not awarded any contracts to Lum Chang Building Contractors since 2019.

Each page was mandated to display a correction notice stating that their respective posts containing the claim were false.

Mr Goh complied with POFMA’s directive by including MOT’s correction notice, which stated that their post containing the claim was false.

Nevertheless, Mr Goh contested that at no point did he imply that Mr Lum secured the LTA contract while Iswaran was the Minister of Transport.

He argued that it is a simple statement that David Lum was involved in the West Coast GRC grassroots while Iswaran was the MP.

“The contract stated in the corruption charges was awarded by LTA in 2016 while Iswaran became the Minister of Transport in 2021. ”

Lum Chang Board reveals MD attended multiple CPIB interviews regarding Iswaran

On Monday (25 March), former Transport Minister S Iswaran, who was initially facing 27 charges including corruption, was slapped with an additional eight charges under section 165 of the Penal Code.

The eight new charges against Iswaran detail the valuable items he allegedly received from Mr Lum between November 2021 and November 2022.

These charges are related to Iswaran’s official capacity as Transport Minister and involve his alleged receipt of valuable items, such as whisky bottles, golf clubs, and a Brompton bicycle from Mr Lum.

During this period, Mr Lum was involved in overseeing the performance of the T315 contract, which entailed addition and alteration works to the existing Tanah Merah Station and viaducts under the auspices of Lum Chang Building Contractors and the LTA.

These acquisitions intersected with Lum’s dealings with the LTA via Lum Chang Building Contractors.

While Mr Lum’s name has not appeared in the judiciary hearings so far, the Board of Directors of Lum Chang Holdings revealed that Mr Lum has communicated to the Board his attendance at multiple interviews conducted by CPIB concerning the investigations into Iswaran.

Furthermore, the Board confirmed that, as of now, Mr Lum has not faced any charges nor have any restrictions been imposed on him by the CPIB.

The board states, “The Board and the Nominating Committee have assessed the above and have determined that Mr Lum continues to be suitable to carry out his duties and responsibilities as Managing Director of the Company, unless there are subsequent developments which require the Board and the Nominating Committee to make a re-assessment.”

Awarded in 2016, the “T315” contract valued at S$325 million is a critical component of Singapore’s East-West Line enhancements, slated for completion in 2025.

The project aims to add a new platform and concourse, facilitating improved passenger flow and increasing the station’s capacity.

In addition to the Tanah Merah Station project, Lum Chang Building Contractors was awarded a significant contract in 2018 for the construction of a 1.95km section of the North-South Corridor (Tunnel) between Ang Mo Kio Ave 3 and Ang Mo Kio Ave 9.

This project, valued at S$799 million, is part of Singapore’s first integrated transport corridor featuring continuous bus lanes and cycling trunk routes.

The North-South Corridor aims to reduce travel time for commuters and enhance connectivity between the northern parts of Singapore and the city.

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