Joint Statement by MOH and MND Relating to Development of Community Care Facilities by Surbana Jurong Pte Ltd
May 20, 2020
Some allegations have been made alleging profiteering and corruption in relation to the development of the community care facility (CCF) by Surbana Jurong Pte Ltd (SJ) at the Singapore EXPO Convention and Exhibition Centre at Changi (Expo). These allegations are false and malicious.
The Government worked out a comprehensive strategy to care for COVID-19 patients at different stages of their infection, and based on their need for different types of treatment. A small number needed hospital care. The majority needed accommodation where they can be isolated, until their infectious stage has passed. These were designated CCF. Those admitted to CCFs are persons with mild or no symptoms, or are recovering patients who have been discharged from hospital.
There were various other types of facilities that were also prepared for other needs, for example, like additional Government Quarantine Facilities (GQFs) and Community Recovery Facilities (CRFs) (for those released from hospital), as well as other types of facilities. All these facilities, including CCFs, had to be built and prepared quickly, in a matter of days.
The Government thus worked closely with Temasek, at short notice. Temasek was approached because it had the necessary resources, to be marshalled, at short notice, through its subsidiaries. Temasek agreed to assist, and also agreed that the work done by Temasek and its linked companies, would be done at cost recovery basis , and in some cases, below cost. There will be no profit made by Temasek and its linked companies for the work done. The Temasek linked companies agreed with these arrangements.
Temasek identified the Singapore EXPO as suitable venue for CCF. Temasek asked SJ to convert the EXPO into Singapore’s first large-scale CCF.
For the development of the CCF at the Singapore EXPO (which has 8,000 beds), Temasek also asked other companies, including PSA International (which was the overall project co-ordinator), Singapore Technologies Engineering and Sheares Healthcare to help. External vendors such as Parkway Pantai, Resorts World Sentosa and Certis Cisco also played a crucial role in the successful development of the Singapore EXPO CCF.
The Ministry of Health (MOH) worked with Temasek and the other entities on the healthcare requirements and needs for the CCF site. Once these were confirmed, the Ministry of National Development (MND) liaised with the entities on the payments for the development of the Singapore EXPO CCF. This is because MND has also been liaising with other parties to pay for the provision of other facilities, like the dedicated Stay-Home Notice (SHN) facilities.
For all the work done by Temasek, it did not charge any management fees, and has only invoiced MND for expenses paid to third parties. Temasek also confirmed that its linked companies, including SJ will only charge for direct expenditure, at cost. Some aspects were charged at below normal cost. For example, Temasek told the Government that SingEx Venues Pte Ltd, which manages the Singapore EXPO, will not charge the full capex cost, since the EXPO was not being used for normal business anyway.
The Ministry of Manpower and the Minister for Manpower were not involved in the selection of SJ (or any of the parties) to participate in the development of the Singapore EXPO CCF, and were not involved in the process of managing the costs of the project.
SJ worked with the other partners to complete the development of the Singapore EXPO CCF in a very short time. It was able to leverage its sourcing processes to obtain construction and other needed materials on an urgent basis. Despite the tight timelines and extensive work that was required, SJ provided its expertise to develop the Singapore EXPO CCF at cost, without any profit or management fee.
The Government accepts that legitimate questions can be raised about the spending, and is fully prepared to explain why and how money was spent. However the Government will respond firmly and appropriately to any scurrilous allegation of corruption.
Many parties have stepped forward to help in the fight against COVID-19. These include the Temasek companies, private sector companies, as well as thousands of Singaporeans. We are grateful to all who have worked hard and around the clock to set up the Singapore EXPO CCF under extraordinary circumstances. This is a testament to the whole-of-society effort that has made it possible for us to combat and manage the COVID-19 virus. We are not done with this battle, but these efforts have contributed much to our ability to mount a strong and effective effort to protect Singaporeans, and put us on a strong footing to face the challenges ahead.