Former HDB inspector charged with forgery after 30 years on the run

Malaysian Hew Chong Wai is accused of forging HDB Works Orders by signing on the "checked by" and "approved by" columns of the documents.
Malaysian Hew Chong Wai is accused of forging HDB Works Orders by signing on the "checked by" and "approved by" columns of the documents. ST GRAPHICS

SINGAPORE - A former Housing and Development Board (HDB) officer was charged in court on Saturday (May 13) with 128 counts for forgery after being on the run for 30 years.

Malaysian Hew Chong Wai, now 53, who used to be a housing and maintenance inspector, allegedly committed the offences between Feb 9 and March 11, 1987.

He is accused of forging HDB Works Orders by signing on the "checked by" and "approved by" columns of the documents.

This led the HDB to believe that the jobs stated in the orders had been checked and approved by two of its other officers.

They were then-senior housing and maintenance inspector Chan Sin Chan and then-senior estates officer Ching Toong Hon.

According to a release by the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB), Hew fled Singapore in 1987 before he could be charged with his offences.

Malaysian authorities arrested him on Thursday after their officers located him in Seremban, Negeri Sembilan.

He was handed over to CPIB officers in Kuala Lumpur the next day.

CPIB said it takes a serious view of any corrupt and criminal practices and will not hesitate to take action against offenders involved in such acts.

It added: "Singapore adopts a zero tolerance approach towards corruption and criminal activities."

No bail was offered to Hew and he will be back in court on May 26.

For each count of forgery, he can be jailed up to seven years and fined.