Ex-RC chairman jailed for cheating his own committee

The chairman of a residents' committee (RC) in Jurong duped its treasurer to issue cheques for fictitious expenses amounting to nearly $36,900 between October 2011 and May last year. On Monday, Rosli Kechik, 39, was sentenced to nine months' jail by a district court.

He will start his jail term on April 29 as he wished to tender his resignation as an environment health officer with the National Environment Agency. When he pleaded guilty last month, a district court heard that he committed the offences when he was the chairman of the Jurong Spring RC Zone A. He would prepare payment vouchers for non-existent expenses such as maintenance fees to deceive treasurer Handra Sapri Salamat, 55, to also sign on the cheques to release RC funds. Rosli was the other signatory and the cheques were amounts ranging from $150 to $2,350.

Asking to court to impose a lenient sentence, defence counsel Tan Hee Joek urged the court not "to get carried away with the headline grabbing aspects of this case". In sentencing Rosli on Monday, District Judge Eugene Teo said that it was an aggravated case of cheating as the RC exists for the public good and the offender "was none other than the person most expected to safeguard and advance its mission".

The offences were discovered in August last year during an audit of the RC accounts. When confronted with the discrepancies, Rosli confessed and then borrowed from relatives to return all the money he had taken with the fake payment vouchers.