Hari Raya event scam: 2nd man jailed 20 weeks

A second man involved in a scheme to dupe government organisations into paying nearly $200,000 more for a Hari Raya event was yesterday jailed for 20 weeks.

Salleh Sam, 50, had pleaded guilty on Monday to three charges of scheming to cheat and one count of managing a business as an undischarged bankrupt.

He was also fined $6,000. He had admitted to seven other related charges, which were considered in sentencing.

A district court had heard that Salleh and three others allegedly conspired to inflate the costs of the annual Hari Raya light-up event in Geylang in 2011 and 2012. This has been organised since 1996 by Majlis Pusat Singapura, the umbrella body for Malay cultural groups.

Salleh was the manager of event companies MCC Events and Production, and 7M Natural Sources, which were involved in the light-up event in 2011 and 2012.

On Monday, Gazaly Malek, 60, the first to be dealt with, was jailed for 20 weeks. Like Salleh, he wanted to claim trial, but changed his mind before his trial began. Gazaly pleaded guilty to three charges of scheming to cheat.

Both men will start serving their prison terms on May 23.

The other two men, Saharudin Kassim, 54, and Abdul Ghani Tahir, 52, are awaiting trial.

The court had heard it was Saharudin, the secretary-general and, later, president of Majlis Pusat, who hatched the plan to inflate the submissions to four agencies to induce them to provide their maximum amount of grants.

The agencies included the Singapore Tourism Board and National Population and Talent Division.

Gazaly, Salleh and Ghani, then finance secretary of Majlis Pusat, each played a role in inflating the figures in invoices given by MCC and two other firms involved in the light-up in 2011 and 2012 - Lemonseed and Global Astir.

Lemonseed's directors were Ghani and Mr Nasir Aman, Majlis Pusat deputy president from 2011 to 2012. Global Astir is owned by Majlis Pusat.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 11, 2016, with the headline 'Hari Raya event scam: 2nd man jailed 20 weeks'. Print Edition | Subscribe