NParks officer was "afraid" to declare his relationship with bicycle supplier's director

Bernard Lim Yong Soon, the NParks officer who oversaw the purchase of 26 Brompton bicycles told graft officers that he lied to auditors over his relationship with the supplier's director because he was "afraid", a district court heard on Tuesday
Bernard Lim Yong Soon, the NParks officer who oversaw the purchase of 26 Brompton bicycles told graft officers that he lied to auditors over his relationship with the supplier's director because he was "afraid", a district court heard on Tuesday, March 25, 2014. -- ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

The National Parks Board (NParks) officer who oversaw the purchase of 26 Brompton bicycles told graft officers that he lied to auditors over his relationship with the supplier's director because he was "afraid", a district court heard on Tuesday.

Bernard Lim Yong Soon, 42, is accused of lying to the Ministry of Development (MND) during a meeting on July 18, 2012, and instigating Bikehop director Mr Lawrence Lim Chun How to do the same.

In a statement the NParks assistant director made to the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) in August 2012, Lim had said he acted the way he did on several occasions because he knew it was wrong not to declare his relationship with Mr Lawrence Lim. The pair became friends at a social event in September or October 2011, some three months before a public tender for the foldable bikes was made.

The court heard that Lim did not tell the truth on several occasions and did not reply to Mr Lawrence Lim's request that he come clean to his superiors after public scrutiny on the deal increased. He failed to come clean despite having at least five chances to do so.

Lim had allegedly also given the same reasons to explain why he told the three MND auditors that he first met Mr Lawrence Lim on March 16, but later clarified this actually happened 10 days earlier.

These were the contents of a statement referred to in court on Tuesday. It was one of six statements Lim made with the CPIB after his arrest in July, while he was then being investigated for wrongfully communicating information.

The trial continues on Wednesday.

Register here to get free digital access to The Straits Times until Aug 9, 2015.
Comments