Preferential treatment given to STTA coach Luo Jie: Prosecution

The former Singapore Table Tennis Association (STTA) high performance manager on trial for abetting to embezzle $8,400 had double standards in the treatment of coaches who had flouted private coaching rules, the prosecution said on Wednesday.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Alan Loh raised the disparities in the treatment meted out by Koh Li Ping, 44, to Mr Luo Jie - the Chinese national at the heart of the scandal - and another coach Sang Zhi Min, suggesting Mr Luo had preferential treatment.

DPP Loh pointed out that Mr Sang's services were discontinued by STTA in September 2005 for contravening the rules, but Mr Luo, on the other hand, would receive payment for the two years of moonlighting he did at Fuhua Secondary School between 2001 and 2003. He also asked Koh why she had not raised the issue with then-STTA vice-president Edwin Lee when he asked her if there were any other "errant coaches" in the association.

"It is a different thing altogether. For Luo Jie, the school decided to pay and I was under the instruction of Mr Choo to carry out the contract," Koh replied, adding that "by the time this case was not in my mind anymore". She was referring to former STTA president Choo Wee Khiang, who is also facing criminal breach of trust charges.

DPP Loh countered: "This, even though Mr Luo was in 2005 constantly asking you for the money at the time?"

Koh replied that it was a "different matter", given the chronology of events, as Mr Luo's case occurred before she became the high performance manager of STTA in 2004. The court has previously heard that Mr Luo was paid $8,400 in two tranches - in April and October 2005.