Table tennis trial: School paid '400% fee mark-up'

The school at the centre of a table tennis trial paid a "400 per cent mark-up" on its previous payment for a coaching scheme in the sport, the court heard yesterday.

A witness from the Ministry of Education also said Fuhua Secondary went about nominating the Singapore Table Tennis Association (STTA) as its table tennis consultants in a "quite disturbing" way.

The "revelations" came as defence lawyers for former STTA officials Choo Wee Khiang, 58, and Koh Li Ping, 44 - accused of embezzling $8,400 - continued the argument that the school signed the contract in 2004 as a way to pay Chinese national Luo Jie wages owed from his time as a coach there.

They told the court Fuhua Secondary signed a contract in 2004 to pay the STTA $9,600 for 30 weekly coaching sessions, about $320 for each two-hour session. This was four times the $40-an-hour rate promised to Mr Luo, according to former teacher Doreen Chan Hwee Choo, who ran the school's table tennis team from 2000 to 2003.

The court also heard that the school's quotation evaluation panel - which is meant to ensure quotations were value for money and met the school's needs - did not meet to discuss the STTA quotation.

yanliang@sph.com.sg