Woman at centre of corruption trial first met ex-SCDF chief Peter Lim in 1996

The woman at the centre of a corruption charge against former civil defence chief Peter Lim Sin Pang first met him when he was a major, she said taking the stand for the first time during the sex-for-contracts trial on Monday.

The two met in 1996 when Ms Pang Chor Mui was working for a company that sold mass decontamination portals to the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF). Lim, then a major, was invited to attend an exercise in Norway by the product's supplier, and Ms Pang was the company representative who took him and one of his colleagues there.

Replying to Deputy Public Prosecutor Sherlyn Neo's questions on Monday, Ms Pang referred to Lim by his Chinese name, "Sin Pang", and said they had met for lunch a few times after the trip and kept in touch. But in 1998 after her divorce, the two lost contact as she was busy with work and had to take care of her son.

It was only after Lim was appointed SCDF commissioner in 2009, and Ms Pang had joined Nimrod Engineering, that the two re-connected over text messages and met up again. While on the stand, Ms Pang also said she had sent Lim a "thank you" message after Nimrod Engineering won a contract to supply walkthrough and handheld metal detectors to the SCDF in Dec 2009. She said she had sent the message out of courtesy, and did not think Lim would have been involved in approving the "small" contract worth about $13,000.