FAS saga: Bill Ng, wife, Zainudin Nordin and Winston Lee all out on police bail

Bill Ng, Zainudin Nordin and Winston Lee.
Bill Ng, Zainudin Nordin and Winston Lee. ST PHOTO: JONATHAN CHOO, MARK CHEONG, ST FILE

The four individuals connected to the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) investigation into Singapore football are out on police bail. Bill Ng, his wife Bonnie Wong, Zainudin Nordin and Winston Lee are assisting the police in their probe into the suspected misuse of club funds at Tiong Bahru Football Club and an attempt to obstruct audits into clubs.

The Straits Times understands that the bail amounts differ among the individuals. Withers KhattarWong lawyer Shashi Nathan confirmed that bail for Ng had been set at $100,000.

Last Thursday, the CAD conducted raids at the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) office at Jalan Besar Stadium, and at the clubhouses of Tiong Bahru, Hougang United and Woodlands Wellington.

Ng is the chairman of Tiong Bahru and Hougang. In 2014, he tried to lead a merger between Woodlands and Hougang that ultimately failed.

Zainudin is the former FAS president (2009-2016) and Lee is its current general secretary.

Nathan said: "I'm advising him (Ng) at the moment. At this point, there's a lot of information coming out without confirmation. I think what I would advise him to do is we want the dust to settle for a few days.

"(We) probably have to give a press conference, (it's) the best way to give the news without compromising investigations. It's too early. The press shouldn't do their own investigation.

"Right now he is not charged with anything. To be fair to him, as well as to the police, we don't want to speculate."

Wong is believed to be represented by another legal firm, Rajah & Tann.

The investigation comes at a time when the FAS is gearing up for its inaugural election on Saturday.

Ng is a presidential hopeful, leading a slate of nine candidates called the Game Changers. He will face lawyer and former FAS vice-president Lim Kia Tong, who is fielding a side called Team LKT.

On April 13, at a press conference to unveil his team's manifesto, Ng said he made donations totalling $500,000 to the FAS for the benefit of Singapore football. The FAS disputed this, saying (and releasing documents to show) that Ng had agreed to a request from Zainudin to contribute the money to the Asean Football Federation's (AFF) Football Management System (FMS).

The FMS is a management portal that provides marketing contract templates, and has governance, finance and human resource functions. The vendor is a company called Tribal Worldwide, which is headquartered in New York and has an office in Singapore.

A spokesman for Tribal Worldwide corporate affairs said yesterday: "Tribal Worldwide was successfully awarded the AFF tender against proposal bids from other vendors worldwide. We are very pleased that a Singapore-based digital agency has won this tender against worldwide bids."

Wang Meng Meng

•Additional reporting by Zaihan Mohamed Yusof

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 25, 2017, with the headline 'Ng, wife, Zainudin and Lee all out on police bail'. Print Edition | Subscribe