SINGAPORE - The National Parks Board (NParks) officer convicted of lying to auditors over his relationship with a bicycle firm's director was on Tuesday given the maximum $5,000 fine for the offence.
Assistant Director Bernard Lim Yong Soon, 42, told the Ministry of National Development (MND) on 18 July, 2012 that he first met Bikehop's Lawrence Lim Chun How on March 16 that year.
The men had actually met in September or October 2011 at a night cycling event. Bernard Lim later tipped Mr Lawrence Lim off about an upcoming tender he was overseeing for folding bicycles in Jan 2012. This led to the firm's successful bid to supply 22 Brompton bikes to NParks, for $57,200.
Following a nine-day trial, Bernard Lim was cleared on May 29 of one other charge of instigating Lawrence Lim to perpetuate the lie.
Although Bernard Lim had asked the Bikehop director to "unfriend" him on Facebook after public scrutiny of the deal intensified, and told him not to reveal their relationship to anyone, a district court found he would have done more had he specifically wanted his friend to lie.
Lawrence Lim had initially lied to auditors before coming clean but it was more likely, the court found, that he had acted out of a personal anxiety to keep their stories consistent.
For lying to public servants, Bernard Lim could have been jailed up to a year and fined up to $5,000.