Company director given 5 weeks' jail for giving $10,000 in kickbacks

Heng Tze Yong was sentenced to five weeks' jail for giving $10,000 in kickbacks to secure contracts.
Heng Tze Yong was sentenced to five weeks' jail for giving $10,000 in kickbacks to secure contracts. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - A 43-year-old company director was on Thursday (Sept 8) sentenced to five weeks' jail for graft.

Heng Tze Yong, director of ANM Services, which makes air filters and cleans semiconductor parts, admitted to giving $10,000 in kickbacks to a facility manager of a semiconductor manufacturer in return for contracts worth about $155,000.

In 2012, Heng met Ong Seng Wee alias Ben, 46, a facility manager for Micron Semiconductor Asia, who was looking for suppliers of High Efficiency Particle Arrester (Hepa) filters. Such filters need to be used in rooms where semiconductors are manufactured.

Micron later awarded five contracts worth $104,280 for the supply of Hepa filters to ANM between December 2012 and December 2013. It also awarded five contracts worth US$37,686 (S$50,754) for cleaning semiconductor parts between March and September 2013.

In May 2013, Ong met Heng for dinner at a restaurant. They discussed the Hepa filters that ANM had supplied Micron and Ong told Heng: "I take care of you, you take care of me."

Heng asked Ong how much money he wanted and Ong replied $3,000. Heng gave Ong the cash a week later as he wanted to maintain a good business relationship, the court heard.

In August 2013, Ong called Heng and asked for $7,000. Heng agreed to pass him the money, in order to get future business from Micron.

Heng later also paid about $1,000 for one of Ong's karaoke sessions; and about $2,000 for a dinner and karaoke session with Ong and another person.

In December 2014, graftbusters got an anonymous letter saying Ong had engaged in corrupt dealings with Heng, and probed the duo.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Norman Yew asked for a deterrent sentence, arguing that semiconductors are a key pillar of Singapore's manufacturing sector, and that the industry needs to be protected from graft.

A fear of losing business is unexceptional in the commercial world, he added.

Heng could have been jailed for five years and fined $100,000.

Ong has been sentenced to 10 weeks' jail for taking the kickbacks.