Two men were sentenced to jail yesterday for conspiring to bribe a Housing Board clerk of works to be lenient in his supervision of a construction project more than 20 years ago.
Chang Chan Nam, 55, and Peck Chin Choon, 54, then directors of Chang Choon Huat Construction (CCH), each admitted to five charges of giving cash cheques of $2,400 each between March and July 1994 to Soh Chor Huang.
Chang, who now works as a night-shift concrete truck driver, was given six months' jail while Peck, whose culpability was lower, was jailed for four months. Seventeen other charges were taken into consideration during sentencing.
Soh, 65, was jailed for nine months and ordered to pay a penalty of $24,800 in April.
Some time before CCH was set up in 1993, Soh asked Chang if they could work together on an HDB project to erect barriers to existing parapets of multi-storey carparks.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Jasmin Kaur said that as Soh, a government servant, did not want to register his name in the company, he asked his brother-in-law Goh Teck Seng to do so. Mr Goh agreed to place his name in CCH but did not get involved in the company in any other way.
When Chang subsequently told Peck about the plan, Peck did not object. In 1993, when CCH began work on the project, Chang was appointed the project manager and Peck was in charge of supervising works.
Both men were aware that CCH did not fully comply with the project specifications by using materials not approved by HDB for the installation of some of the carpark barriers.
If CCH wanted to use materials not stated in the specifications, it would have to get permission from HDB, but this was not done. Instead, Chang and Peck agreed to give benefits to Soh, who was in charge of the project, so that he would not report this to HDB and would allow the works to continue.
Soh's bribes came out of Mr Goh's "salary". CCH credited 20 per cent into his Central Provident Fund (CPF) account, and the remaining 80 per cent went to Soh by way of cash cheques.
DPP Kaur said the corrupt gratifications involved a total of $6,200 in CPF payment to Mr Goh and $24,800 in cash cheques to Soh.
Chang's lawyer Justin Yu Jun Wen said his client had admitted to having committed the offences as early as November 2015, when he was first interviewed by the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau.
Chang and Peck could have been fined up to $100,000 and/or jailed for up to five years on each charge.