Ex-CEO of dental centre fined $15k for bribe proposal

Nurul Aizat Zainudin, whose services as CEO and dental surgeon have been terminated by the Family Dental Centre chain, was caught after the T32 Dental employee he tried to bribe rejected his offer and alerted her clinic's management.
Nurul Aizat Zainudin, whose services as CEO and dental surgeon have been terminated by the Family Dental Centre chain, was caught after the T32 Dental employee he tried to bribe rejected his offer and alerted her clinic's management.BERITA HARIAN FILE PHOTO

He offered to pay dental assistant at rival clinic $50 for every patient she could refer to his clinic

The chief executive officer of Family Dental Centre (FDC) - a chain of dental clinics - offered to bribe a rival's employee with $50 for every patient that she could refer from her clinic to his.

The dental assistant from T32 Dental rejected Nurul Aizat Zainudin's offer and, instead, reported the matter to her clinic's management.

Nurul Aizat, 32, who is also a dental surgeon, was fined $15,000 yesterday after pleading guilty to a corruption charge.

The court heard that the saga began in April last year when Dr Rudy Shahan Hassan, who used to work for T32 Dental, accepted Nurul Aizat's offer to join FDC as a clinical director. During the negotiations, Dr Rudy asked Nurul Aizat to consider employing several dental assistants and nurses he had worked with at T32 Dental.

Among those he recommended was Ms Syakirah Atiqah Samsul Bahar, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Navin Naidu.

Nurul Aizat contacted Ms Syakirah, a dental assistant, and asked her to join FDC. She declined to attend the job interview, saying that she wanted to continue working for T32 Dental at least until the end of last year so that she could collect her bonus. Ms Syakirah also did not firmly indicate that she would join FDC in the future.

DENTAL ASSISTANT LAUDED

The CPIB would like to commend Syakirah for her act of integrity and honesty. In relation to Aizat's professional misconduct, the Singapore Dental Council will be looking into the matter.

CORRUPT PRACTICES INVESTIGATION BUREAU, on Ms Syakirah Atiqah Samsul Bahar, who rejected the bribe offer proposed by Nurul Aizat Zainudin.

At around 2.10pm on May 28 last year, Nurul Aizat sent Ms Syakirah a WhatsApp message offering to pay her $50 for each one of Dr Rudy's patients at T32 Dental whom she could refer to FDC.

DPP Naidu added: "The accused specified to Syakirah that he wanted her to refer patients from T32 who required crown and implant treatment.

"The accused did so as these treatments were relatively more expensive and would translate to better revenues for FDC."

The DPP told District Judge Kessler Soh that Dr Rudy's charges at that time for each patient's crown and implant procedures were about $3,500 to $5,000.

Based solely on such procedures for these patients, FDC could have expected to make a profit of around $50,000 on a half-yearly basis.

The court heard that Ms Syakirah rejected the bribe offer proposed by Nurul Aizat, and alerted T32 Dental's management to it.

FDC said yesterday that Nurul Aizat's services as CEO and dental surgeon were terminated on Sept 24 last year. He also ceased to be a director with effect from Sept 22 last year.

FDC added that it has reminded all dental professionals and staff of its "zero tolerance" of any legal or ethical infringements, and had cooperated fully with investigations.

The Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) said: "The CPIB would like to commend Syakirah for her act of integrity and honesty. In relation to Aizat's professional misconduct, the Singapore Dental Council will be looking into the matter."

For offering the bribe, he could have been jailed for up to five years and fined up to $100,000.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 17, 2018, with the headline 'Ex-CEO of dental centre fined $15k for bribe proposal'. Print Edition | Subscribe