Ex-employee in management corporation of Bugis Junction fined $45,000 for corruption

Subramaniam Panneer Selvam had earlier pleaded guilty to one count of corruption. PHOTO: CORRUPT PRACTICES INVESTIGATION BUREAU

SINGAPORE - While employed by the property management corporation of Bugis Junction, a 55-year-old man tried to get kickbacks in exchange for helping a building maintenance company win a project tender.

Subramaniam Panneer Selvam later lied to his superior that he was trying to test the company to see if it engaged in "such unethical practices", after he was confronted about his actions.

Subramaniam was fined $45,000 on Thursday (Aug 19). He had earlier pleaded guilty to one count of corruption.

Another similar charge was taken into consideration by District Judge Christopher Goh during sentencing.

Court documents state that Subramaniam was a deputy manager in the management corporation when he committed his offences. He is no longer working there.

Among other things, he was involved in the calling of quotations and facilitating of tenders for mechanical and electrical works.

Subramaniam had the authority to make recommendations on who the contracts or tenders should be awarded to, even though the final decision was not his.

On two occasions last year, he attempted to get bribes from employees of Comfort Management, a company which mainly provides servicing and maintenance works for air-conditioning and mechanical ventilation systems.

The company was in the midst of trying to secure the contract for an energy efficiency project involving the management corporation, worth between $800,000 and $900,000.

On April 27 last year, Subramaniam communicated with the company's assistant general manager over WhatsApp about the project.

Among other things, he suggested the quotation amount that Comfort Management should propose, including an additional $15,000 that he wanted from the company.

But the assistant general manager did not respond to Subramaniam's request. He reported the incident to his superior, the general manager, who informed the company's managing director about it.

Subramaniam attempted to get a similar bribe from the general manager on June 18 last year.

She did not reply to his messages, and refused to pick up any of his calls over the next few days. She also reported the incident to the company's managing director.

Court documents state that Comfort Management then decided to drop out of the tender for the project.

On June 30 last year, Subramaniam deleted the incriminating messages that he sent to the company's employees as he was worried that his wrongdoing would be discovered.

He told his superior the next day that he was trying to test the company to determine if it engaged in the practice of giving kickbacks.

Subramaniam admitted to his offences on July 21 last year when questioned by the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau.

The tender for the project was aborted as its process had been compromised, court documents state.

For his offence, he could have been jailed for up to five years, or fined up to $100,000, or both.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.