Former NLB manager charged with corruption

Ivan Koh Siong Wee, 48, is accused of accepting bribes from Database Resource Services director Low Pok Woen, 49, in exchange for advancing Low's business with NLB.
Ivan Koh Siong Wee, 48, is accused of accepting bribes from Database Resource Services director Low Pok Woen, 49, in exchange for advancing Low's business with NLB. PHOTO: ST FILE

A former National Library Board (NLB) manager was charged in court yesterday after he allegedly received nearly $600,000 in bribes from a company director.

Ivan Koh Siong Wee, 48, is accused of accepting the bribes from Database Resource Services director Low Pok Woen, 49, in exchange for advancing Low's business interests with NLB.

The two Singaporeans, who were each charged with 56 counts of corruption, are said to have committed the offences between 2005 and 2009.The monies involved ranged from $80 to $70,000.

According to court documents, on five occasions between Nov 4, 2005, and March 24, 2006, Koh allegedly received bribes from Low totalling $13,500 for senior NLB librarian Vernon Lee Tsu Tsuan.

The Straits Times understands that Mr Lee has not been charged.

Koh and Low were each offered bail of $80,000. Their pre-trial conferences will be held on Aug 30.

NLB said it takes a "serious view of any allegation of corruption", adding that Koh and Mr Lee resigned and left NLB in November 2014 and April 2006, respectively.

In a statement, the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau said that it takes a serious view of any corrupt practices and will not hesitate to take action against any party involved in such acts. It added: "Singapore adopts a zero-tolerance approach towards corruption."

If convicted of graft, offenders can be jailed for up to five years and fined up to $100,000 for each charge.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 24, 2018, with the headline 'Former NLB manager charged with corruption'. Print Edition | Subscribe