Former RWS director jailed 14 months for taking $317,000 in bribes

Soh Yew Meng, 38, accepted monies from representatives of various companies between July 22, 2013 and Jan 15, 2014 in exchange for business contracts with RWS.
Soh Yew Meng, 38, accepted monies from representatives of various companies between July 22, 2013 and Jan 15, 2014 in exchange for business contracts with RWS. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - A former director at Resorts World at Sentosa (RWS) was jailed for 14 months on Wednesday (March 8) for receiving $317,000 in bribes.

Soh Yew Meng, 38, who was in the building enhancement department, had accepted monies from representatives of various companies between July 22, 2013 and Jan 15, 2014 in exchange for business contracts with RWS.

He pleaded guilty last month to three counts of corruption involving $315,000.

Four other similar charges - namely one count of accepting $2,000 in bribes and three counts of attempting to obtain bribes for unspecified amounts - were taken into consideration during sentencing.

Soh admitted that he had sought from the managing director of Shanghai Chong Kee Furniture and Construction, Mr Tan Ken Huat, 60, a corrupt payment of between 3 and 5 per cent of the tender quotation if it were to win the tender for the Festive Hotel project at RWS.

In return, Soh would provide Mr Tan - whose firm specialises in interior contract work - with information on how much Shanghai Chong Kee's competitors would be bidding for the project.

 

The court heard that Soh originally approached Shanghai Chong Kee's subcontractor, mechanical and electrical works company Superiortec, with the offer.

Superiortec's director, Mr Teo Wee Liap, 37, then referred him to Mr Tan who agreed to give Soh $300,000.

On July 8, 2013, a contract for the Festive Hotel project was awarded to Shanghai Chong Kee at a sum of $8,938,000.

Shanghai Chong Kee, in turn, awarded Superiortec with the mechanical and electrical works portion of the project at a sum of $2,900,000.

Two weeks later, Mr Teo encashed two cheques for $150,000 collected from Shanghai Chong Kee and passed the money to Soh's girlfriend - quantity surveying and project management director Tan Siow Hui, 33.

The following month, Ms Tan took $106,200 of the money, deposited it in her own bank accounts and used $104,654.48 to pay for a unit at the Chestervale condominium at Bangkit Road in Bukit Panjang which is under her name.

Ms Tan and Soh later lived in the apartment together.

Between Dec 23, 2013 and Jan 15, 2014, Mr Teo prepared another payment of $150,000 for Soh.

This amount was derived from Shanghai Chong Kee's payments to Superiortec for the mechanical and electrical works subcontract.

He passed the money to his company's administrator who later handed it over to Ms Tan.

Soh also received $15,000 in bribes from Mr Tan Choon Hung, 43, director of glass and aluminium works company Beyond Builders, between Nov 11 and 19, 2013.

The court heard that Ms Tan approached Mr Tan Choon Hung and told him that Soh wanted her to ask for five per cent of the project amount of RWS' Asian Cafe project in exchange of awarding the job to Beyond Builders.

After negotiating, Mr Tan Choon Hung offered to give $15,000 and Soh agreed to accept this amount.

Mr Tan Choon Hung later passed Ms Tan the money at the Thye Hwa Heng canteen at Eunos Avenue 6.

The contract was awarded to Beyond Builders at $620,000 on Nov 19, 2013.

The Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau gave Ms Tan a stern condition warning last month and she was given discharge not amounting to an acquittal in court on Wednesday.

This means, she can be prosecuted again if new evidence were to surface.

Investigations are still ongoing for the cases involving Mr Teo, Mr Tan Ken Huat and Mr Tan Choon Hung.

For each count of corruption, Soh could have been jailed up to five years and fined up to $100,000.