Man fined for forgery that led to 50 doors being labelled fireproof

Peh Eng Thong was fined $20,000 after he pleaded guilty to one count of forgery. ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

SINGAPORE - A door manufacturing company did not have the certification to make fireproof doors and was unable to apply for labels to indicate that they were fireproof.

So the director of SIAC, Mr Mike Chin Chee Huen, got the help of Peh Eng Thong, the assistant general manager of KLW Joinery, which had a valid certification for manufacturing fireproof doors.

Peh ended up forging a document that led to 50 doors being labelled fireproof and installed.

The 51-year-old Singaporean was fined $20,000 on Monday (April 18) after he pleaded guilty to one count of forgery.

Deputy public prosecutor Yee Jia Rong told the court that sometime in or before December 2018, SIAC received 50 orders for fireproof doors to be installed in new buildings.

For such buildings to meet fire safety requirements, certain doors installed within them have to be rated fireproof by the Singapore Civil Defence Force.

As part of the application process, companies have to produce evidence to show that the doors were manufactured or sourced from a supplier with a certificate of compliance before it received fire labels for the doors.

SIAC had applied for the certificate but it had not been approved, and it was unable to apply for fire labels for the doors.

Mr Chin asked Peh to lend him 50 fire labels for the doors.

DPP Yee said: "(Peh) knew that SIAC was a major client and was keen to maintain KLW Joinery's business relationship with SIAC. He thus agreed to provide Mike with the fire labels."

On Dec 6, 2018, Peh made a forged requisition form saying that SIAC had bought the doors from KLW Joinery.

He then gave the form to a consultant and asked him to prepare a purchase order based on the forged requisition form and apply for the fire labels, which the consultant did.

After submitting the requisition form, 50 fire labels were delivered to SIAC to be pasted on the doors that were then installed in the buildings.

Court documents did not state how Peh's offence came to light, but after it did, the 50 doors were traced and SIAC was directed to replace them.

In his written submissions for sentencing, DPP Yee said the potential risk directly caused by Peh's actions is substantial.

He added: "Had the accused's actions remained undiscovered, these 50 doors, each of which would have represented separate and distinct sources of risk in the event of a fire ensuing, would have remained installed in various buildings."

Peh was represented by Mr Daniel Atticus Xu who said that his client had been in the door trade for 25 years but has resigned from his KLW Joinery job and currently runs a workshop.

Mr Xu added that Peh, a father of two, has been financially affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and that he had followed the instructions of Mr Chin in committing the offence.

The Straits Times understands that no action will be taken against Mr Chin.

For forgery, Peh could have been jailed for up to 10 years and fined.

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