Man gets six weeks' jail for giving bribes to technicians

Li Chen, 34, was jailed for six weeks on Monday (Oct 3) for giving bribes to two technicians to go easy in their inspections of projects. PHOTO: ST GRAPHICS

SINGAPORE - A Chinese national was jailed for six weeks on Monday (Oct 3) for giving bribes to two technicians to go easy in their inspections of projects.

Li Chen, 34, a Singapore permanent resident, was a project manager with Great Resources M&E Contractor when he corruptly gave $100 on each of two occasions in September 2011 and November 2013 to then SP Services technician Jasman Tiron, 56. This was to induce Jasman not to create difficulties for Great Resources when he inspected the subcontractor's electrical board installations at Block 55 Havelock Road.

The prosecution proceeded on the September 2011 offence, as well as against Li for scheming with Aung Myat Wynn and Mohammad Jasim Uddin Habej Uddin to corruptly give $450 to former SP PowerGrid technician Muhamad Ridhuan Ramli, so that Ridhuan would not create difficulties for Hong Dat Engineering for its installations at Block 667A Punggol Drive. Li had instructed Aung to give the money to Ridhuan on Aug 8, 2014.

He pleaded guilty to both charges.

SP Services, a subsidiary of Singapore Power, is responsible for meter reading billing, customer service and the supplying of electricity while the other subsidiary, SP PowerGrid, deals with the transmission and distribution of electricity in Singapore.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Norman Yew said Jasman's duties included inspecting electrical installations at HDB flats being built to ensure that the flats' electrical systems were serviceable and that it was safe to supply electricity to those flats.

On Sept 26, 2011, Jasman was inspecting Great Resources' project at a flat in Havelock Road when he refused to pass the inspection even though the installation was satisfactory. Li then brought him to a corner and gave him $100.

After taking the money, Jasman indicated on his hand-held computer that Great Resources' electrical installations passed the inspection.

In the other case, the court heard that on Aug 8, 2014, SP PowerGrid's then technicians Muhamad Ridhuan, 34, Mohamad Suffiandi Mohamad Suhaimi, 31, and Mohd Kutty Hassan, 63, met Jasim and Aung when they went to the Punggol flat to install electrical meters.

While checking the electrical meter boards, Ridhuan deliberately applied a wrong measuring method, and found that the boards were not installed high enough. He then told Aung they would not install the electrical meters as the board installations were unsatisfactory.

DPP Yew said the meter boards were, in fact, installed satisfactorily according to SP PowerGrid guidelines.

Ridhuan then asked for $150 each for himself, Suffiandi and Mohd. Aung called Li who told Aung to give Ridhuan $20, but the offer was rejected by Ridhuan.

Aung then called Li again, and this time, Li told Aung to take $450 from Jasim and give it to Ridhuan.

After taking the bribe, the trio installed the electrical meters.

Jasman and Ridhuan have been convicted and sentenced to six weeks and two weeks' jail respectively, and ordered to pay a penalty of $200 each. Suffiandi was given one week's jail while Mohd was given a warning. The cases against Aung and Jasim are pending.

The maximum penalty for corruption is a $100,000 fine and five years' jail.

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