Ng Boon Gay case to wrap up today

BOTH sides in the corruption trial of former anti-narcotics chief Ng Boon Gay will present their closing arguments on Monday for a case that could have implications for the reading of Singapore's corruption laws.

The case wraps up after 14 days of testimony by 10 witnesses, who had attracted a fair number of watchers in the gallery on some days.

It will be up to District Judge Siva Shanmugam to decide whether or not Ng, 46, had acted corruptly when he received oral sex from former IT executive Cecilia Sue, 36, on four occasions in 2011.

The former director of the Central Narcotics Bureau is said to have obtained the sexual favours from Ms Sue in exchange for furthering the business interests of her then employers Hitachi Data Systems and Oracle Corp Singapore.

Both prosecution and defence had clashed on the interpretation of Singapore's corruption laws in arguing their cases.

Citing Sections 8 and 9 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, Deputy Public Prosecutor Tan Ken Hwee said that Ng, as a public officer, was deemed corrupt as long as he had received sexual favours from Ms Sue, because she was seeking business deals with the Government. The onus was on Ng to prove otherwise.

Defence lawyer Tan Chee Meng, however, countered that going by this presumption would mean any civil servant who receives any benefit or advantage of any sort would be deemed corrupt and would have to prove his innocence.

The four sex acts, Senior Counsel Tan said, had been consensual and had occurred in the context of a long-running relationship between Ng and Ms Sue that lasted three years. As such, they were not corrupt.

Ng's corruption case is one of several now going on that involve senior public servants.

Law professor Tey Tsun Hang, 41, has been charged under the Act for allegedly having sex with a former student, Ms Darinne Ko, 23, as inducements to give her a good assessment.

Former Singapore Civil Defence Force chief Peter Lim Sin Pang, 52, also faces charges for receiving sexual favours from three women working at technology companies.

His trial involving one of the women will be heard next month.

The verdict for Ng's case, which will come at a later date, could set the tone for these other cases.