Former school principal who lied about extramarital affair dismissed from public service

Former River Valley High principal Koh Yong Chiah  was jailed four weeks on Jan 21, 2016.
Former River Valley High principal Koh Yong Chiah was jailed four weeks on Jan 21, 2016.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE- A former River Valley High School (RVHS) principal, who was sentenced in January to four weeks' jail after lying about an extramarital affair with a school vendor to whom he awarded contracts, has been dismissed from public service.

Koh Yong Chiah, who was 61 when he was sentenced to jail, had once been dubbed one of Singapore's "super principals".

A notice posted Monday (Sept 19) in the online edition of the Government Gazette said that Koh, a Senior Education Officer Superscale 'G', has been dismissed from the Public Service with effect from Sept 14.

On Nov 24, 2005, the father of two gave false information to an officer from the Ministry of Education, asserting that he was not having an affair with school service provider Ivy Loke Wai Lin.


Koh was then principal of Jurong Junior College, a post he held from 2003 until 2009, when he became principal of River Valley High School.

Koh and Ms Loke, who was 55 as of January this year, met in 2000 while he was the principal of Chinese High School (CHS). Their first sexual encounter was during a CHS community service trip to Lijiang, China, in 2001. Both were married.

Between May and November 2005, in his capacity as the final approving authority for contracts at JJC, Koh awarded six contracts worth $162,491 to Ms Loke's firm, Education Architects 21 (EA 21).

He did not disclose the nature of his relationship with Ms Loke to the quotation approval panel.

Between 2005 and 2012, he approved $3.4 million worth of contracts to EA 21 and EI, another of Ms Loke's firms.

Dubbed one of the "super principals" when he was appointed cluster superintendent in 1999, Koh was, at one point in his career with the education service, overseeing 11 schools in the south zone.

The Nantah graduate began his teaching career at Catholic High School in 1981 and rose through the ranks to become principal of Kranji Secondary School.

He made the news in 1999 when he was appointed principal of Chinese High School.

When the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau started investigating him in 2012, he was redeployed to the Ministry of Education to assist in curriculum development.