Former HR manager in Hyflux subsidiary charged with corruption

Khoo Chen Ee is accused of receiving or agreeing to receive about $7,000 in "rewards" on three occasions. PHOTOS: WONG KWAI CHOW, ST FILE

SINGAPORE - A former human resource manager of a Hyflux subsidiary was charged with corruption on Wednesday (June 3).

Khoo Chen Ee, 36, who was with Hydrochem (S), is accused of receiving or agreeing to receive about $7,000 in "rewards" on three occasions between August and December 2018 from the director of Leeds HR Solution, Mr Elumalai Selvakumar.

Hydrochem is the predecessor of Hyflux. It was set up by Hyflux founder Olivia Lum in 1989 and became a wholly-owned subsidiary when Hyflux was incorporated in 2000, ahead of its public listing.

The beleaguered water treatment company is under criminal investigation for suspected false and misleading statements, as well as non-compliance with accounting standards.

Khoo, a permanent resident, said in court on Wednesday that he intends to plead guilty. He will be back in court on June 24.

A spokesman for Hydrochem said Khoo resigned in December 2018.

The Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) did not say whether Mr Elumalai is facing any corruption charges.

Three Singaporeans were also charged with corruption in two separate cases on Wednesday.

Senior marketing manager Song Loo San, 70, is accused of giving bribes totalling US$27,300 (S$38,150) to his business partner Heng Chee Gim to advance the business interests of their respective companies.

Song, who was then working with logistics company ATI Freight, had allegedly given the bribes over at least 34 occasions between January 2016 and October 2018.

Heng, 46, who was then the marine logistics manager with Sasol Chemicals Pacific, was also charged with corruption for accepting the bribes.

The CPIB said that businesses should have a level-playing field to advance their interests and engage in honest competition.

"Those who resort to corrupt means to get ahead will face the consequences under the law," it said in a statement.

Song will return to court on June 24.

In a separate case, a halfway house employee was accused of accepting bribes from 12 of its residents, in exchange for being lenient to the recovering addicts or former offenders.

Roy Evan Rajoo, 59, a former operations staff with Teen Challenge Singapore, was charged with accepting about $3,000 in loans from the residents between November 2018 and May 2019.

The halfway house rehabilitates recovering addicts and offenders, including prison inmates on community-based programmes.

Roy Evan also tried to obtain another $350 in loans from another two residents in March and May 2019, said court documents.

The CPIB said individuals who take advantage of their position for personal gain compromises their integrity and those under their care.

"This is especially so for individuals working in rehabilitation services who obtain bribes from residents in return, as such acts will compromise the efforts to rehabilitate them," it added.

Its statement did not say if the residents face any corruption charges.

Roy Evan will be back in court on July 2.

For each count of corruption, offenders can be jailed up to five years and fined a maximum of $100,000, or given both punishments.

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