Two top execs of local construction firm Tiong Seng face graft probe

Tiong Seng Holdings' chief executive Pek Lian Guan is one of two company executives interviewed by the CPIB.
Tiong Seng Holdings' chief executive Pek Lian Guan is one of two company executives interviewed by the CPIB.

The chief executive of a mainboard-listed construction firm, Mr Pek Lian Guan, and its project director, Mr Pay Teow Heng, are on bail amid a corruption probe.

The board of directors of home-grown Tiong Seng Holdings said in a Singapore Exchange (SGX) announcement dated on Monday that the duo were interviewed by the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) last week in relation to corruption offences.

The offences were connected to "certain staff loan transactions" entered into by its wholly owned subsidiary Tiong Seng Contractors, which handled projects such as the Resorts World Sentosa integrated resort and St Regis hotel.

Tiong Seng is one of Singapore's major construction groups.

Mr Pek, who is also the group's executive director, and Mr Pay were interviewed on Sept 12 and Sept 11, respectively, said the notice.

It added that as of Monday, in-vestigations are ongoing and no charges have been made against the two men.

The CPIB told The Straits Times that it could not comment further on the case as investigations are ongoing.

ST visited the group's premises in Jurong East yesterday afternoon, but workers leaving the building declined to comment, and some said they did not know of the case until they saw the news report.

Mr Pek and Mr Pay were also not at home when ST visited their houses.

In the SGX notice, the board, with the exception of Mr Pek, who recused himself, said it was of the view that the two men should "continue to discharge their responsibilities and duties in the operation of the group's businesses to ensure business continuity".

The board will reassess its position where appropriate in due course.

 

In response to additional queries from ST about details of the case, the board said it could not comment further beyond what was said on Monday. It added: "Timely announcements with any material developments will be announced via SGXNet, according to SGX listing rules."

In May, Tiong Seng Contractors clinched one of the top prizes at the Building Construction Authority awards, coming in tops for the Build Environment Leadership Award and receiving the Platinum Star for its "sustained leadership, excellence and innovation in Singapore's built environment industry".

This month, Tiong Seng Holdings said that its unit had secured a $287 million contract from JTC Corporation to build an industrial building at the latter's Ang Mo Kio Industrial Park.

The group has helped to build major landmarks in Singapore, such as Capella Singapore on Sentosa and Parkroyal on Pickering.

It was listed on the main board of the Singapore Exchange in April 2010.

Mr Pek was appointed director of Tiong Seng Contractors in 1993, and later became deputy managing director in 1997, according to the firm's website.

He was appointed to the board in April 2008, and was re-elected in April 2012.

Mr Pay joined Tiong Seng Contractors as a project engineer in 1992, and became project director in 1998.

He manages the tender process for projects and oversees cons-truction projects by Tiong Seng Contractors.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 18, 2019, with the headline 'Two top execs of local construction firm Tiong Seng face graft probe'. Print Edition | Subscribe