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The moral compass of the elites


Alfrescian (Inf)

Lawyer and MP Christopher de Souza found guilty of professional misconduct, denies charge​


The tribunal found there was cause of sufficient gravity for Mr Christopher de Souza to face disciplinary sanction before the Court of Three Judges. PHOTO: GOV.SG

Selina Lum
Senior Law Correspondent

DEC 7, 2022

SINGAPORE - Lawyer Christopher de Souza has been found guilty of professional misconduct by a disciplinary tribunal.
Mr de Souza, who is the current Deputy Speaker of Parliament and an MP for Holland-Bukit Timah GRC, was found guilty of a charge relating to his conduct while he was acting for his clients, Amber Compounding Pharmacy and Amber Laboratories.
The tribunal found that Mr de Souza had not made full and frank disclosure to the court when he was aware that his client had breached the conditions of a search order.
In fact, he helped his client prepare and file an affidavit that did not exhibit certain documents which would have revealed that Amber had breached its undertaking.
The case centred on Amber obtaining certain documents through a search order in 2018.
Amber filed a High Court suit on Feb 14, 2018, against its former employee and the new company she had set up for allegedly stealing its trade secrets.
Initially represented by law firm Dodwell & Co, Amber obtained a search order on April 13, 2018, against the defendants, subject to an undertaking that Amber was not to use the documents without further order.

On April 17, 2018, a total of 116,298 documents were seized.
Between July 31 and Oct 22 in 2018, Amber used 10 of the documents to make reports to the police, the Manpower Ministry and the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau against the defendants.
This breached its undertaking not to use the documents.

Amber approached law firm Lee & Lee on Nov 28, 2018, to act for it in relation to the criminal complaints against the defendants while Dodwell & Co continued with the suit.
Mr de Souza, a partner at Lee & Lee, knew by Dec 5, 2018, that the documents had been used by Amber. He and his firm took over the suit on Dec 14.
Despite this, he helped a representative of Amber, Mr Samuel Sudesh Thaddaeus, file an affidavit on Jan 28, 2019, which did not reveal the breaches.
“The crux of the matter is what the respondent should have done upon discovery of the use of the documents and information by Amber, and specifically whether he should have informed the court and opposing counsel of the breach of the undertakings,” said the disciplinary tribunal.

In its report published on Monday, the two-member tribunal, comprising Senior Counsel N. Sreenivasan and Mr Pradeep Pillai, said Mr de Souza knew there was a duty to disclose the prior use of the documents.
“We are of the view that the failure to make such full and frank disclosure amounted to suppression of evidence by Amber, and by filing the supporting affidavit, the respondent was a party to and assisted in such suppression,” said the tribunal.
It found that there was cause of sufficient gravity for Mr de Souza to face disciplinary sanction before the Court of Three Judges on one of the five charges brought against him by the Law Society.
The tribunal dismissed the other four charges.
The Court of Three Judges, which is the highest disciplinary body for the legal profession, has the power to suspend or disbar lawyers.
When contacted for comment, Mr de Souza’s lawyers from WongPartnership said: “There is no question that Mr de Souza had acted with utmost integrity in the conduct of this matter at all times. Four of the five charges were dismissed.
“As regards the remaining charge, this is a matter now before the Court of Three Judges, and it is not appropriate for us to comment on the merits at this juncture. Suffice to say that we will strenuously resist it and argue that it too should be dismissed.”
The People’s Action Party said in a statement on Tuesday that it will determine the course of action necessary after the court gives its verdict.
“Mr de Souza has informed us that he denies any wrongdoing. He will argue his case on the one charge, on appeal before the Court of Three Judges,” said the party.
It added that integrity, honesty and incorruptibility are fundamental to the party, and that it expects all MPs to uphold the highest standards.

The disciplinary proceedings arose from a letter dated Sept 9, 2020, issued on behalf of the Court of Appeal, by the deputy registrar of the Supreme Court, to the Law Society of Singapore.
The complaint was referred to an independent inquiry committee, which was convened on Jan 13, 2021.
The inquiry committee found that Mr de Souza had breached his paramount duty to the court, which may be deemed misconduct under the Legal Profession Act, and recommended that he be fined $2,000.
The committee did not form the view that a formal investigation by a disciplinary tribunal was necessary.
The Law Society council disagreed with the findings of the inquiry committee and applied on Nov 5, 2021, to Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon for the appointment of a disciplinary tribunal.
This tribunal was appointed by the Chief Justice to hear and investigate the matter on Nov 19, 2021.
Over five days between April 6 and April 12, 2022, the tribunal heard oral testimony. Closing submissions were made on Aug 29.
The tribunal found sufficient cause in only one of the five charges that the Law Society brought against Mr de Souza.
The tribunal accepted that Mr de Souza had tried to persuade the client to make full disclosure. But the lawyer’s own failure to make such disclosure was not exculpated by the conduct of the client, it said.
“We appreciate that it is hardest for a legal practitioner to do his duty when the client is difficult. But it is in such circumstances that the legal practitioner must cleave to his or her duties to the court.”


Alfrescian (Inf)

S’pore’s IOC vice-president Ng Ser Miang warned, fined for interfering in World Sailing election​


International Olympic Committee vice-president and Singapore National Olympic Council board member Ng Ser Miang has been found guilty of interfering in the World Sailing 2020 election. ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

Deepanraj Ganesan

Jan 4, 2023

SINGAPORE – International Olympic Committee (IOC) vice-president and Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC) board member Ng Ser Miang has been fined €1,000 (S$1,418) and served with an official warning after being found guilty of interfering in a World Sailing election.
In a notice put up on its official website last Friday, World Sailing (WS) detailed the charges facing Ng and former World Sailing Ethics Commission chairman Dieter Neupert. WS noted both had been found guilty of failing to act with integrity and interfering in the 2020 election which saw then-president Kim Andersen of Denmark narrowly defeated.
When contacted by The Straits Times, Ng, 73, said on Wednesday: “I resigned from the World Sailing Ethics Commission in December 2020. I served the World Sailing Ethics Commission as a volunteer and have done so without fear and favour, and in full compliance with its rules and regulations.
“World Sailing has no jurisdiction over me after December 2020. I have not taken part in any of their proceedings and reject any allegations and sanctions made against me by World Sailing.”
The Singaporean, who was vice-president of the International Sailing Federation (WS’s predecessor) from 1994-1998, is a veteran sports administrator and has served the IOC as a member since 1998. He was vice-president of the SNOC from 1990 to 2014 (he is now chairman of its games appeals committee and finance committee) and chairman of the Singapore Sports Council – now national agency Sport Singapore – from 1991 to 2002. He was also president of the 2010 Youth Olympic Games organising committee.
Ng was accused of failure to act with utmost integrity, honesty and responsibility and acting in a manner that is likely to compromise the impartiality of the Ethics Commission. The decision was reached by a three-member independent panel, chaired by London-based lawyer and former English Premier League footballer Gareth Farrelly. The other two members were John Shea and Laura McCallum.
In November 2020, China’s Quanhai Li was elected as the new WS president after defeating incumbent Andersen. Li’s victory came after a bitter election campaign where Andersen faced three ethical complaints against him. The World Sailing’s Ethics Commission dismissed two while the third was withdrawn. Andersen however, claimed that the complaints were part of a smear campaign against him prior to the election.

In September 2020, prior to the election result, Andersen lodged complaints against Neupert, a Swiss lawyer, and Ng relating to their conduct whilst they were members of the World Sailing Ethics Commission, alleging that their conduct was in breach of the world governing body’s regulations. He alleged that Ng and Neupert, who were part of the Ethics Commission, should not have taken part in judging his cases.
Andersen also accused Ng of misusing his IOC membership to interfere in the presidential election.
The independent panel said in its judgement that both Ng and Neupert should have stepped aside once accusations of conflict of interest had been made. Instead, Neupert managed correspondence from Andersen and continued to consult with his representatives, as well as other members of the Ethics Commission, despite the fact that the complaint was against him and Ng.
Ng and Neupert resigned from the Ethics Commission in Dec 2020 and Jan 2021, respectively.
The independent panel also noted that Ng failed to answer questions from two different disciplinary investigation officers (DIO) as they conducted their inquiries.
In its judgement, finalised on Nov 29, 2022, the panel noted: “This case was by no means straightforward. It is clear that this case was highly politicised within World Sailing and related to governance issues in relation to the operation and functioning of the Ethics Commission.
“The DIO noted that the allegations against Mr Anderson at the time, which were not substantiated, but which caused damage to his reputation, and which Mr Anderson complained with good cause, showed that there had been a campaign to influence the election and damage his reputation.”


Alfrescian (Inf)

Troubling rise in breaches of ethics, professional standards by lawyers: Chief Justice​


Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon speaks during the opening of the 2023 legal year at the Supreme Court, on Jan 9, 2023. ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

Selina Lum
Senior Law Correspondent

Jan 9, 2023

SINGAPORE – There has been a troubling rise in breaches of ethics and professional standards by lawyers, and the profession must act together to guard against a drop in standards, Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon said on Monday.
Speaking at an annual ceremony to mark the opening of the legal year, the Chief Justice said: “My point is that a looming decline in ethical and professional standards is likely to be exacerbated if we do not actively apply ourselves to fostering the sort of values that must characterise our profession, and a drop in standards cannot, and will not be tolerated.
“We must therefore act together to guard against this.”
The event was held at the Supreme Court auditorium, with about 300 members of the legal community attending in person, after two years of online and hybrid formats.
In his speech, Chief Justice Menon noted the rising number of disciplinary tribunals over the years: 12 were appointed in 2018 to formally investigate complaints against lawyers, 13 in 2019, 16 in 2020, 28 in 2021 and 25 in 2022.
He said it was critical that lawyers remain anchored to the values of honesty, integrity and service, amid the changes affecting the profession.
At least three trends can be discerned from the disciplinary cases, he said.

First, a drop in client care standards. In many cases, lawyers acted contrary to their clients’ instructions, failed to keep their clients reasonably informed of the proceedings, or were disloyal to their clients’ interests.
Second, poor professional standards. Cases included those of lawyers failing to comply with the regulations for running a practice, falsely attesting to the execution of documents, and deliberately breaching a solicitor’s undertaking.
The third trend was a disregard for the court process, most notably in the criminal justice sphere, where counsel sought repeatedly to reopen capital cases on spurious grounds at the eleventh hour.

The Chief Justice said he did not attribute these trends to the shift to working remotely after the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020.
He said he has asked Justice Valerie Thean and Senior Counsel Jimmy Yim to spearhead a team that will develop a strategy aimed at re-establishing the moral centre and the values of the profession for existing practitioners, and at fostering them among new entrants to the ranks.
The Chief Justice would also like the group to consider the impact of the changes arising from events of the last three years, from the perspective of the professional and ethical well-being of the profession.
He said: “The practice of law is not just a way to earn a living. It is a calling to participate in the administration of justice.”
He said he had occasion to reflect on this when he heard the cases of some aspiring lawyers who had cheated in some papers for Part B of the Bar examinations in 2020.
All 11 candidates who were caught cheating in the exam have been allowed to withdraw their applications to be admitted to the Bar.
“I think we need to emphasise the inescapable truth that being a lawyer entails a choice to live by those values of honesty, integrity and service which transcend our individual careers, cases or examinations,” the Chief Justice said.
He noted that the practice of law has traditionally been learnt by apprenticeship, and its values have been transmitted through sustained mentorship.
This entails watching and listening to one’s mentors and role models. Having spent much of the past three or so years working remotely, there will inevitably be some loss of such opportunities, the Chief Justice said.
“Even with hybrid arrangements, we should not think that mentoring can be put aside just because we are working from home. On the contrary, there must be a conscientious, intentional effort to mentor our juniors and to invest in their developmental growth,” he said.
He also briefly touched on the issue of salary, which was cited as a push factor by some who chose to leave the profession.
He observed that lawyers have traditionally been well compensated, although market forces ultimately determine salaries. Those forces have recently put considerable pressure on salaries at local law firms, and the legal service and the judicial service recently adjusted salaries and their compensation frameworks to narrow the gap, especially for younger officers.
“That said, we should also recognise that those who come to the law because they think it is a road to quick riches will likely find disappointment. Law is a demanding vocation,” said the Chief Justice.
“It takes time, decades in fact, to achieve a higher degree of competence. It is therefore best seen as a calling to be answered with devotion and stamina, rather than as a gig to be experienced.”
In his speech, Law Society president Adrian Tan reported that membership had shrunk for the first time in five years.
Mr Tan said that from 2017 to 2021, the society’s membership grew year on year, reaching a high of 6,333 in 2021. But in 2022, it dropped to 6,273 members.
The loss came from juniors who left the profession after practising for less than five years, he noted.
International studies suggest the decline in lawyer numbers may not be a Singapore problem, said Mr Tan, who revealed that the Law Society has commissioned a study to investigate the reasons behind the decline.


Alfrescian (Inf)

Senior SPH Media staff taken to task or have left company after review finds issues with circulation data​


A spokesman said the company had in March 2022 initiated a review of internal processes. PHOTO: ST FILE

Goh Yan Han
Political Correspondent

Jan 9, 2023

SINGAPORE - Several senior employees of SPH Media have been taken to task or left the company after an internal review found issues linked to circulation numbers.
An SPH Media spokesman on Monday said: “We have immediately taken steps to strengthen processes.
“The staff involved had been taken to task, or had left the organisation.”
The employees were not named.
The spokesman said the company had in March 2022 initiated a review of internal processes.
This included the reporting of circulation data.
“Some inconsistencies in the reporting of the data were discovered,” said the spokesman.

SPH Media cited several examples of these inconsistencies, in reply to queries from The Straits Times.
Lapsed contracts continued to be counted into circulation data.
There were also copies that were printed, counted for circulation and then destroyed; as well as double-counting of subscriptions across multiple instances.

“A project account was injected with additional funding over a period of time to purchase fictitious circulation,” the spokesman said.
“Certain circulation numbers were arbitrarily derived,” she added.
These resulted in a discrepancy of between 85,000 and 95,000 daily average copies across all titles, which represents 10 to 12 per cent of the reported daily average circulation, the spokesman added.
SPH Media publishes The Straits Times and The Business Times, as well as Lianhe Zaobao, Shin Min Daily News, Berita Harian and Tamil Murasu.
The review was initiated shortly after SPH Media was spun off in December 2021 from mainboard-listed company Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) to become a not-for-profit entity - a company limited by guarantee (CLG).
The period of review was from September 2020 to March 2022.
This period included a full financial year, from September 2020 to August 2021, plus two quarters - from September 2021 to November 2021, when the media business was still part of the listed company, as well as from December 2021 to March 2022, when SPH Media had become a CLG.
SPH had first expressed intent in May 2021 to transfer its media business to a company limited by guarantee, to help secure funding from public and private sources.
The move was approved in September 2021 by shareholders of SPH, which, like other media companies globally, had struggled with falling advertising revenue and losses in recent years.
Following the move, the Ministry of Communications and Information said in February 2022 that SPH Media would get government funding of up to $180 million annually over the next five years, and the company would be required to provide half-yearly progress updates.


Alfrescian (Inf)

#trending: Youth mocked for calling S$80 Charles & Keith bag a 'luxury' item reveals humble upbringing, reminds others to be kind​

#trending: Youth mocked for calling S$80 Charles & Keith bag a 'luxury' item reveals humble upbringing, reminds others to be kind
zohtaco / TikTok
Follow us on Instagram and Tiktok, and join our Telegram channel for the latest updates.
  • TikTok user "zohtaco" was mocked by some netizens for calling Charles & Keith a "luxury" brand
  • She had posted a video of herself acquiring and unboxing her "first luxury bag" from the Singaporean footwear and accessories brand
  • A number of netizens left negative comments, casting doubt over the brand's luxury status
  • Most online users, however, came to "zohtaco"'s defence, flooding the comments section with words of encouragement and support
  • "zohtaco" posted a video revealing her family's humble background in response to the negative comments



January 9, 2023

SINGAPORE — What is luxury? The word may hold different meanings for different people.
For TikTok user “zohtaco”, luxury comes in the form of a brand new Charles & Keith tote bag gifted to her by her father. Unfortunately, some netizens have chosen to rain on the youth’s parade by casting doubt over the brand’s “luxury” status.
“Zohtaco”, who identifies herself as Zoe in her profile, posted a TikTok video of herself acquiring and unboxing a Charles & Keith bag on Saturday (Jan 7).
Calling it her “first luxury bag”, the 17-year-old can be seen excitedly tearing off its protective wrapping before modelling her new arm candy.
The 30-second clip carried the caption "thank you dad", suggesting the bag was a gift from her father.

The unboxing video has chalked up over 2.2 million views and 170,000 likes in less than two days.
However, not everyone seemed to share in Zoe’s joy.
One top comment by user “cressy” read: “Who’s (going to) tell her?”, implying that someone should break the news to the teenager that Charles & Keith supposedly does not fall under the category of a luxury brand.
The price of a Charles & Keith bag typically ranges between S$36.90 and S$199, according to the brand's website.
Another user wrote: “That’s not even famous or expensive #tryinghard.”
A number of commenters pointed out that the Singaporean women’s footwear and accessories company is not typically considered to be of the same level as well-renowned luxury brands such as Chanel, Louis Vuitton or Prada.

In response to the negativity, TikTok users came to Zoe’s defence and flooded the video’s comments section with words of encouragement and support.
One user reasoned: “To youngsters or even adults, Charles & Keith is (a) luxury. As long as she loves it. She will be more motivated to buy even nicer bags later.”
Another person wrote: “Comparison is the thief of joy. Let her be happy.”
Some people said that the bag was even more valuable since it was a present from a parent.
One person remarked: “Doesn’t matter if it is a luxury brand. It's love from your dad, no Chanel or Hermes can replace a father’s love. Still happy for you.”
Another user wrote: “Anything that is bought by our parents is (a) luxury. It's not always about (the) price tag...sentimental value has no price tags.”

Several users also revealed that their first luxury bags were from the same brand, while others congratulated her on the purchase and advised her to ignore the naysayers.
A user shared: “Charles & Keith was the first expensive bag I earned before Michael Kors, Kate Spade, Coach, Tory Burch, Louis Vuitton. Each of them felt luxurious to me.”
Charles & Keith itself left a comment on the video that read: “Love your pick.”


Zoe published another video the following day in response to the top negative comment by “cressy”.
Zoe begins by explaining that money is an uncomfortable topic for her to talk about as her family “did not have a lot” growing up and even something “as simple as bread from BreadTalk” was considered a luxury to them.
“When we first moved to Singapore (from the Philippines), every time we would pass by a (BreadTalk) store, my parents would just say ‘next time’, but ‘next time’ would never come,” she recalled.
Directing her words to “cressy” with tears in her eyes, Zoe said: “Your comment spoke volumes on how ignorant you seem because of your wealth. To you, an S$80 bag may not be a luxury. To me and my family, it is a lot.”
She then said that she was grateful to her dad for buying the bag for her with his hard-earned money.
“I can’t believe I got hate over a bag that I was so excited to have.”
Many netizens tagged Charles & Keith’s TikTok account in the video, urging the company to “sponsor” more bags for Zoe. Some people praised the teenager’s upbringing and said that she did not owe anyone an explanation.
In a second follow-up video posted on Monday, Zoe thanked TikTok users for their support.
“I just first want to remind everyone that just because you’re not well off doesn’t mean you don’t deserve or cannot have nice things…for some of us it just might take a little bit longer to get to them,” she said.
Zoe also addressed a TikTok account that was apparently created “just to comment” on her previous video.
The account by “zoetacoco” has one video accusing Zoe of exaggerating her experience of growing up poor in Singapore.
In text over a black background, the anonymous user pointed out that a Filipino seeking employment in Singapore would have to have a profession with a “minimum salary” to be able to work in the country.
The user then alleges that Zoe only wanted attention and that her story of her humble background did not “make any sense”.
Claiming that “zoetacoco” may have missed the point of her video, Zoe rejected the user’s claim that she exaggerated her experience or made the video to gain clout.
“If you received the same amount of (negative comments) that I did, what would you do? How would you feel? Wouldn't you want to defend yourself as well?”
She ends the video by reminding everyone to be kind and have compassion.
TODAY has reached out to Zoe for comment.


Alfrescian (Inf)
We only judge Piss And Poop with an immoral compass.

N for Nefarious
S for Scummy
E for Evil

W for Wicked

Wherever the needle points, it's never a good direction.


Alfrescian (Inf)

(From top left to right) Chow Yew Yuen, Tong Chong Heong, Tay Kim Hock, former, (From bottom left to right) Kwok Kai Choong, Choo Chiau Beng, Jeffery Chow

SINGAPORE — The Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) and Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) have said that they will not name the six former senior management staff of Keppel Offshore & Marine Limited (KOM) who were issued stern warnings over offences punishable under the Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA).

CPIB made a press statement on Thursday (12 Jan) about the stern warnings issued to six former senior executives of KOM after close to five years of its investigations after consultation with AGC.

The offences relate to bribe payments to officials of Brazilian state-owned corporation Petróleo Brasileiro S.A. (Petrobras), pertaining to rigs-building contracts which Petrobras and/or its related companies had awarded to KOM.

Six former executives were determined to have been implicated in the scheme through investigations by the United States’ Department of Justice (DOJ), as documented in the plea agreement signed by KOM.

According to the admissions and court documents, beginning by at least 2001 and continuing until at least 2014, KOM conspired to violate US’ Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) by paying approximately US$55 million in bribes to officials at the Brazilian state-owned oil company Petrobras, and to the then-governing political party in Brazil, in order to win 13 contracts with Petrobras and another Brazilian entity.

KOM and its related entities, including KOM USA, are said to have earned profits totalling approximately US$159.9 million from the P-61 project.

CPIB was reported to have arrested six former executives from KOM in Feb 2018 following the DoJ’s investigation. The six were subsequently let off on bail, and the matter was then referred to the AGC to decide if charges were to be filed.

Individuals investigated are not named​

Back in 2018, Members of Parliament from the Workers’ Party (WP) filed Parliamentary Questions over KOM soon after CPIB, and AGC served a conditional warning to KOM on 23 December 2017 for corruption offences punishable under Section 5(b)(i) of the PCA.

Of the many questions, one was why the identities of the Singaporeans involved in the bribery case cannot be named.

Answering on behalf of the Minister for Law, K Shanmugam, Ms Indranee Rajah said:
The Government’s position is very simple. The Government deals with the Government’s actions. So, the Government’s actions are that when investigations are on-going, we do not disclose the identities of people being investigated. What other people may say outside, what other information may be floating outside, what other comments may go on in social media, that is separate.
But as the Government, as an investigation authority, the Government does not disclose names of individuals who are being investigated. And we are not alone in that. All civilised jurisdictions which observe the rule of law uphold that principle simply because, as I have mentioned earlier, we do not want to prejudice either the investigations or the persons being investigated, depending on how the investigation might turn out.

Who might be the six who have been issued stern warnings?​

While the Singapore Government has not named the six who were issued stern warnings over the offences, details contained within an attachment of the plea agreement between DoJ and KOM and reports on the court hearings in Brazil might help to shed some light on the issue.

The attachment listed details of six executives who were part of DoJ’s investigation.

KOM Executive 1, a citizen of Singapore whose identity is known to the United States and KOM USA, was a senior executive of KOM from 2002 to 2014.

KOM Executive 2, a citizen of Singapore whose identity is known to the United States and KOM USA, was a senior executive of a wholly-owned, Singapore-based subsidiary of KOM in or about and between 1989 and 2009 and a senior executive of KOM in or about and between 2013 and 2017.

KOM Executive 3, a citizen of Singapore and legal permanent resident of the United States in or about and between 2002 and 2013, whose identity is known to the United States and KOM USA, was a senior executive of KOM USA in or about and between 2002 and 2011 and a senior executive of KOM in or about and between 2011 and 2017.

KOM Executive 4, a citizen of Singapore whose identity is known to the United States and KOM USA, was an executive at KOM in or about and between 2002 and 2017. He was an executive at KOM USA in or about and between 2011 and 2017.

KOM Executive 5, a legal permanent resident of the United States since 2015, whose identity is known to the United States and KOM USA, held executive positions at multiple KOM subsidiaries in Brazil in or about and between 2003 and 2017. He also held an executive position at KOM and at KOM USA in or about and between 2012 and 2017.

KOM Executive 6, a United States citizen whose identity is known to the United States and KOM USA, held various senior positions in the legal department of KOM in or about and between 1990 and 2017.

Names revealed in report on court hearings​

And although the six were also not named by DoJ, a report by Bloomberg in 2016 on the court proceedings at a Brazilian court over the bribery case shed light on the matter.

The Consultant who assisted KOM in bribing the Brazilian officials was identified as Zwi Skornicki.

Skornicki also reportedly told the court that five Keppel executives were involved. They are:

1. Chow Yew Yuen, then-current Keppel Offshore & Marine CEO
2. Tong Chong Heong, former senior executive at Keppel Corp
3. Tay Kim Hock, former CEO of Keppel Fels Brasil
4. Kwok Kai Choong, then-current CEO at Keppel Fels Brasil
5. Choo Chiau Beng, a former Keppel Corp CEO and former non-resident ambassador to Brazil

Portfolio of the six executives involved in the US DoJ investigations​

Using the details in the plea agreement, it can be ascertained that the six unnamed executives are those who have been identified in the Bloomberg report.
Chow Yew Yuen was the CEO of KOM from 1 February 2014 to 20 March 2017. He was with the company for 36 years and first joined Keppel FELS in 1981 as a project engineer. Over the next decade, he worked in various departments and rose through the ranks to become the president of Keppel AmFELS and later the president of Keppel O&M USA.

Tong Chong Heong was the CEO of KOM from 1 January 2009 to 31 January 2014. Tong has served as Executive Director on the Keppel Corporation Board since 1 August 2009 and the Chairman of Keppel FELS Brasil SA; and Senior Executive Director of Keppel Corporation Limited.

He was also appointed Chairman of Keppel Integrated Engineering (KIE) previously on 3 August 2009 after serving on the KIE board since 1999.

After stepping down as CEO, he was appointed senior adviser to KOM and Keppel Infrastructure boards. Mr Tong was conferred Singapore’s Public Service Medal in August 1999.

Tay Kim Hock, was President & CEO of Keppel FELS Brasil S/A, President of FSTP Brasil Ltd, and President of the Administrative Council of BrasFELS SA from Jun 2000 to Oct 2007. Following that, Tay became Senior General Manager of KOM from Nov 2007 to Mar 2009.

He was Head Marine & Offshore Engineering of IMC Industrial Group from Jan 2010 to May 2012 and Director of Penguin International from 2012 to 2015. Straits Times had earlier reported that Tay was one of the six being arrested by CPIB in 2018.

Kwok Kai Choong was the CEO at Keppel Fels Brasil from 2007 to November 2017.

Choo Chiau Beng was CEO of Keppel Corporation from 1 January 2009 to 31 December 2013. Before that, he was CEO of Keppel FELS from 1983 to 2008 and Chairman & CEO of KOM from 2002 to 2008. He was Executive Director of Keppel Corporation since 1983 and Senior Executive Director since 2005.

Upon his retirement on 1 January 2014, Choo was appointed Senior Advisor to the Board of Keppel Corporation.

In July 2014, Choo was appointed by the National University of Singapore (NUS) as Provost’s Chair and Professor (Practice) in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Department of Management and Organisation, NUS Business School.

Choo was formerly appointed as Ambassador to the Federative Republic of Brazil in 2004 and has left the position.

As for the sixth executive, while not named by Skornicki, the news reported his name in the coverage of the case.

Jeffery Shiu Chow, a US citizen, was reported to have cut a deal to help prosecutors in their probe of Keppel and other former executives. Chow pleaded guilty on 29 Aug 2017 to conspiring to violate the FCPA as part of his deal to cooperate. He admitted to drafting contracts that were used to make bribe payments, according to court records.

He is a former senior member of KOM’s legal department and has worked in the legal department for over 25 years. Although a US citizen, Chow resides in Singapore.


Alfrescian (Inf)

China's mega-rich move their wealth, and partying, to Singapore​

Singapore is increasingly viewed as a home rather than just a backup plan for ultra high-net-worth Chinese clients, as this is where their "family wealth is kept safe", say industry insiders.
China's mega-rich move their wealth, and partying, to Singapore

File photo of skyline buildings of the Central Business District in Singapore on Nov 16, 2022. (Photo: CNA/Hanidah Amin)

4 Feb 2023

Singapore is seeing an influx of ultra-wealthy families from China looking to protect their wealth from the Chinese Communist Party, who increasingly views them with suspicion.
Beijing's recent crackdowns on tech billionaires and tax-shy celebrities, as well as three years of zero-COVID policy, which only ended last month, have led many rich Chinese to look for a safe haven.
Nervous over the fate of their fortunes, some of the country's mega-rich have since booked tickets to Singapore, insiders told AFP.
The key Asian financial hub ticks all the boxes for relocating tycoons.
Singapore has been ruled by one party - the People's Action Party - for the past six decades, and labour strikes and street protests are banned. Taxes are comparatively low and the population is predominantly ethnic Chinese.
The presence of recent Chinese arrivals is keenly felt in Singapore, with some relocating to luxury homes with waterfront views on Sentosa Island, which also houses a theme park, a casino and a prestigious golf club.
"You cannot imagine the way they spend money. It's crazy," said Pearce Cheng, CEO of AIMS, a firm providing immigration and relocation services.
He recalled attending a Chinese client's party where a rare Japanese "Yamazaki 55" whisky, worth around US$800,000 a bottle, was served.
Cheng's firm also helps rich Chinese find luxury condos, hire chauffeurs and enrol kids in private schools. It once even bought US$61,000 worth of cigars.
The new arrivals drive Rolls Royces and Bentleys, and are often spotted at top-tier golf clubs such as the exclusive Sentosa Golf Club, where foreign members pay US$670,000 a year.
"Many of them are younger Chinese, in fashionable designer clothes, and they usually keep to themselves and dine amongst themselves, which is not surprising," said Benny Teo, managing director of Blazon, a consultancy specialising in golf.


Relocating to Singapore puts the wealth of China's richest beyond the reach of Beijing, whose recent high-profile crackdowns have rattled billionaires.
Alibaba Group co-founder Jack Ma, among the most recognisable Asian tycoons, lost an estimated US$25 billion when Chinese regulators pulled the plug on a blockbuster initial public offering (IPO) in 2020.
Other Chinese tycoons fear the Communist Party could apply similar pressure or even take over their businesses at low prices, an accountant familiar with the situation told AFP.
"Moving to Singapore is about making sure the family wealth is kept safe and can last for several generations," the accountant said.
Singapore is increasingly viewed as a home rather than just a backup plan, another source in the industry said, adding that clients had told him: "At least when I'm here, I know my money is mine."
One of the founders of China's largest hotpot chain, Haidilao, also recently set up a family office in Singapore.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore estimates that the number of family offices - wealth management companies dedicated to individual and group assets - rose from 400 in 2020 to 700 in 2021.
Loh Kia Meng, co-head of private wealth and family office practices at law firm Dentons Rodyk, estimated that 1,500 family offices would have been set up by the end of last year.
"I won't be surprised if the total figure by the end of 2022 shows that one out of two new family offices originates from China," he said.


The outflow is expected to continue even though China's strict zero-COVID policy and curbs have now been lifted, analysts said.
Political tensions between Beijing and Washington are reinforcing the desire of some of China's richest to move abroad.
Singapore is a "very handy neutral zone" where the mega-rich can do business, said Song Seng Wun, a regional economist with CIMB Private Banking.
The country has deftly managed its relations with Washington and Beijing, maintaining close security ties with the United States while preserving robust trade links with China.
"Media attention on prominent wealthy individuals setting up family offices in Singapore cast the spotlight on our little island and (has) stirred interest," said Loh.
"If the world's rich are congregating in Singapore, why not me?"


Alfrescian (Inf)

On 1st Feb, SAL published an article by Senior Counsel Harpreet Singh questioning the decision not to prosecute the 6 Keppel executives. On the 2nd Feb 2023, the said article was removed by SAL. On the 3rd day of CEO Rama Tiwary announces that this is his last day at work having been CEO for 3 years.


Alfrescian (Inf)

Mercedes driver refuses to shift parked car for passing rubbish truck in Kovan as he got 'no respect' from truck driver​

Mercedes car VS rubbish truck.
Kerr Puay Hian
February 08, 2023

Parking outside private houses has gotten on the nerves of people recently.
According to Shin Min News Daily, an altercation between a rubbish truck driver and a Mercedes car driver happened last Saturday (Feb 4) within a private residential estate in Kovan.

Truck driver knocked on doors to look for car owner​

A resident living along the road, Park Villas Rise, 50-year-old Liu, told a Shin Min reporter he was at home at around 8am when the truck driver knocked on his door.
The driver wanted to know if the white Mercedes parked outside his house belonged to Liu and wanted him to help shift the car aside to let his truck pass.
Liu said, "I didn't know who the car owner was, so he left and continued to knock on other people's doors."
It was not long before he heard shouting outside his house.

Car owner apparently not a resident​

Liu said he went outside and saw an "uncle" in his 40s or 50s quarrelling with the truck driver.

He didn’t recognise the "uncle" was and thought he could be someone visiting one of the neighbours.
As it turns out, the Mercedes had been parked far too out from the curb, and the truck driver didn't want to risk scratching the car by driving through the narrow space on the other side of the car.
However, the Mercedes car driver refused to move, and that was when things turned ugly.

"No respect"​

According to Liu, the duo’s heated shouting attracted a crowd of concerned citizens.

Liu heard the Mercedes car driver say he was angry because he thought the rubbish truck driver didn’t show him "respect".
The situation was so intense that someone decided to call the police.

Police officers made the Mercedes driver move​

According to Shin Min, the police officers convinced the Mercedes car owner to shift his vehicle and spent around an hour talking to both sides.
They gave the drivers some firm advice before leaving.

Too many cars, too little space​

Liu claims that parking has always been a problem in his estate.
He said every household in the area owns "quite a number of cars", and the roads are often congested.
However, drivers would usually have no problem with shifting their cars when asked.
He believes that if drivers want to park in private estates, they should avoid getting into such disputes.


Alfrescian (Inf)

Maserati driver convicted of knocking down 85-year-old pedestrian, then failing to stop​


Footage showed Wong Kim Punn's car hitting the victim along East Coast Road on July 9, 2020. ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

Jessie Lim

Feb 9, 2023

SINGAPORE – A Maserati driver who knocked down an 85-year-old pedestrian and then failed to stop, was found guilty on Thursday with sentencing adjourned to March. The victim suffered multiple fractures and had to use a wheelchair for more than two months.
It wasn’t Wong Kim Punn’s first offence. A year before, the 52-year-old collided with a cyclist at the cross junction of Ophir Road and Victoria Street in December 2019.
The latest incident occurred while he was driving along East Coast Road on July 9, 2020 at around 11pm.
Footage obtained by the prosecution showed Wong’s car hitting Mr Foo Kok Kam, who had been crossing the road slowly. The old man was flung into the air.
Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Chee Ee Ling said: “After the collision, the accused slowed his car down for a while, however he did not stop and proceeded to drive away from the scene without rendering assistance to the victim.”
An eyewitness made a police report that a blue Maserati had knocked down a senior.
Wong’s car was later seized and sent to the Health Sciences Authority, along with the victim’s shorts. It was found that some of the materials found on the pair of shorts could have originated from the right fender and bonnet of the car.

The driver was convicted of various traffic offences including careless driving causing grievous hurt, failing to stop after an accident and render assistance.
DPP Chee called for Wong, who is a general manager of an electronics company, to be sentenced to four months and three weeks’ jail, and be given a fine of $800 and a five-year driving ban.
She said: “The victim suffered multiple fractures (in) the pelvic area, lumbic spine, (and) suspected bladder rupture. The victim was also given a long hospitalisation leave of 43 days.”
As for his earlier offence, she said: “These traffic violations speak to his disregard for the law and his proclivity to flout the traffic rules and demonstrate a need for specific deterrence.”
Wong’s lawyer, Mr Selva Naidu from Liberty Law Practice, said there is no allegation that the accused was driving in excess of the speed limit. He added that the victim should not have crossed the road where the accident happened as there was a pedestrian crossing within 50 metres.


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Ex-Changi Airport Group chairman’s son, Karl Liew, expected to plead guilty in Parti Liyani case​


Karl Liew Kai Lung is accused of giving false evidence in the case of his family’s former maid, Ms Parti Liyani. PHOTOS: ST FILE

Shaffiq Alkhatib
Court Correspondent

Feb 10, 2023

SINGAPORE - Karl Liew Kai Lung, who is accused of giving false evidence in the case of his family’s former maid, Ms Parti Liyani, is expected to admit to his charges on March 30.
The 45-year-old man, who is the son of former Changi Airport Group chairman Liew Mun Leong, was charged in 2020 with giving false evidence and furnishing false information to a public servant.
He is alleged to have falsely told the police in 2016 that he had found 119 items of clothing belonging to him in boxes that had been packed by Ms Parti, who was then accused of stealing from the family employing her.
He also allegedly gave false evidence during Ms Parti’s trial that a T-shirt and a blouse, which were exhibits in the case, had belonged to him.
Ms Parti, an Indonesian, was initially convicted in 2019 of stealing $34,000 worth of items from the Liews but was acquitted after the High Court overturned her conviction on appeal in 2020.
Ms Parti, who began working for the Liew family in 2007, was asked in March 2016 to do chores at Karl Liew’s home and clean his office in another location.
She had expressed unhappiness at being made to do extra work for him.

The Liew family terminated her employment in October 2016, and she was given two hours to pack her belongings into three boxes.
Unhappy, Ms Parti threatened to lodge a complaint to the Ministry of Manpower before returning to Indonesia.
She had asked Karl Liew to pay for the boxes to be shipped to her. The next day, the Liew family opened the boxes belonging to Ms Parti.
A police report was later made, alleging that some of the items she had packed in the boxes belonged to the Liew family.
Ms Parti was arrested when she returned to Singapore in December 2016, and was charged with four counts of theft in August 2017.
She claimed trial to the charges. She was then convicted and sentenced to two years and two months’ jail in 2019.
Ms Parti was acquitted after an appeal in 2020, in which the High Court ruled the original conviction was “unsafe”, highlighting the police’s handling of the evidence.


Alfrescian (Inf)

Former NMP Calvin Cheng calls for food court that accepts cash only to be named and shamed​

Netizens say he is more shameful instead​

by The Online Citizen


Former NMP Calvin Cheng calls for food court that accepts cash only to be named and shamed

SINGAPORE — Former Nominated Member of Parliament (NMP), Calvin Cheng has incurred the wrath of netizens from a post that he made on Friday, asking for shops in a food court which only accept payment in cash, with hundreds of comments questioning his disgraceful act.
Posting two images of stalls putting up signs stating that they accept cash only, Cheng calls for the food court in the Central Business District to be named and shamed.
Cheng also posted in his comments asking people to boycott all businesses that do not offer alternatives to cash.
“They must not hamper Singapore’s development as a smart nation, ” said Cheng.
“It’s unbelievable and embarrassing that there are people in the comments section here that are defending the use of cash ONLY. I hope this is the minority otherwise Singapore is finished. We will indeed be a village full of backward villagers.”
“I am constantly reminded that 3 generations ago Singapore was still a nation of coolies and peasants. 5 decades can bring economic development , but we will need another 5 for cultural development. Sad. Failure to reach a Swiss standard of living is being held back by the villagers amongst us. I may be tough on us , but it’s out of love. We need to do better and shame those amongst us who think like villagers amidst first world infrastructure.”
On the same day of his post, Cheng made news after his Swiss digital asset firm, Damoon Technologies was granted membership to the country’s Financial Services Standard Association.
Cheng said: “I believe in the future of digital assets, but this has to be done in accordance with traditional finance’s compliance standards. Switzerland is the pre-eminent global financial hub, and is the ideal place to base crypto-fiat-crypto financial services, as well as a trusted custodian.”

Cheng was a former NMP of the Singapore Parliament from 2009 to 2011 and was appointed as Serbia’s honorary consul in Singapore in November last year.

Cannot believe a former NMP can make such comments, say netizens​

Andrew Tan, one of the commenters, wrote, “To boycott it is your issue and nobody cares. To shame is a disgraceful act. These biz owners have the autonomy to decide what they want to offer. It is their biz. Just like you have the right to boycott as you are using your own money to make a decision. Why not tell the nets company to reduce their charges?”
Shawn Tan wrote, “It’s a pity but DEFINITELY NOT A SHAME that they do not adopt technology. The only thing shameful I see is a person of your stature saying things like that.”
HL Tan wrote, “Why must you name and shame? Do the stall owner need to pay extra fees to use the electronic payment? If it is free now, can one ensure that the future platform won’t charge a single cent? What I observe is payment platforms usually try to get you into the ecosystem and then they start to charge a fee. Can I say I know finance or blockchain or AI, and you do not know is a shame also? no! Everyone has their level of knowledge to adopt certain skills.”
A netizen, Fiona Lim commented, “You are being obnoxious. There are many reasons why F&B outlets prefer cash transactions. They could have been victims of people who “scammed” them with fake paynow / Paylah transfers; or that the digital payments platforms slows down the process of simply buying 1 drink. Or that the banks are charging transactional fees. These are the main pain points that vendors face which should be reaolved by the payment gateways. Do not blame the business if they prefer the most efficient way to transact.”
In response, Cheng wrote, “paynow is free + printing out a qr code costs next to nothing. Silly excuses by embarrassing backward villagers.”
Another netizen, Anaria Marcella chimed into Lim’s comments, “My thought is the same with you. I’m not sure but do you notice that in some or most of his post, he frequently point the blames on other people side but never really illustrate any tips or helpful guides towards people who could use some help?”
A former cashier wrote, “As someone with experience as a cashier, I can say that when there is a long queue of people waiting to make payment, cash payment is the fastest mode of payment for anything below $100. Using credit card is second fastest but is most costly for the retailer. This is followed by NETS (because the customer needs to key in their PIN). PayNow is the slowest mode of payment, because very often, the customer fumbles with the app, waiting for the pages to load, point the camera to the QR code, show proof of payment, etc.”

He added, “As a retailer, I want to make the transaction as fast as possible, so that I can process more customers within the same period of time. This is why I will choose cash payment only. Less decisions for the customer, more sales, more revenue.”
Sally Tan criticised, “I can’t believe I am hearing from a former NMP and just shame the stall. My goodness.. I mean u r a public figure, former NMP. Is that how you should behave? I mean if the stall owners who know nothing or find it hard to keep up with the technology because they are the older generations and they need to feed themselves and families because everything in Singapore is so expensive. If u r shameful to be here, then migrate to somewhere else better than Singapore? I’m sure you are rich enough to do that.”
In response to Tan, Cheng wrote, “if there are people in our country who can’t even print out w qr code they shouldn’t be allowed to operate.”
Steven Goh Robo reasoned, “There can be many reasons why an outlet don’t want to go cashless transaction. It could be they are not as tech savvy, or the cost of using tech is too high for them, or they had experienced many dishonest consumers who don’t pay for their meals. Have you attempt to speak to them to understand why? In any case, they are the business owner, they have the right to decide what’s the mode of payment is best for them. Certainly to be named and shamed is not what an inclusive society should be doing.”
In response to Goh, Cheng wrote, “the reason for not being able to print out a simple qr code and turn on notifications for paynow payments, is laziness and close mindedness. Must be shut down,”

Very hard to speak to villagers​


Lack of empathy by former NMP​



Alfrescian (Inf)

Indonesian tycoon Kris Wiluan fined $480,000 after pleading guilty to 3 market rigging charges​


Kris Taenar Wiluan had been handed 112 charges in relation to violations of Section 197 of the Securities and Futures Act. ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

Grace Leong
Senior Business Correspondent

MAY 20, 2021

SINGAPORE - Indonesian tycoon and former chief executive of offshore and marine company KS Energy Kris Taenar Wiluan was fined $480,000 after pleading guilty on Wednesday (May 19) to three charges of market rigging.
He had been handed 112 charges of violating Section 197 of the Securities and Futures Act for giving instructions to push up or maintain the price of KS Energy shares on 112 trading days between 19 December 2014 and 13 September 2016. However, these charges were later amended to six amalgamated charges covering the same period.
He pleaded guilty to three of six charges, and the remaining three charges were taken into consideration for sentencing. He has until May 26 to pay the fine. The offence for each charge carries an imprisonment of up to seven years, a fine of up to $250,000, or both.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Kevin Yong had sought a fine of $600,000 comprising $200,000 for each of the three proceeded charges, which was the highest sought for market rigging offences.
"Prosecution is seeking a high fine for the purposes of general deterrence and to reflect his culpability as mastermind of the market rigging operation," DPP Yong said.
"For fairness, we considered several mitigating factors. He was cooperative, remorseful and pleaded guilty at the first opportunity. He was also a first time offender and did not have a profit motive for his market rigging offences."
Before the State Courts hearing began, Wiluan, clad in a black suit was seated a metre apart from his wife, who was holding a prayer card. After his sentence was issued, his wife, who had cried during his mitigation plea, told The Straits Times: "He is a good man. I can vouch for it as I have been married to him for more than 50 years."

District Judge Marvin Bay, in delivering his sentence, noted: "Mr Wiluan also did not seem motivated by personal gain, and his offending involved just trading in one account... More importantly, the offending did not involve subterfuge by use of false trading accounts or cross-trades to simulate trading activity, and thus did not exhibit the level of deceptive conduct which appears as a common factor in cases where custodial sentences were imposed.
"While I am persuaded that Mr Wiluan is unlikely to offend again, there would be a need to send an appropriate signal of general deterrence to dissuade persons who might be tempted to follow in his path. Such conduct would corrode investor confidence and compromise SGX's hard-earned reputation as a forum where trades are conducted with probity and transparency."
Wiluan, also founder of Indonesia's Citramas Group, was accused of instructing his employee, Ho Chee Yen, 56, to instruct a trading representative from CIMB Securities (Singapore) to execute trades in the shares of KS Energy through the trading account of Pacific One Energy, a company controlled by Wiluan, on various occasions between December 2014 and September 2016, to "push up" the share price of the mainboard-listed company.

Wiluan, 72, who was ranked Indonesia's 40th richest man by Forbes in 2009 with a personal net worth of US$240 million, was also accused of instructing Ngin Kim Choo and Yeo Jin Lui, two CIMB Securities trading representatives servicing the trading account of Pacific One, to execute trades in KS Energy's shares, "with a purpose to push up" its price on certain trading days.
"To achieve his target price, buy orders in the last 15 minutes of trading and during the closing routine were placed to set the closing price of KS Energy shares in a practice commonly known as "marking the close". Buy orders were also placed at several bids above the last done price, instead of at the most competitive prices and at the minimum trading size, in order to increase KSE share price at the lowest possible cost," the police said.
The charges against Ho were withdrawn. But "a stern warning, in lieu of prosecution, has been administered against Ho for intentionally aiding the accused with the market rigging," the police said.
But the prosecution noted that there is "no evidence that the market rigging offences caused other KS Energy investors to suffer losses as Wiluan consistently purchased but never sold any KSE shares during the period of the charges."
One purpose of the market rigging offences was to prevent potential margin calls by OCBC on the KS Energy shares pledged to the bank as collateral for loans that Pacific One Energy took from OCBC.
But OCBC did not suffer any loss, and Wiluan did eventually pay down the loan to OCBC in full, and also had sufficient assets to provide additional collateral to OCBC in the event of a margin call, the prosecution noted.
Senior Counsel Jimmy Yim of Drew & Napier, who represents Wiluan, said it was not fair to classify him as the "mastermind" of the market rigging operation.
"It is not disputed that there is no evidence Wiluan knew how these methods were being done by trading representatives to effect his purpose. He is the one who instructed them to do it but... he didn't know the nuances and intricacies of trading. He left it to the brokers, who didn't warn him.
"I'm not shifting the blame that he should be scot-free, but the facts show his culpability is on the lowest end.
In a statement, Wiluan said that at the time he was "unaware that my actions to support KSE stock were transgressing the Securities and Futures Act.
"I accept that my ignorance and misguidance are no defense and I am very sorry for my actions. I have learnt a painful lesson."
In Wiluan's mitigation plea, Mr Yim said: "We ask for judicial mercy as he has a slew of illnesses at his age... The illnesses are serious enough if a custodial sentence is imposed.
"My client has been an important player in oil and gas industry and he has done a lot of charitable donations in many fields... The commission of this offence is out of character and most unfortunate, and he has suffered tremendously."


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Son of Bentley driver in Red Swastika School incident fined for altering licence plate of luxury car​


Glynn Neo had purchased the Bentley in December 2021 and changed the number plate of the vehicle for a photo shoot. PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM SGRV/FACEBOOK

Nadine Chua

Feb 23, 2023

SINGAPORE – A man who altered the licence plate of the Bentley his father drove in an incident where a school security guard was threatened was fined $2,600 on Thursday, and disqualified from driving for 12 months.
Glynn Neo Jia had admitted to affixing another car plate number on the luxury vehicle.
The 28-year-old also pleaded guilty to one count of permitting the vehicle to be used by his father without proper insurance coverage.
His father, Neo Hong Chye, had threatened to run down a 62-year-old security officer outside Red Swastika School in Bedok North.
The 61-year-old was jailed for eight weeks in Oct 2022 after admitting to one count of causing hurt by performing a rash act.
He was also fined $600 for driving the vehicle without insurance coverage and disqualified from holding all classes of driving licences for 12 months.
The incident in January 2022 went viral on social media.

Land Transport Authority (LTA) prosecutor Darren Toh said that during the course of investigations of the rash act, they learnt that the registration number on the Bentley was assigned to a BMW car that was deregistered in May 2021.
Mr Toh said an application was made to keep the registration number, and it was approved.
But there was no application made for the vehicle number to be transferred to and used on the Bentley, which was owned by Neo Times, a car trading firm.

Glynn Neo, the sole director of the company, had purchased the Bentley in December 2021 and changed the number plate of the vehicle for a photo shoot.
On Jan 11, 2022, his father took the keys to the Bentley which were placed in the common area of the family’s residence, and used the car to drive his granddaughter to Red Swastika School.
The security guard stopped the older Neo from driving onto the school’s premises, but he moved the car forward, causing the guard to nearly lose his balance.
Mr Toh said it was understood that members of the Neo family did not need to ask for consent to use the cars in the showroom.
8 weeks’ jail for Bentley driver who threatened to run down security officer at Red Swastika School
Courts & Crime: Read more stories
He added that the vehicle had only motor trade insurance coverage, which did not cover Neo Hong Chye when he used the car.
In mitigation, defence lawyer Ng Kai Ling said Glynn Neo was unaware that his father had taken the keys to the car.
She said her client would not have granted permission for the older Neo to drive the car if his father had alerted him.
For affixing the number plate of another car on the Bentley, Glynn Neo could have been fined up to $5,000 or jailed up to 12 months, or both.
For allowing the vehicle to be used without proper insurance coverage, he could have been jailed for up to three months, fined up to $1,000, and disqualified from driving for 12 months.


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Ex-Changi Airport Group chairman’s son Karl Liew admits lying to judge in Parti Liyani case​


Karl Liew pleaded guilty to one charge of giving false information to a public servant. ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

Shaffiq Alkhatib
Court Correspondent

Mar 30, 2023

SINGAPORE - Karl Liew admitted to lying to a district judge in the case involving his family’s former maid, Ms Parti Liyani, who had been accused of stealing from his family.
The 45-year-old, who is the son of former Changi Airport Group chairman Liew Mun Leong, pleaded guilty on Thursday to one charge of giving false information to a public servant.
The prosecution asked for a fine of $5,000 and the case has been adjourned to April 14.
After a trial, Ms Parti, an Indonesian, then 45, was initially convicted in 2019 of stealing $34,000 worth of items from the Liews.
She was acquitted after the High Court overturned her conviction on appeal in 2020.
Ms Parti, who began working for the Liew family in 2007, was asked in March 2016 to do chores at Karl Liew‘s home and clean his office at another location.
She was unhappy at being made to do extra work for him.

The Liew family terminated her employment in October 2016, and she was given two hours to pack her belongings into three boxes.
Ms Parti threatened to lodge a complaint with the Ministry of Manpower before returning to Indonesia.
She had asked Karl Liew to pay for the boxes to be shipped to her. The next day, the Liew family opened the boxes.

A police report was made claiming that some of the items she had packed in the boxes belonged to the Liew family.
Ms Parti was arrested when she returned to Singapore in December 2016, and was charged with four counts of theft in August 2017.
She claimed trial to the charges, was convicted and sentenced to two years and two months’ jail in 2019.

Ms Parti was acquitted after an appeal in 2020, in which the High Court ruled the original conviction was unsafe, highlighting the police’s handling of the evidence.
It had been reported in February 2022 that the two police officers who were involved in Ms Parti’s case had neglected their duties and had fallen short of expectations.
Both officers were fined, and the penalties were calculated through the number of months of salary increments foregone, said Minister for Home Affairs K. Shanmugam on Feb 14, 2022.
He was giving Parliament an update into the internal investigations of the case.
Mr Shanmugam had said both the investigation officer (IO) and his supervisor had neglected their duties, resulting in three lapses.
The first was that the IO did not visit the crime scene to promptly carry out investigations and gather evidence, contributing to a break in the chain of custody for some exhibits.
The second was the IO did not properly verify some of the claims made by parties during the investigation.
The third lapse was the supervisor not providing sufficient guidance.
The minister said the officers had done their jobs under difficult circumstances, facing workload challenges due to a manpower shortage in the police force.
He said both officers faced penalties in the medium range.


Alfrescian (Inf)

Should universities accept $100m donations from coal companies?​

For an institution like the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, accepting money linked to industries harming the planet risks undermining its goals​


David Fogarty
Climate Change Editor

The donation comes as the NUS has been ramping up its sustainability practices and programmes. ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH

APR 5, 2023

A recent gift of $101 million to the National University of Singapore (NUS) was remarkable for its size and scope. The gift to the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (LKYSPP) is the school’s largest and aims to significantly boost its leadership programmes for public officers from Asia, and the number of scholarships for students in the region.
But within the university, the gift has stirred unease and raised questions that many other universities have grappled with in recent years: Is funding linked to fossil fuels still appropriate as the climate crisis worsens?
The gift came from the Low Tuck Kwong Foundation, named after Singapore-born Indonesian coal billionaire Low Tuck Kwong, whose Bayan Resources is one of Indonesia’s top coal producers.
Datuk Low and his family have had a long association with the university. His daughter, Ms Elaine Low, who is chairman of the foundation, graduated with a Master in Public Policy from the LKYSPP in 2014. And in 2011, NUS set up the Low Tuck Kwong Distinguished Professorship with a gift of $3 million.
The latest gift aims to bolster Asia’s future through leadership training, outreach and engagement, and strengthen Indonesia-Singapore ties.
For many universities, donations from fossil fuel companies or via foundations remain a grey area as such funding can provide much needed cash and boost research programmes – especially after the Covid-19 pandemic hit some universities hard, leading to a big drop in student numbers.
Yet, the optics of such donations are becoming harder to manage. The fossil fuel industry is under fire for helping fuel climate change and Big Oil’s vow to accelerate oil and gas investment, despite warnings by the United Nations and International Energy Agency that doing so risks accelerating climate impacts.

In addition, the donation comes as NUS has been ramping up its sustainability practices and programmes, and the gift seems at odds with the Singapore Government’s recent adoption of much more ambitious climate targets.
Datuk Low has been developing a small regional renewable energy company, Metis Energy, but Bayan Resources has plans to continue expanding coal production, based on the company’s latest financial reports. That expansion and high global coal prices have meant bumper profits for the company.
In response to questions from The Straits Times, a spokesman for the LKYSPP said: “As with all philanthropic gifts for academic research received by the university, this gift does not influence how LKYSPP academics carry out their research, nor determine the findings and conclusions they reach.

“The LKYSPP remains committed to conducting research and policy-oriented dialogues useful to policymakers and scholars across a broad spectrum. These areas include sustainability strategies and solutions.
“This philanthropic gift affords us greater capacity to carry out our educational mission. Research and knowledge drive change for a better world.”
NUS said it carefully vets all potential donors, especially their reputation, character and business record. Like other universities, it has detailed guidelines on vetting donations for legal, reputational and other criteria. However, it declined to answer questions on whether it was considering adding additional criteria around fossil fuels.
The $101 million gift, though, is a major boost for the university and comes as the number of donors and total value of gifts have been on a downward trend since 2017.
According to the university’s 2022 annual report, 8,068 donors donated $190 million between April 2021 and March 2022. This compares with 11,812 donors who gave $276.8 million in the 2017 financial year.

Divided opinions​

In the United States, Britain and Australia, the debate over fossil fuel gifts has divided opinions. Some academics say such funding can help accelerate the green transition. The money can also be a vital lifeline for some researchers and help fund green solutions.
Others say the money represents a conflict of interest and could influence research outcomes and compromise academic freedoms. Such donations “buy” the institution’s good name.
A study published in March estimated that six fossil fuel companies – ExxonMobil, BP America, Chevron, Shell Oil, ConocoPhillips and Koch Industries – donated or pledged nearly US$680 million (S$902 million) in research funding to 27 universities in the US from 2010 to 2020.
The exact amount was hard to calculate because of the lack of transparency around such donations. But the groups behind the study, US think-tank Data for Progress and the non-profit Fossil Free Research, said there was enough public information, such as tax filings and annual reports, to get a good estimate.
“Fossil fuel companies have been quietly leveraging their wealth to gain influence across higher education, including sponsorship of climate and energy-related research,” said the authors of the report.
In 2022, hundreds of scientists wrote an open letter to US and British universities to ask them to ban fossil fuel industry funding for climate change, environmental and energy policy research. The number of signatories has since grown to more than 800 from more than 130 institutions.
The signatories say accepting fossil fuel research funding contravenes universities’ stated commitments to tackling the climate crisis and that universities that maintain close ties to the fossil fuel industry incur a substantial reputational risk.
Western universities have also faced very active campaigns to end all investments in fossil fuel companies as part of their portfolios.
“I think universities should address each situation on a case-by-case basis,” said Mr Bob Ward, policy and communications director for the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment in Britain.
“In general, I do not see a problem in accepting funding from a fossil fuel company that is demonstrably committed to the transition away from fossil fuels and to net-zero global emissions by the middle of the century. The money should only be used to accelerate the transition to a zero-carbon and climate-resilient world.”
But he felt universities should not accept money from companies not committed to the transition, to avoid being party to greenwashing.

Treading a careful line​

The Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra said it considers exposure to fossil fuels or greenhouse gas-intensive industries as part of its due diligence process for potential donations. All donations must adhere to the university’s principles of, and commitment to, academic freedom and research rigour.
Melbourne’s La Trobe University said: “We do not undertake research relevant to the fossil fuel industry, nor do we accept donations from the fossil fuel industry.”
In 2016, the university said it would cease direct investment in the fossil fuel industry. “We have since divested all of our direct shareholdings and moved the balance of our investments away from fossil fuel companies,” a spokesman said.
Other experts The Straits Times spoke to talked about the very careful line universities need to tread.
“Universities have almost a charter, an agreement with society, to be working on addressing the challenges that confront societies. And environmental damage broadly and climate change in particular are among the grand challenges we face,” said associate professor for sustainability and ethics Sukhbir Sandhu of the University of South Australia in Adelaide.
“Universities might have a valid reason for accepting fossil fuel funding, especially if it’s to help make the sector more sustainable, more efficient, become less environmentally damaging.”
A particular challenge is meeting the aspirations of students and staff. “On average, about 80 per cent of employees say they would like to work for an organisation that’s environmentally sustainable. So to attract employees, it’s important that organisations have a clear environmental mission. And of course, taking funding from fossil fuels does not align with that mission.”
The risks from fossil fuel funding are growing as climate impacts increase, especially from an industry with a long reputation of denying and then delaying climate action.
“Universities have a fiduciary responsibility to their staff and students. If a university can invest in student or research support, it should take opportunities to do so,” said Dr Aaron Tang, a lecturer in climate policy at ANU.
“However, universities carry an influential voice in society. What they say and what they do are important social and political signals. If we want to stop climate change, there are some industries that we need to legislate and regulate – the fossil fuel industry is one of them.”
Ultimately, the debate on donations is much more than just a focus on fossil fuels. The emerging challenge for universities is – how green does the donation need to be? Very, is the short answer.
With the crises of climate change, biodiversity loss, air pollution and water scarcity increasing, the public will surely demand action by governments and corporations to stop the trashing of the planet. And that means universities are key to creating a new generation of scientists and political and business leaders who can reshape the world into a more sustainable one.
The LKYSPP’s vision statement is especially pertinent here: “A world transformed through good governance and leadership excellence.” Accepting money linked to industries harming the planet risks undermining this vision.


Alfrescian (Inf)

Karl Liew, son of CAG’s ex-chairman, sentenced to 2 weeks’ jail for lying to judge in Parti Liyani case​


Karl Liew pleaded guilty to giving false information to a public servant in March. ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

Shaffiq Alkhatib
Court Correspondent

Apr 14, 2023

SINGAPORE - Karl Liew, the son of Changi Airport Group’s former chairman Liew Mun Leong, was sentenced to two weeks’ jail on Friday for lying to a district judge in an earlier trial.
It involved the family’s former maid, Ms Parti Liyani, who had been accused of stealing from their household.
Three weeks before testifying at her trial, Karl Liew was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease - a neurodegenerative disorder that leads to muscle tremors as well as difficulty in walking and balancing.
Karl Liew, 45, pleaded guilty on March 30 to giving false information to a public servant and could have been jailed for up two years, fined or both.
Ms Parti, 49, started working as a maid in his household in March 2007.
The Indonesian was asked in March 2016 to do chores at his home and clean his office at another location.
She was unhappy about being made to do extra work.

The Liew family terminated her employment in October 2016, and she was given two hours to pack her belongings into three boxes.
Ms Parti threatened to lodge a complaint with the Ministry of Manpower before returning to Indonesia.
She had asked Karl Liew to pay for the boxes to be shipped to her. The day after she left, the Liew family opened the boxes.

A police report was made, claiming that some of the items she had packed in the boxes belonged to the family.
Ms Parti was arrested when she returned to Singapore in December 2016 to find work.
She was later charged with multiple counts of theft and was tried before District Judge Olivia Low from April 2018 to March 2019.
One of these charges alleged that she had stolen items with a total value of $46,856. They included 120 pieces of clothing that were valued at $150 each.
These included a cream polo T-shirt and a red blouse.

Karl Liew was called as a prosecution witness during the trial and Ms Parti’s pro bono lawyer, Mr Anil Balchandani, cross-examined him.
On July 17, 2018, Karl Liew falsely testified that the cream polo T-shirt and the red blouse belonged to him.
Judge Low later amended the charge on March 20, 2019, removing from it five articles of clothing, including the T-shirt and the blouse. She found that the two garments did not belong to Karl Liew.
But Ms Parti was convicted of stealing more than $30,000 worth of items from the Liews and in 2019 was jailed for two years and two months.
She was acquitted after the High Court overturned her conviction on appeal in 2020.
The High Court ruled that the original conviction was unsafe, highlighting the police’s handling of the evidence.
In February 2022, the media reported that two police officers who were involved in Ms Parti’s case had neglected their duties and fallen short of expectations.
Both officers were fined, and the penalties were calculated through the number of months of salary increments forgone, said Minister for Home Affairs K. Shanmugam on Feb 14, 2022.
He was giving Parliament an update on the internal investigations of the case.
Mr Shanmugam said both the investigation officer (IO) and his supervisor had neglected their duties, resulting in three lapses.
The first was the IO did not visit the crime scene to promptly carry out investigations and gather evidence, contributing to a break in the chain of custody of some exhibits.
The second was the IO did not properly verify some of the claims made by the parties during the investigation.
The third lapse was the supervisor not providing sufficient guidance.
The minister said the officers had done their jobs under difficult circumstances, facing workload challenges due to a manpower shortage in the police force.
He said both officers faced penalties in the medium range.


Alfrescian (Inf)

Maid accused of stealing from ex-CAG chairman’s family said allegations affected her reputation​


Ms Parti Liyani was convicted of theft in 2019, and acquitted in 2020 after the High Court overturned her conviction on appeal. PHOTO: ST FILE

Shaffiq Alkhatib
Court Correspondent

Apr 14, 2023

SINGAPORE - In a statement on Friday issued via the Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics (Home), Ms Parti Liyani, who had been accused of theft, said the allegations against her had affected her reputation.
The 49-year-old Indonesian had worked as a maid for the family of Changi Airport Group’s former chairman Liew Mun Leong before she was accused of committing the offence.
Ms Parti was later convicted of stealing more than $30,000 worth of items from the Liews, and in 2019, was sentenced to two years and two months’ jail.
She was acquitted in 2020 after the High Court overturned her conviction on appeal.
Mr Liew’s son, Karl Liew, 45, was sentenced to two weeks’ jail on Friday after admitting that he had lied to a judge during Ms Parti’s trial.
In her statement on Friday, Ms Parti said she was worried that her ageing mother would have read the reports on her, as her case had been covered by Indonesian media.
She added that several of her friends in Singapore had lost trust in her before her acquittal.

Ms Parti said she was unable to work in Singapore while the charges hung over her head, and she had to remain in the country while her case was pending.
She said she was grateful to those in Singapore who had donated over $28,000 through Home’s fund-raising campaign to assist her.
But she added that it was still less than what she would have earned if she had been working here.
Ms Parti also had some harsh words for the Liews.
She said: “Since the day Liew Mun Leong filed a report to the police to the... hearing at the State Courts..., never once (did) Karl (show) any seriousness in giving honest evidence.
“There had been no sign of remorse nor any apology from himself and his family after my acquittal. It took facing legal charges that finally made him admit (his) guilt.”