Singapore

Prosecution seeking stiffer jail sentences in AMKTC case

Former town council general manager and company director were jailed last year for corruption

Prosecutors appealed to the High Court yesterday for a former general manager of Ang Mo Kio Town Council (AMKTC) to be sentenced to four years' jail for corruption, almost double the 27-month prison term he is currently serving.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Jiang Ke-Yue argued that the district judge who sentenced Wong Chee Meng, 59, last year failed to account for the grave public disquiet generated by the bribery offences, which eroded trust and confidence in town councils.

Between 2014 and 2016, Wong received more than $86,000 in a stream of bribes from Chia Sin Lan, 64, the director of two companies - 19-ANC Enterprise and 19-NS2 Enterprise - that carried out works for town councils.

DPP Jiang also argued that Chia should be sentenced to three years and eight months' jail, more than double the 21-month term he is serving.

Wong and Chia, who appeared in the remote hearing with prison haircuts, cross-appealed for shorter jail terms.

Wong's lawyer, Ms Melanie Ho, sought between 11 and 14 months' jail, while Mr Eugene Thuraisingam sought 17 months' jail for Chia.

Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon will give his decision at a later date.

Wong was AMKTC's general manager from 2013 to 2016. In September 2016, the town council received a complaint about the way he handled contracts.

He was removed from duty a month later and investigated by the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau. In March last year, Wong and Chia pleaded guilty to three corruption charges during a trial that had started in September 2018.

The first charge was over a $13,500 discount on a Toyota Corolla Altis, owned by 19-ANC, which was sold to Wong in 2014. Chia, who had not met Wong at the time, agreed to the discount to gain favour with Wong. After getting to know each other, the pair began to patronise KTV lounges and massage spas together.

The second charge was for the $34,000 incurred on these entertainment expenses.

The third charge was for payments to Wong's mistress totalling about $27,800.

Two other charges for bribes amounting to nearly $10,800 were taken into consideration.

One was for the free use of a mobile phone line that Chia had given Wong and the other was for work Chia had found for Wong's daughter-in-law.

In that period, 19-ANC and 19-NS2 were awarded tenders and contracts by AMKTC worth $9.8 million.

COURT & CRIME