The corruption case involving Ang Mo Kio Town Council’s former general manager will go to trial, after he pleaded not guilty in court today. The accused, 58-year-old Wong Chee Meng faces 55 counts of corruptly accepting gratification from directors of two building and construction firm in exchange for “advancing the business interests” while he was employed as general manager and secretary of the town council.
Wong, who allegedly accepted bribes amounting to S$107,000, reportedly plans to contest all charges.
Chia Sin Lan, one of the directors of the firms 19-ANC Enterprise and 19-NS2 Enterprise, faces one count of corruption each for giving Wong “gratification as an inducement to advance the business interests” of the company. Chia also pleaded not guilty to the charges in court today.
Both Wong and Chia are presently out on bail of $100,000. The pair will return to court for a pre-trial conference on 3 May.
Wong bribed with Geylang “spa treatments”, hotel stay at Frangrance hotel and thousands of dollars for his mistress
Wong started out as a property manager at AMKTC before he was promoted to general manager in 2013. The town council was alerted to a possible case of corruption in September 2016 and asked the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) to investigate Wong, after requesting him to go on leave.
One month later, Wong was removed from all his positions at the town council.
The court heard that Chia bribed Wong with more than S$30,000, which Wong sent to his mistress Xu Hongmei in China. Chia also paid for Wong to receive “spa treatments” at Geylang and Spa-1 Wellness Centre worth between S$147 and S$1,476, and even once paid S$35 for Wong’s hotel stay at Fragrance Hotel.
Besides this, Chia conspired with a car salesman, Yip Fong Yin, to give Wong a S$13,500 discount on a Toyota Corolla Altis. He got a job for Wong’s daughter-in-law at 4-Ever Engineering, where she received S$8,248 salary for working between March to August 2016, as well.
Chia further gave Wong free use of a M1 mobile line that cost S$2,527 and paid for Wong’s meals ranging between S$42 and S$1,377. Chia paid for karaoke club entertainment for Wong worth between S$121 and S$4,280, as well, which amounted to a total of about S$49,377, over three years.
“Nothing will be swept under the carpet” – Law Minister K Shanmugam
After news broke that Wong was being investigated for corruption in January last year, Law Minister K Shanmugam had said: “regardless of who and regardless of the fact that this is the general manager of AMKTC, no town council, no one, nothing will be swept under the carpet”.
Wong may face a jail term of up to 7 years and/or a maximum fine of $100,000 per charge, if convicted.