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Contractor of Collapsed Viaduct Linked to PA Grassroots and Previously Blacklisted for Workplace Safety Lapses

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It has been revealed that the contractors of the unfinished viaduct that collapsed at about 3.35am this morning near Changi, killing one Chinese migrant worker and injuring 10 others, have links with People’s Association Grassroots.

It has also come to light that the contractors, Kim Peow Contractors Pte Ltd – a subsidiary of OKP Holdings Limited that was awarded the $94.6 million dollars contract – has a prior record of workplace safety lapses in the past, where in one case just two years ago in 2015, a worker died and three others were injured when a platform they were working on at the Yio Chu Kang Flyover collapsed.

On that incident, the Ministry of Manpower said that this was a “clear case of a company that does not take workplace safety seriously.” As of Jul 3, the group had accumulated 25 demerit points and was blacklisted from January-April 2017, according to information from MOM’s website.

These revelations have been brought to light by a Facebook group which provided a thorough, detailed background of OKP Holdings on the social media platform hours after the viaduct collapsed.

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Here are the highlights of their findings of conflict of interest:

In November 2015, LTA awarded the viaduct project worth S$94,627,000 to OKP. It is expected to be completed in 2 to 3 years’ time.

When the contract was awarded to OKP, the company announced: “None of the Directors has any interest, direct or indirect, in the Contract. As far as the Directors are aware, none of the controlling shareholders of the Company has any interest, direct or indirect, in the Contract.”

OKP describes itself as “a leading infrastructure and civil engineering group in Singapore”. It specialises in constructing airport runways and taxiways, expressways and flyovers as well as maintenance works for roads. Its clients include the LTA, HDB, JTC, National Parks Board, PUB, URA, Changi Airport Group and etc. In recent years, it has also expanded its business into property developments.

According to its annual report, OKP was founded by Or Kim Peow in 1966. Mr Or was awarded a PBM medal in 2003. He is the Group Chairman. He is also the Vice-Chairman of Gek Poh Community Club Management Committee (CCMC) and the Patron of Potong Pasir Citizens’ Consultative Committee (CCC). Mr Or Toh Wat, the Group MD, is his son who was also conferred a BBM medal for “service to the community” in 2013.

Like his father, Mr Or Toh Wat is also a PA grassroots leader. He is the Chairman of Potong Pasir CCMC. Mr Or Kiam Meng, another son of Or Kim Peow, is the Executive Director of OKP. He is also a grassroots leader and Patron of Anchorvale CCMC. 

Mr Or Lay Huat, third son of Or Kim Peow, is also another Executive Director of OKP. Not surprisingly, he too follows the footsteps of his father and the 2 elder brothers to become yet another PA grassroots leader. He is a member of Tampines GRC and Tampines West CCC. 

To add to the menagerie, Dr John Chen, an ex-PAP Minister of State and ex-MP, is an independent director sitting on the board of OKP. Dr Chen was an MP from 1988 to 2006 and the Minister of State for Communications from 1997 to 1999. From 1999 to 2001, he was the Minister of State for Communications and Information Technology and Minister of State for National Development. 

The Facebook group said:

In essence, the Or family members are all PA grassroots leaders in the various constituencies and know many PAP MPs and Ministers, including those retired ones like Dr John Chen.

Send in your scoop to news@theindependent.sg 

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