Amidst all the ministers’ and top civil servants’ pay hike, there was someone’s pay that they forgot to look into. In fact this person is the one that oversees all the technical operations in all the libraries in Singapore, yes, he’s the CTO of the National Library Board.

Apparently, he received bribes from another company to recommend their products for awards of contracts. This simple act of corruption is actually one of the easiest to commit because it apparently harms no one in the process – as long as the pricing (of their proposal) has been kept to market standard.

It’s somewhat like you rub my back and I’d rub yours kind of attitude, but in the civil service, this is a big no-no.

Of course, if you ask me, I thought this could have been averted if he was given a pay hike in line with the ministers’ and top civil servants’.

A FORMER chief technical officer of the National Library Board’s (NLB) subsidiary was charged yesterday with 14 counts of corruption involving a total of $102,958.

Lim Seng Ping, 53, was with eLpedia, a subsidiary of NLB, when he allegedly obtained bribes from Mr Chia Chor Yam, the managing director of Knowledge Internet Solutions, through a company called Astersoft, between May 2004 and May 2005.

He is said to have received bribes of between $3,092 and $11,700 in return for recommending eLpedia to award manpower supply contracts to the software development company.

Lim is now working elsewhere.

The Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau began investigation into the case in mid-2005.

Yesterday, his lawyer, Mr Ravinderpal Singh, asked that the case be adjourned so that he could take instructions from his client and to make representations to the Attorney-General’s Chambers.

Lim was released on $80,000 bail.

A pre-trial conference will be held on Dec 31.

If convicted, he faces a fine of up to $100,000 or a jail term of up to five years or both on each corruption charge.

Article obtained from straitstimes.com on 14th December



Reader's Comments

  1. GeekyCoder | December 14th, 2007 at 9:54 am

    Corruption ? I thought this is just another case of honest mistake ?

    Look like there is no thumb of law to distinguish between corruption and honest mistake, and it depends on who one knows.

  2. DK | December 14th, 2007 at 10:02 am

    I’m sure he also got a pay hike like all civil servant.

    But this goes to show that the pay hike wasn’t enough to deter them from corruption. It’s time our civil servant get another pay hike.

  3. Daily Sg: 14 Dec 2007 « The Singapore Daily | December 14th, 2007 at 11:59 am

    […] up with progress! – All and Sundry Singapore: My thoughts on Ministerial Pay Hike – Simply Jean: Pay hike: They forgot to up his pay… – The States Times: Ministers’ Taxi Hike Offset Package – Darth Grievous’ Dark Domain […]

  4. spyer | December 14th, 2007 at 12:25 pm

    You cannot catch corrupted ministers because of their pay hikes are the “legalised table money“.

    You need to apply (as a PI) for a police permit to investigate any minister and their family members, remember that? Now, who will be so stupid to grant this type of permit, right?

    As for the lower ranking civil servants, there is no permit needed. CPIB (which is under PMO, duh?) has direct powers. Of course, they too have to seek permission from PM to investigate important people. The CTO is a small fry to them, he is not a member of the “white” party, he is a civil servant of the government.

    So, will you catch any corrupt ministers? Practically, zero!

  5. saintmoron | December 14th, 2007 at 3:19 pm

    How I hope You are all(commenters) very wrong but alas I was the one that is so very wrong.

    Laws too depend on how it is interpreted and some are empowered to define them according to their likings or so it seems.

  6. gnayenelrahc | December 14th, 2007 at 9:28 pm

    feel free to read my blog regarding ntu registration of modules stuffs. 🙁

  7. Ed | December 15th, 2007 at 1:10 am

    Well, at least to what I know, it does harm NLB on it’s credibility when any of it’s officials presents comments or recommendations in future. If go unchecked, perhaps one day people will start asking whether NLB is being paid to sing the praises of other services in times to come.

    Sometimes, “harm” need not necessary be physical. It may not be so clear, but even the gesturing of a fist you can be charged for assault. When no injuries have been inflicted even…

  8. Tianhong | December 15th, 2007 at 2:05 am

    Jean: you really have a sense of humor 🙂

    Others: Ed I agree with ou but I don’t think this incident will do much damage to NLB since they are operating without any cash from public(maybe tax). Catching minister being corrupted? Why would they do so since they are already not motivated by $$$ with the kind of incentives given by government. Time to move up of the maslow’s hierarchy of needs

    gnayenelrahc: u’r too commercial =)

  9. spyer | December 15th, 2007 at 9:52 am

    Then why use the the reason of paying them more to prevent them from being corrupt, if they are truly cannot be corrupted. The party leadership already said that if they do not pay these ministers market rates, these ministers do not want to be in public service (more like joining the party). They claimed that they would have earned a lot more if they stay in the private sector.

    If they are really smart, they can stay in private sector. But they were enticed (with power and money) to join the party, they went into the dark side. And that doctor and many others went over, they are with the dark lords.

    As some said, “huat ah”.

  10. Alan Wong | December 15th, 2007 at 12:15 pm

    The argument that if someone who is highly paid will tend not to be corrupt doesn’t hold any water at all.

    We know that corruption comes in many forms. Promotions to higher positions is one of them. Just look at the recent scandal in the Malaysia judiciary.

    If anyone had experience in contact with those working in those public autorities where office politics is highly prevalent, I am sure one will be able to find out that the stark reality out there. Contrary to the official stand, in fact the more money that one pays a person, it will make the person more greedy and corrupt in power. We just have to look at the China corruption scandals.

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