- POSTED: 12 Sep 2013 18:19
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A former Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) deputy director was sentenced to six weeks' jail by a district court on Thursday for soliciting a bribe from a company in return for a tender award for a construction project.
SINGAPORE: A former Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) deputy director was sentenced to six weeks' jail by a district court on Thursday for soliciting a bribe from a company in return for a tender award for a construction project.
49-year-old Peh Chew Seng had earlier claimed trial and was convicted of the charge.
He is now appealing against both the conviction and the sentence.
Peh is out on $15,000 bail, pending appeal.
The court had earlier heard that shortly after he joined the hospital as its deputy director of projects and development in December 2008, he was tasked to oversee a project to erect a four-storey temporary annex office building.
Peh then contacted his friend - who was at the parent firm of PBT Engineering - to ask if he was interested in tendering for the project.
PBT Engineering later put in a tender for the project which closed in February 2009.
Evidence was heard that the precise nature of what Peh expected was not discussed, and no money was exchanged.
Peh's offence came to light after he instructed a consultant to "find some reasons" to disqualify the lowest tenderer for the bid.
He also mentioned value-engineering suggestions that had been proposed by PBT Engineering.
This raised alarm bells for the consultant who felt Peh's instructions were inappropriate.
The consultant sent an email to TTSH's manager of projects and development to clarify if Peh's instructions were supported by the hospital.
In response to media queries, TTSH said it noted the court's decision on the case and emphasised that no exchange of money had taken place.
A TTSH spokesman said that Peh was then a new staff on job probation, and that inappropriate behaviour on his part had been noted in his management of one of the hospital's building projects.
The hospital later filed a report of the incident with the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) "in the spirit of transparency and accountability".
After reviewing Peh's performance, a mutual decision was reached to end his contract with the hospital on 27 February 2009.
A hospital spokesman added: "As a hospital and public institution, we place importance in having a robust and transparent system of checks and open culture amongst our staff...Through our people and systems of checks, we can better ensure the integrity of our processes and management of our projects."