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MDA assistant director charged with corruption and forgery

An assistant director with the Media Development Authority (MDA) was on Friday charged with multiple counts of corruption and forgery. 

SINGAPORE: An assistant director with the Media Development Authority (MDA) was on Friday charged with multiple counts of corruption and forgery.

Lai Wai Khuen, 37, is accused of obtaining loans totalling S$23,565 from 12 people on 27 occasions.

He faces another count of attempting to obtain a loan of S$3,000 without success.

He committed the alleged offences between 2010 and 2013.

Lai was responsible for evaluating projects to determine if they fit the criteria for the application of various MDA grants before asking the companies to send in their applications.

He was also responsible for the disbursement of the grants.

Investigations by the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) revealed that Lai allegedly obtained loans from grant applicants as an inducement or reward for facilitating the approval and disbursement of grants.

Lai is also accused of forging documents by fraudulently signing off as Thomas Lim, who is a director with the MDA.

Lai, who was unrepresented, has indicated that he will plead guilty.

If he pleads guilty, the prosecution has indicated it will proceed on seven charges, and take the remaining 24 into consideration.

Lai has asked for his case to be adjourned till after the Lunar New Year for him to settle some matters.

His police bail of S$20,000 was raised to court bail of S$30,000.

Lai will be back in court for a bail review on January 21, and his case has been adjourned to February 17.

MDA said Lai is currently suspended from duty.

He joined MDA in October 2009.

MDA said it took immediate action and reported the matter to the CPIB when apparent irregularities were discovered.

MDA said it cooperated fully with the CPIB in its investigations.

It added that as criminal charges are now before the court, it is unable to comment any further.

MDA said it would await the outcome of the case before it starts disciplinary action against Lai.  

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