Procedures, practices were "wanting": ex-STTA president

Procedures, practices were "wanting": ex-STTA president

In the third day of the trial of former president of the Singapore Table Tennis Association (STTA), Choo Wee Khiang revealed that certain procedures and practices at the association were wanting.

SINGAPORE: In the third day of the trial of former president of the Singapore Table Tennis Association (STTA), Choo Wee Khiang revealed that certain practices at the association were wanting.

58-year-old Choo, a former Member of Parliament, faces one count of criminal breach of trust allegedly committed in 2005, during his tenure at STTA as president.

The prosecution is alleging that Choo conspired with a former manager, Koh Li Ping, to secure payment of S$8,400 for coach Luo Jie, who "moonlighted" at Fuhua Secondary School between 2001 to 2003.

Koh, 44, is accused of abetting Choo.

On Thursday, the prosecution's third witness, Amy Ng Soo Kiew, said she was told by two cheque signatories that they would sign the cheque, which made payment to Luo, if Choo approved them.

The two were the former honorary treasurer and vice-president.

Ms Ng said Choo had approved of the payment to Luo and so she approached the two signatories with the payment voucher and cheque.

They went through the documents before approving them.

When asked, Ms Ng said she did not think it was right to pay Luo using proceeds from the contract between STTA and Fuhua, but she said Koh instructed her to do so.

She said since Choo approved it, she followed Koh and Choo's instructions.

Earlier in the day, she admitted there was no uniform term used to indicate fees of trainers who carried out private coaching.

Her entries in the ledgers and payment voucher had terms including "coaching fees" and "coaching allowances".

These terms were used interchangeably.

A fourth witness, Bi Fenghua, who was a coach at STTA, also testified in court.

It is understood that when the trial resumes on 11 March, Fuhua Secondary's former principal, Ong Kian Choon, would take the stand later in the week.

Mr Ong had come to an agreement with Choo for STTA to provide it with table tennis training services.

The prosecution's case is that Choo and Koh gave most of the proceeds from this deal to Luo for his previous "moonlighting" at the school.

Apart from one count of criminal breach of trust, Choo faces three other charges of corruption, allegedly committed between 2003 and 2005.

They have been stood down and will be dealt with separately at a later date.

Choo, who resigned from the STTA in July 2008, was charged in court in late 2011.

The trial continues.

Source: CNA/ck/xq

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