SINGAPORE: In a twist during the final tranche of the Ang Mo Kio Town Council (AMKTC) corruption trial, former town council general manager Wong Chee Meng indicated his intention to plead guilty.
On Tuesday (Mar 5), the first day of the last tranche, Deputy Public Prosecutor Alan Loh told the court that Wong intends to “take a certain course” after discussion between his lawyers and the prosecution.
Wong’s defence counsel Melanie Ho said: “Over the course of the last few months and after an evaluation of evidence, my client for personal and other reasons has decided to take a certain course.”
She added that this would include the withdrawal of several allegations in the charges that Wong, 58, faces.
He was originally accused of receiving about S$107,000 in various forms of gratification from company director Chia Sin Lan between December 2014 and September 2016. Chia's two firms, 19-ANC Enterprise and 19-NS2 Enterprise, did works for the town council.
Ms Ho said that 23 charges will be withdrawn, most of them relating to entertainment expenses. Wong is accused of receiving bribes from Chia in the form of meals and karaoke visits, while the remaining charges will be amalgamated or combined into three main proceeded charges.
These are in relation to entertainment, the alleged remittance of money on Chia’s instruction to Wong’s China mistress, and an alleged S$13,500 discount on the sale of a car to Wong.
The prosecution requested for the trial to be stood down or adjourned while documents for Wong to plead guilty are prepared.
The trial on Tuesday was originally meant to proceed with Chia's China supplier David Gan taking the witness stand, followed by Wong's China mistress Xu Hongmei.
Parties will return to court next Monday before further dates for both Wong’s guilty plea and Chia’s intended resumption of trial are fixed.