Company car allegedly sold at discount for 'chance' to win contracts | The New Paper

Company car allegedly sold at discount for 'chance' to win contracts

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A businessman, accused of bribery, told his business partner that a car belonging to his company had been sold at a discount to a town council's then-general manager so that they would have a "chance" at winning contracts, a court heard yesterday.

Chia Sin Lan, 63, director of 19-ANC Enterprise, allegedly disclosed this to Mr Tay Eng Chuan in 2015 at a spa.

Mr Tay, a prosecution witness, said: "He (Chia) told me he sold the car below the market price to Victor... (so that) even if we were the second-lowest bidder for tender contracts, there will be a chance it will still be awarded to us."

The conversation took place some months after the Toyota Corolla Altis was sold to Wong Chee Meng, he added. Wong, 58, the former general manager of Ang Mo Kio Town Council (AMKTC), is also known as Victor.

Both Chia and Wong are on trial for alleged corruption involving bribes of over $107,000, which Chia is accused of giving Wong for almost two years up to 2016.

Prosecutors said this was in exchange for advancing the business interests of Chia's companies, 19-ANC and 19-NS2 Enterprise.

Yesterday, the eighth day of the trial, Mr Tay said Ms Alisa Yip, a project director with 19-ANC, informed him in a text message of Wong's intention to buy the Altis car she was driving.

Mr Tay wrote to her in Chinese, saying there was "a problem with the procedure and to be careful".

Asked by Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Jiang Ke-Yue what he meant, Mr Tay said: "I realised that there is a gap between the car's price and the market value... I was wary about Victor being AMKTC's general manager, and I was afraid there might be a conflict of interest."


Based on court documents, Wong had allegedly got a $13,500 discount on the Altis.

DPP Jiang also asked Mr Tay what he meant when he said the previous day that a remittance of $20,000 to Wong's mistress in China was a "risky" move.

Mr Tay replied: "I feel this is inappropriate. The money remitted is not for business but is a form of bribery."

The court also heard of a workplace dispute in 2016 involving Wong's daughter-in-law, Stella Le Thi Hien, who worked at 4-Ever Engineering. It was allegedly Chia's idea to have her employed there, with her salary paid by 19-NS2.

Mr Tay told the court: "Many things happening inside (the company) are dishonest or involve some sort of bribery... ."