Ex-town council manager accused of graft intends to plead guilty , Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Ex-town council manager accused of graft intends to plead guilty

This article is more than 12 months old

He allegedly accepted more than $107,000 in bribes

A town council's former general manager, accused of receiving more than $107,000 in bribes, intends to plead guilty, the State Court heard yesterday.

Lawyers for Wong Chee Meng, 59, indicated this on the first day of the third tranche of the ongoing graft trial, which started last September.

Wong had allegedly received various forms of gratification - including entertainment expenses at KTV lounges, remittances to his mistress in China, a discount on the purchase of a car and the use of a mobile phone line - for a period of almost two years, between 2014 and 2016.

Wong's lawyer Melanie Ho from WongPartnership told the court: "Over the last few months and after an evaluation of the evidence, we have been in discussion with the prosecution.

"For personal and other reasons, our client has decided to take a certain course. This includes the withdrawal of several allegations made in the earlier charges."

"To take a certain course" is legal parlance indicating that her client, Wong, is considering pleading guilty.

Wong, also known as Victor, was charged in March last year with 55 counts of corruptly accepting gratification.

This was allegedly in exchange for advancing the business interests of two companies that did work with Ang Mo Kio Town Council (AMKTC), where he was previously the general manager.

During the second tranche of the trial in November, public prosecutors withdrew one of the charges.

The Straits Times understands the prosecution intends to apply for some of the charges to be dropped and the remaining ones amalgamated.

Allegations of the misconduct emerged in September 2016, after AMKTC received a complaint about the way Wong had handled contracts and dealings in the town council.

Wong, who worked for CPG Facilities Management, the managing agent of the town council, was removed from duty a month later and investigated by the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau.

Wong's alleged co-conspirator, Chia Sin Lan, 64, is also being tried concurrently in the ongoing bribery case.

Chia's companies, 19-ANC Enterprise and 19-NS2 Enterprise, were awarded contracts and tenders worth millions by AMKTC when the alleged bribery took place, the prosecution has charged. Chia faces 54 corruption charges.