SINGAPORE: The defence for ex—president of the Singapore Table Tennis Association (STTA) on Thursday accused the former principal of Fuhua Secondary School of failing his fiduciary duties.
This was with regard to a contract that was agreed between the school and STTA.
The defence pointed out that the former principal, Ong Kian Choon, had failed to act in the school’s interest when he did not include details in the signed agreement.
The deal was struck between then STTA president Choo Wee Khiang and Mr Ong.
STTA was to provide coaching and consultancy services to the school. But details as to what exactly would be provided by STTA were not listed in the signed contract.
Mr Ong tried to explain that the contract format was given by the Education Ministry and that even though he signed it, changes could still be made.
The defence continued to charge that Mr Ong failed in his duties as he not only approved the contract, but was also on the contract evaluation panel.
Mr Ong disagreed, saying he was only the approving officer.
He later clarified that he had never given clearance for the coach who moonlighted at Fuhua to get what was owed to him, through the contract.
Mr Ong, 64, said it was a promise made without his knowledge.
Meanwhile, the defence for Choo’s co—accused, Koh Li Ping, made the point that four items in the contract were not delivered by STTA, as the agreement was meant to channel money to the coach through the association.
Mr Ong denied this.
Later in the day, Mr Mohamed Ali Mohd Isah from the Education Ministry testified that Fuhua did not breach regulations in the procurement of STTA’s services.
A former Fuhua teacher, Doreen Chan, also took the stand on Thursday. She was the teacher in charge of table tennis at that time.
She testified that she had not promised the coach any payment, nor was she instructed by anyone to make such a promise to him.
The evidence comes after the court heard previously that Mdm Chan could have promised the coach that he would be paid.
But on Wednesday, Mr Ong testified that the former head of Physical Education and Co—curricular Activity, Eikman Teo Hoe Aik, might have been the one who made the promise.
Mr Teo is listed as a prosecution witness but he has not been called to the stand.
Choo, 58, is accused of criminal breach of trust in 2005 during his tenure as the association’s president.
The former Member of Parliament allegedly conspired with then manager, Koh Li Ping, to secure payment of S$8,400 for coach Luo Jie, who "moonlighted" at Fuhua Secondary School between 2001 and 2003.
Koh, 44, is accused of abetting Choo.
The third tranche of the trial will start again on 25 March.
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