SINGAPORE: The sex—for—contracts corruption trial of former Singapore Civil Defence Force Commissioner (SCDF), Peter Lim opened on Monday.
Lim faces 10 charges of corruption.
He allegedly obtained sex from three women seeking contracts with the SCDF.
The prosecution will proceed with only one of the graft charges for now, involving Pang Chor Mui.
Lim has denied all allegations of corruption.
The 52—year—old is accused of corruptly obtaining oral sex from Ms Pang at a carpark in Stadium Walk in May 2010 in exchange for advancing her company’s business interests with the SCDF.
Ms Pang was then the general manager of Nimrod Engineering — a company that provides security systems.
The alleged corruption revolves around a tender document that SCDF put out on April 6 2011 — calling for bids to supply Radiation Portal Monitors.
The prosecution’s case is that Nimrod Engineering obtained the information about the SCDF’s need for these machines from Lim even before it was made public.
The company’s business development manager Tan Peng Leng — who was the prosecution’s first witness, said Ms Pang had instructed him to source for suppliers of these machines some time before March 18 — at least three weeks before the tender was made public.
At the time, Nimrod Engineering did not supply such machines.
However, Mr Tan said she did not provide him any technical specifications such as budget, model numbers or pricing, adding that he only received the information after the tender had been made public.
In his opening statement, Deputy Public Prosecutor Tan Kiat Pheng said Lim knew Nimrod Engineering was an existing vendor to SCDF at the time of the alleged offence.
Nimrod supplied products to SCDF and also provided after—sales warranty services for those products.
He added that Lim knew Ms Pang was aware of of his position as Commissioner of the SCDF and therefore had reason to believe that she would give in to his request for oral sex so as not to jeopardise her company’s business relations with the SCDF.
Defence counsel Hamidul Haq disputed this, saying that Lim and Ms Pang shared a genuine friendship, and that the intimacy between them arose from a flirtatious relationship that involved much teasing and banter.
He said that Lim did not engage in oral sex with Ms Pang with the intention of showing favour to her company.
It was as a one—off encounter, and a personal indiscretion. He added that Lim had not at any time asked for oral sex, and said the state is not responsible for policing marital vows.
Mr Hamidul also noted that the charge against Lim doesn’t specify the act of corruption, and doesn’t link the physical encounter between them to the alleged corrupt act.
Turning to the 6 April tender, Mr Hamidul noted that Nimrod Engineering didn’t have an advantage over other companies bidding for the contract, as Ms Pang had not provided any specifics when she asked Mr Tan to source for a supplier.
In fact, Mr Tan had said he didn’t sense anything abnormal about Ms Pang’s request as it came around the time of the 2011 earthquake in Japan, when concerns about radiation were rife, and had assumed she saw business potential in the product.
Mr Hamidul also pointed out that Nimrod Engineering had successfully bid for contracts with the SCDF in the past, and there had been no suggestion in those cases that any corruption was involved.
Nine other charges of corruption against Lim involving two other women were stood down in 2012 and will be dealt with separately.
The trial continues and Ms Pang is expected to take the stand later.
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