HDB officer charged for giving confidential information to Straits Times reporter

Wan Ting Koh
Reporter
An HDB officer (right) was charged under the Official Secrets Act for giving confidential information to a Straits Times reporter. (Photo: Koh Wan Ting/Yahoo News Singapore)

UPDATE: In an email to Yahoo News Singapore, HDB said Ng is the first HDB officer to be charged under the OSA.  

A Housing and Development Board (HDB) officer was charged in the State Courts on Friday (10 November) with wrongfully communicating confidential information to a Straits Times (ST) reporter.

Ng Han Yuan, 25, an estate manager in the resale operations section of HDB’s estate administration and property group, was charged with one count of communicating confidential information regarding a project to ST reporter Janice Tai. This is a breach under the Official Secrets Act (OSA).

Information about the project for the streamlining of resale transactions had not been made public at that time.

In a press statement, police said they were alerted by HDB to the case on 27 July this year.

HDB had received media queries from Tai on a new initiative, the HDB Resale Portal. A leak was suspected as the queries had contained information on the initiative which were still confidential at that time.

Police investigations showed that in May this year, Ng had allegedly shared confidential information with Tai on the new HDB Resale Portal. Tai later approached several parties with enquiries relating to the confidential information in July.

Tai was issued a stern warning by the police for her actions.

In an email reply to queries by Yahoo News Singapore, an HDB spokesman said Ng is the first HDB officer to be charged under the OSA.

Ng has been suspended from his duties in the meantime. HDB said that the authority will “assess the situation and take appropriate disciplinary action” based on the outcome of the case.

Ng told the court that he intends to plead guilty and will not be getting a lawyer. He will next be in court on 15 December.

If convicted, Ng can be jailed up to two years and fined up to $2,000 for the offence.

 

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