Staff not involved in CPIB probe: ST Electronics

UPDATED (26 Jan, 6pm to include statement from ST Electronics)

Singapore Technologies Electronics (ST Electronics) said on Thursday that none of its staff has been called up by the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) to assist with investigations relating to the probe of two former top civil servants.

The CPIB confirmed on Wednesday that the ex-chiefs of the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) and Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) were both arrested under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

CNB director Ng Boon Gay was arrested last month while SCDF chief Peter Lim Sin Pang was arrested on 4 Jan this year.

Recent reports revealed that both parties have been linked to a certain female IT executive at a company that supplies IT-related products and services to government offices.

According to The Straits Times, both Lim and Ng, who did not know of each other's dealings with the woman, have admitted that they had improper relationships with her.

The focus was earlier turned to ST Electronics after one report speculated that the woman in question was a staff of the firm.

The IT provider has since stepped up to clarify that “none of ST Electronics’ executives has been called up by the CPIB to assist with investigation referred to in The New Paper’s report.”

The identity of the female IT executive remains unknown.

When contacted by Yahoo! Singapore, CPIB said it is “unable to provide further details on the cases” as investigations are still ongoing.

Lim and Ng are currently out on bail and assisting in separate investigations.

According to Channel NewsAsia, their cases are said to be related to tenders awarded to the company.

The news comes the latest twist into what is fast developing into a high-profile investigation of both men.

On Tuesday, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said in a statement that the duo had been suspended for “serious personal misconduct” and that an internal probe had been underway since end December for Ng and earlier this month for Lim.

This was after Chinese daily Lianhe Wanbao first reported that Lim had been suspended and Ng questioned by the CPIB earlier on Tuesday.
Although the MHA did not disclose more details about the probe, TNP reported the involvement of a female IT executive who had developed “a close working relationship” with both men. The woman is also assisting in the investigation, which was launched following an internal audit.

In a separate statement on Tuesday, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs and Minister-in-charge of the Civil Service Teo Chee Hean underscored that the government takes a serious view of public officers who misconduct themselves.

"Any allegations of misconduct made against public officers will be investigated fully and thoroughly. We will be fair to officers who are the subject of allegations, establish the facts and follow due process, acting in accordance with civil service disciplinary processes and the law. If officers are found to have abused the trust placed in them, we will not hesitate to take firm and decisive action against them," Teo said.

Both former leaders’ duties have been covered by their respective deputies.

Eric Yap Wee Teck, 43, who is currently the senior director of emergency services at SCDF, will be its new commissioner while 49-year-old Ng Ser Song – presently director of the police intelligence department – will assume the post of director at CNB.

Both appointments will be in effect from 1 February to ensure leadership continuity of both organisations, MHA said.

Lim began his career in SCDF in 1987, holding the rank of engineering service officer. He was invited to join the Civil Defence Senior Officer Scheme in 1992 and rose up the ranks to be appointed as head of SCDF in May 2009, taking over the reins from former commissioner James Tan. He was also the first director of the Civil Defence Academy in 1998.

Ng, a former local merit scholarship recipient, first joined the Singapore Police Force in 1991. In his 19-year career with the SPF during which he rose to the rank of Senior Assistant Commissioner, he has held amongst others, key appointments as Commander Tanglin Police Division and Director Manpower Department.

He was appointed director of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) in April 2008 and became director of CNB in January last year.

-- With additional reporting by Elena Torrijos
, Fann Sim and Kai Fong