I refer to CNA article (image below) on the US$55 million Keppel bribery scandal.
SMS Indranee Rajah was the main wayang actress in Parliament to address the issue and she didn’t disappoint. 😉
Instead of providing answers, the evasive Indranee told half truths.
Indranee: ” … the US$422 million penalty imposed on the company is about eight times the amount it paid in bribes“.
Indranee was clearly disingenuous as she tried to magnify the penalty by using the US$55 million bribe instead of the US$351 million profit made by KOM.
KOM had in fact got off very lightly as the penalty of US$422 million plus US$55 million bribe was less than 1 1/2 times the illegal profits.
With reinvestment of the illegal profits, Keppel’s total illegal gains could have likely exceeded the fine and bribe.
Keppel’s penalty should be a multiple of its illegal profits and every employee involved prosecuted. Indranee was talking cock, wasn’t she?
Thanks to KOM, the corruption scandal has managed to open the eyes of even goondu Singaporean public who had for decades believed that all PAP elites are whiter than white. 😉
The PAP government has constantly pat themselves for being incorruptible, simultaneously bad mouthing neighbouring countries on corruption. However – with the record US$422 million fine – Singapore has made it to the Top 10 FCPA list while supposedly more corrupt countries are absent. Very siah sway right?
Indranee has also tried to downplay the Keppel scandal by claiming that those involved would have got off more lightly if they had been prosecuted under Singapore’s PCA as the maximum fine is only $100,000.
This then begs the question: Why is the maximum fine set so low?
Indranee provided examples of former politicians who had been investigated by CPIB and subsequently convicted. She forgot to mention that sentences could be drastically reduced upon appeal.
For example, then Minster of State for Environment Wee Toon Boon was charged for corruption involving $839,023 in 1975, including receiving a bungalow worth $532,000. Wee’s sentence was reduced to only 18 months from 4 1/2 years upon appeal. Wee would likely have served only 12 months of his reduced sentence for corruptly receiving $839,000, equivalent to at least $5 million today.
Wee also paid a fine of only $7000 which was slightly less than 1 month’s pay of a minister in 1975.
(Victor Wong, former GM of Ang Mo Kio Town Council, has been investigated by CPIB for more than 15 months. Till today, no sound no shadow. A more recent non-elite case involved Kong Hee, mastermind and pastor of CHC, whose 8-year conviction was reduced to only 3 1/2 years for misappropriating $50 million in church funds. Till today, no shadow, also no sound.)
Indranee acted blur again and repeated what Keppel had earlier said in a statement: ” … the company’s and KOM’s current board of directors were not aware of illegal payments to secure projects in Brazil.”
If this is true, it would imply incompetence at the highest level and that Keppel board members must have been sleeping on the job for 13 years.
Why then are former minister Lee Boon Yang, former PAP MP Alvin Yeo, Tan Ek Kia, etc still sitting on Keppel’s board?
According to FCPA blog – after completion of investigations with cooperation from Keppel – the 13-year corruption at KOM was WIDESPREAD.
How could a 13-year widespread corruption involving 17 senior management executives – including 2 former CEOs – receive only a conditional warning from CPIB and AGC?
Will conditional warnings be issued from today onwards for all corruption cases, so long as a fine is paid and the criminal offers full cooperation?
Keppel first made headlines almost 3 years ago in Feb 2015 and CPIB and AGC had ample time to look into the bribery scandal. The facts of the 13-year “widespread corruption” at Keppel would have been all laid out after almost 3 years.
Will justice be done in KOM’s corruption scandal? I don’t think many Singaporeans will keechiu if asked to do so. Recent statements by government officials and MSM propaganda strongly suggest elites will not be prosecuted as this risks setting a precedent.
Not forgetting Indranee’s half truths in Parliament. 😦
CPIB and AGC might as well issue a conditional warning to the GM of AMKTC instead of dragging their feet. It’s a simple case involving only one person but investigations are still ongoing after more than 15 months?
Will it take 15 years to investigate Keppel’s case which is more complex and involves 17 employees?