Singaporeans waiting for justice to be done in the Keppel corruption case will have to wait long long. 😦
All one needs to do is look at the precedent in 1997 to understand there exists a different set of laws for PAP affiliates/elites. Seriously.
One of the corrupt executives is Tong Chong Heong, former KOM CEO (2009 to 2014) . As a Keppel director in the 1990s, Tong had authorized $8.53 million in bribes to Mr Cornelius van der Horst, a manager of Petroleum Shipping.
This took place between 1992 and 1995 and helped Keppel win 17 contracts to repair Exxon’s tanks.
Although Keppel must have made multiple times the $8.53 million bribe in profits, it was fined only $300,000 after pleading guilty. Hmm … cannot recall any non-PAP affiliate with a such a lenient sentence.
Why was Keppel allowed to retain almost all the ill-gotten gains?
Why did Keppel – a GLC – retain a corrupt employee who continue to earn tens of million$?
Do GLCs have a policy of retaining corrupt employees?
According to media reports, bribe receiver Cornelius was imprisoned for 3 years. Tong, on the other hand, was rewarded for generating ill-gotten revenue for Keppel.
Since the government had already shown its reluctance to take appropriate action against Tong 2 decades ago, it will likely not do so again in KOM’s US$55 million bribery scandal.
During his 5-year stint as KOM CEO, Tong had earned more than $30 million. Breakdown:
In 2009, Tong was paid up to $7 million. (Former minister Lee Boon Yang paid than $250000)In 2010, Tong was paid between $5.25 million and $5.5 million. His pay stayed at about the same level before he was removed in 2014. (LBY still paid less than $250000 in 2010)
After removing Tong from his CEO post, he was retained by Keppel as Senior Advisor at KOM till today. Bloomberg
As Special Advisor, the government-linked company has continued to pay Tong about $400,000 annually.
(Notice that LBY’s remuneration had increased 300% from less than $250,000 in 2009 to $750,000 in 2014 despite his zero knowledge of the massive corruption which went on under his nose?)
In other democratic countries, Tong would have been fired and imprisoned in the 1997 corruption case. But under PAP’s unique system, Tong was not only retained and promoted by a government-linked company but also conferred the PBM medal for his ‘services’.
Tong was conferred the Public Service Medal (PBM) in August 1999 (image below), 2 years after Keppel had pleaded guilty to corruption. It pays to be corrupt at the right place?
When the PAP government says it is dead serious on corruption, doesn’t it sound more like a joke?
All said, the 17 Keppel senior executives will likely be let off the hook, as the PAP did in Tong’s corruption case 2 decades ago.
To not, again, slap the 17 Keppel executives on the wrist would be a slap in PAP’s face.
This is because holding such a large number of PAP affiliates accountable for corruption is akin to telling the world that PAP is no longer whiter than white.
This must not happen. 😦