Former hospital exec gets jail for seeking bribe

Former hospital exec gets jail for seeking bribe
Peh is appealing against the conviction and six-week jail term and is out on $15,000 bail.

SINGAPORE - Less than a month after joining Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) as a deputy director, Peh Chew Seng offered to favour a contractor in its bid for a building project he was tasked to manage - in return for a bribe.

No money was received from the executive director of PBT Engineering and the lowest bid eventually won, but Peh's actions were exposed and he was reported to the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB).

On Thursday, the 49-year-old remained expressionless in a district court as he was sentenced to six weeks in jail. He is appealing against the punishment as well as last month's conviction following a 20-day trial, and is out on bail that has been trebled to $15,000 in the light of the sentence.

District Judge Liew Thiam Leng on Thursday agreed with prosecutors that a jail term was appropriate. One factor he considered was that Peh's former employer provides medical services to the public.

Peh's crime related to a 2009 tender called by the hospital for the construction of a temporary office annex next to the hospital's main building. The contract was believed to be worth $17 million.

About a month after joining TTSH on probation as its deputy director (projects and development) in December 2008, Peh contacted Mr Sim Geok Soon, a close friend and executive director at PBT's parent company.

He told his friend that he had joined the hospital and was handling a "fast-paced" project, the court heard.

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