Judge: Lim aware of conflict of interest

No, THEY were not friends “with benefits”.

And yes, Peter Lim Sin Pang knew that there was a conflict of interest when he tipped off Ms Angie Pang Chor Mui about a tender 10 months after receiving oral sex from her.

These were the conclusions of District Judge Hamidah Ibrahim as she systematically demolished the arguments put forward by Lim’s defence lawyers throughout the former civil defence chief’s trial.

Rejecting the suggestion that the sex between Lim and Ms Pang happened in the context of a friendship that had turned flirtatious, the judge noted that the two had no more than “a superficial relationship”.

They lost touch for nearly a decade and reconnected only in 2009 after Lim became commissioner of the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF).

“There was, in my view, always this possibility that Ms Angie (Pang) perhaps would not have bothered to resume contact with the accused but for news of his appointment as the new commissioner of SCDF,” she said.

Even then, the two met for lunch only three to four times in the year leading to the oral sex on May 2, 2010, and not once after, said the judge.

“The accused was not even aware that Mr Tamil Selvan was Ms Angie’s boyfriend,” said the judge, referring to Ms Pang’s boss at Nimrod Engineering. “If they were that close, one would have expected her to share this personal information with the accused.”

Judge Hamidah also had strong words for Lim’s professed ignorance that he was in a conflict-of- interest situation when he called Ms Pang after their sexual encounter.

“Any high-ranking civil servant of 25 years’ worth of public service ought to have known that if he has obtained oral sex from a representative of a vendor company, in this case a general manager, no less, which has an ongoing commercial relationship with the SCDF...that he has breached the IM (government instruction manual) unequivocally twice and was in an obvious conflict-of-interest situation,” she said.

“If he did not know that, then the accused has certainly made a wrong career choice for the last 25 years.”

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