Ex-principal in vice ring case has new job

SINGAPORE - Former school principal Lee Lip Hong, the first of dozens of men charged to plead guilty to paying for sex with an underage girl, has found a job.

He is now assisting Mr Pang Lim, founder and managing director of established foodcourt operator Koufu.

Mr Pang, 56, whose business has outlets in venues such as Kallang Leisure Park, Sentosa and West Mall, said on Monday that he was "a friend of a friend" but declined to give further details of Mr Lee's job scope.

Both Mr Pang and Mr Lee are said to be well-regarded members of the local Chinese clan community.

On Monday, Mr Lee would say only that he was "thanks to God's grace, managing fine, learning in my new job". He and his boss declined to reveal when he started working at Koufu but it is believed to have been within the past few weeks.

He was appointed head of Pei Chun Public School in late 2008 but resigned unexpectedly in December last year around the time police investigations into patrons of the online vice ring started.

In April, the 39-year-old was one of 51 men hauled to court for paying for sex with the same Singaporean underage prostitute.

Her clients include former green activist Howard Shaw, 41, former executive director of operations in UBS Investment Bank Juerg Buergin, 40, and Stikfas toy entrepreneur Ban Yinh Jheow, 42.

Mr Lee, who pleaded guilty at the first opportunity, was handed a nine-week jail term.

While behind bars, he became a Christian.

Mr Lee, who is married and has a seven-year-old son, was released after six weeks on account of his good behaviour and left Changi Prison in early June.

Prostitution is not illegal in Singapore but having paid sex with someone under 18 is a crime under laws that were tightened in 2008.

This carries a maximum seven-year jail term and a fine.

So far, 11 other men have been convicted and sentenced for their part in the online vice ring case, with jail terms of up to 13 weeks.

They include Shaw, who began his 12-week sentence earlier this month.

The alleged pimp, businessman Tang Boon Thiew, 38, is facing more than 100 charges that include abetment and living off a prostitute's earnings.

A pre-trial conference will be held on Tuesday for his case.

limze@sph.com.sg


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