Ex-TTSH deputy director jailed for corruption

SINGAPORE - A former deputy director at Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) was sentenced on Thursday to six weeks' jail for soliciting a bribe from a company in return for a tender award for a $17 million construction project.

Peh Chew Seng, 49, is appealing against both the conviction and the sentence and is out on $15,000 bail.

Shortly after joining the hospital as its deputy director of projects and development in December 2008, Peh was tasked to oversee a project to erect a four-storey temporary annex office building.

He contacted his friend, a director at the parent firm of PBT Engineering, to ask if he was interested in tendering for the project.

After his friend confirmed that the firm would be interested, Peh gave the firm a site visit and briefing about the project. But he was found out after giving instructions to the project consultant to disqualify the lowest tenderer for the bid, which took place in February 2009.

The consultant felt that Peh's instructions were inappropriate and sent an e-mail to TTSH's manager of projects and development to clarify if Peh's instructions were supported by the hospital.

The amount of money Peh had allegedly asked for was unspecified, but no money changed hands.

Peh was a new employee on probation at the time and his behaviour had been noted in his management of the building project.

The hospital filed a report of the incident with the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau.

Peh could have been fined up to $100,000 and jailed up to five years.

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