Jail terms increased for ex-GM of Ang Mo Kio Town Council and company director in corruption case

Wong Chee Meng (left) received more than $86,000 in a stream of bribes from Chia Sin Lan.
PHOTO: The Straits Times

A former general manager of Ang Mo Kio Town Council (AMKTC), who was originally sentenced to 27 months' jail for corruption, will have to spend a longer time in prison after his jail term was upped to three years and three months on Thursday (July 16).

Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon allowed an appeal by the prosecution to increase the sentence meted out to Wong Chee Meng, 59, who received more than $86,000 in a stream of bribes from Chia Sin Lan, 64, between 2014 and 2016.

Chia is the director of two companies - 19-ANC Enterprise and 19-NS2 Enterprise - which carried out works for town councils.

His original jail term of 21 months' jail was also increased on Thursday, to two years and nine months.

In his decision, the Chief Justice also set out a sentencing framework for certain corruption offences.

Both sides had appealed against the original jail terms meted out to both men.

In May, prosecutors argued for four years' jail for Wong, and three years and eight months in jail for Chia.

The lawyers for Wong sought between 11 and 14 months' jail, while Chia's sought 17 months' jail.

Wong was AMKTC's general manager from 2013 to 2016. In September 2016, the town council received a complaint about the way he handled contracts.

He was removed from duty a month later and subsequently investigated by the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau.

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In March last year, Wong and Chia each pleaded guilty to three corruption charges part-way through a trial that started in September 2018.

The first charge was over a $13,500 discount on a Toyota Corolla Altis owned by 19-ANC that was sold to Wong in 2014. Chia, who had not met Wong at the time, had agreed to the discount to gain favour with Wong.

Later, the pair began to patronise KTV lounges and massage spas together.

The second charge was for the $34,000 incurred on these entertainment expenses.

The third charge was for payments to Wong's mistress totalling about $27,800.

Two other charges for bribes amounting to nearly $10,800 were taken into consideration.

One was for the free use of a mobile phone line that Chia had given Wong and the other was for work that Chia had found for Wong's daughter-in-law.

In that period, 19-ANC and 19-NS2 were awarded tenders and contracts by AMKTC worth $9.8 million.

This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.