NParks officer, bike supplier were friends

NParks officer, bike supplier were friends
Bikehop director Lawrence Lim (above) testified on Tuesday that he met Bernard Lim in September or October 2011, three months before NParks was to invite bids for the bicycle procurement. He also said Lim told him not to tell NParks about their relationship as he wanted to "keep a low profile".

A NATIONAL Parks Board (NParks) officer who oversaw the purchase of 26 Brompton bicycles from supplier Bikehop knew its director personally, a district court heard on Tuesday.

Bernard Lim Yong Soon, 42, allegedly tipped off Mr Lawrence Lim Chun How about a government tender for folding bikes in January 2012, and the firm supplied them for $2,200 each.

The latter told the court that Lim told him not to tell NParks about their relationship as he wanted to "keep a low profile", and the deal later came under public scrutiny following a newspaper article in June 2012.

In a trial which began on Tuesday, Lim is accused of lying to auditors from the Ministry of National Development (MND) in July 2012, by saying that the two men did not know each other personally, and of instigating the Bikehop director to do the same.

Charges of corruption have not been brought after investigations revealed no such evidence. The prosecution claims the assistant director failed to disclose the conflict of interest and lied about it to avoid disciplinary or criminal investigation.

He needed Mr Lawrence Lim to do likewise to prevent the lie from being exposed, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Andre Jumabhoy.

Mr Lawrence Lim, 42, told the court he had first met Lim in September or October 2011 at a night cycling event - three months before NParks was to invite bids for the procurement of the bicycles.

Mr Lawrence Lim said that before a meeting with NParks in March 2012, Lim told him to pretend they were meeting each other only for the first time.

When the $57,200 deal was highlighted in the newspaper article, Lim allegedly called the Bikehop director and told him to "unfriend" him on Facebook.

The two met at a later date at a hawker centre in Shunfu Road, where Mr Lawrence Lim suggested they inform Lim's superiors about their relationship as there was nothing to hide. But Lim allegedly told him he did not "understand civil service culture".

 

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