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Publication: Channel NewsAsia

Date: 25 January 2012

Headline: SCDF & CNB chiefs suspended amid CPIB probe

SCDF & CNB chiefs suspended amid CPIB probe

Posted: 25 January 2012 0747 hrs

Mr Peter Lim (Photo: TODAY)

Mr Ng Boon Gay (photo: SPF)

SINGAPORE: In the most high profile corruption investigation involving civil servants in
recent times, Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) commissioner Peter Lim and Central
Narcotics Bureau (CNB) director Ng Boon Gay have been suspended following allegations
of "serious personal misconduct".

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said in a statement on Tuesday that the two civil
servants are currently assisting the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) in its
investigations. MHA added that it could not comment on the details of the case, as
investigations are ongoing.

However, the ministry moved swiftly on Tuesday to name a new SCDF commissioner and
new CNB director. Both the new appointees take command from Feb 1.
Publication: Channel NewsAsia
Date: 25 January 2012
Headline: SCDF & CNB chiefs suspended amid CPIB probe

Detailing the affair, MHA said that in the case of Mr Ng, investigations began at the end of
December and in the case of Mr Lim, early this month. Both men were placed on leave
from their duties when the investigations started and their duties have been covered by
their respective deputies.

"Taking into account the current status of the investigations, both will be interdicted from
their duties with effect from 25 January 2012, pending disciplinary proceedings," said the
ministry statement.

The statement follows a report in Chinese evening daily Lianhe Wanbao on Tuesday
quoting unnamed sources, who alleged that the case was "linked to money and women".

When TODAY asked MHA why it waited before making the investigations public and
suspending the two men, MHA said that "investigations were at different stages" and it was
"only fair that we gather evidence and allow for due process". MHA added that "the
investigations will establish the facts, and the officers will be accorded due process and a
fair hearing in accordance with the civil service disciplinary process and the law".

Mr Lim started his career at the SCDF in 1987 as a fire safety engineer. He was appointed
commissioner in 2009. Mr Ng joined the police force in 1991 after being awarded a Local
Merit Scholarship. He was appointed CNB director in 2008.

Asked why MHA felt the need to name replacements so swiftly, a ministry spokesman said:
"Leadership has to be there for the two organisations because these are two crucial
departments and the appointments are there to ensure continuity and so that there is no
void in leadership."

When asked what would happen if the men were found to be innocent, MHA said that
"arrangements can be made later on".

Mr Eric Yap Wee Teck, 43, who is currently the senior director of emergency services at
the SCDF, will be appointed commissioner of SCDF from Feb 1. On the same day, Mr Ng
Ser Song, 49, who holds the rank of senior assistant commissioner of police and is
currently director of Police Intelligence Department, will take over as director of CNB.

Weighing in on the investigation, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs Teo
Chee Hean said in a statement on Tuesday: "All public officers, regardless of their position
or seniority, are expected to uphold the highest standards of integrity and conduct. The
Government takes a serious view of public officers who misconduct themselves. Any
allegations of misconduct made against public officers will be investigated fully and

Mr Teo, who is also the Minister-in-charge of the Civil Service, added: "If officers are found
to have abused the trust placed in them, we will not hesitate to take firm and decisive action
against them.

"I would like to re-affirm my confidence in our SCDF and CNB officers, who are honourable
Publication: Channel NewsAsia
Date: 25 January 2012
Headline: SCDF & CNB chiefs suspended amid CPIB probe

professionals risking their lives on a daily basis to keep our citizens safe and secure."

This latest CPIB investigation comes on the back of several recent high profile corruption
cases involving civil servants.

In November, Koh Seah Wee, a former deputy director of the Singapore Land Authority
(SLA), and Christopher Lim Chai Meng, a manager in his department, were jailed for 22
years and 15 years, respectively, for cheating the SLA and other government agencies of
more than S$12 million.

Early this month, Liew Chee Meng, an assistant executive from the MHA, was jailed eight
years and eight months for cheating the ministry of S$617,087.

Commenting on the recent spate of fraud and corruption cases in the public sector,
corporate governance expert Mak Yuen Teen, an associate professor of accounting at the
National University of Singapore Business School, said: "We need to take a long-hard look
at ourselves - why is this happening, was there not enough due diligence when appointing
people - as this could affect our image.

"Internationally, we've always ranked top three or four in the corruption perception index - I
worry that this has made us complacent," he added.

Singapore Management University law lecturer Eugene Tan pointed out that corruption
cases are "almost inevitable since they involve human frailties".

"What is more important is the political will for zero tolerance and the determination to
enforce tough anti-corruption laws. The determination to prosecute without fear or favour
does enhance Singapore's reputation for clean governance," he added.