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Company director gave S$130,000 in bribes, with S$100,000 to business associate’s Marina Bay Sands member account

SINGAPORE — Intending to further business interests with another firm, a company director resorted to paying bribes to get his way. 

Lim Chor Ghee pictured at the State Courts on April 14, 2023.

Lim Chor Ghee pictured at the State Courts on April 14, 2023.

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  • Lim Chor Ghee, managing director of Springleaf Engineering, paid bribes to further his firm’s business interests
  • He pleaded guilty to paying S$130,000 in bribes and abetting to produce false documents
  • He was sentenced to 13 weeks’ jail

SINGAPORE — Intending to further business interests with another firm, a company director resorted to paying bribes to get his way. 

Lim Chor Ghee, 52, who was at the time of the incidents the managing director of Springleaf Engineering, an engineering design and consultancy company, pleaded guilty on Friday (April 14) to three charges of paying S$130,000 in bribes, with four charges of abetting to give false documents taken into consideration. 

District Judge Shaiffudin Saruwan sentenced him to 13 weeks’ jail.

Lim made the bribe payments to Kaw Kok Hong, who was at the time a facilities manager of Heptagon Micro Optics. 

Lim was in charge of procuring and submitting quotations to the procurement department whenever Heptagon needed works to be done.

Springleaf Engineering was the managing agent for Heptagon’s manufacturing plants in Ang Mo Kio and Woodlands. 

As managing agent, Springleaf Engineering provided mechanical and electrical services, equipment hook-up and facilities equipment maintenance services to Heptagon. 

Springleaf Engineering was also awarded ad-hoc contracts to supply air-conditioner mechanical ventilation, transformers, as well as lighting and other electrical products to Heptagon. 


On the evening of Dec 23 in 2016, Lim went with Kaw to the casino at Marina Bay Sands integrated resort.

Kaw told him that he wanted to upgrade his Marina Bay Sands membership status that allowed him, among other things, to be a premium player at the casino so that he could have all access to the casino facilities, including its VIP betting table.

However, he did not have the prerequisite of S$100,000 in his Marina Bay Sands membership account to qualify for the premium membership.

Kaw then asked Lim to pay the S$100,000 on his behalf first because he did not have enough money on him.

Both the men knew that it would constitute a conflict of interest in their business relationship, but Lim did so to further the business interests of Springleaf Engineering with Heptagon.

He wanted Kaw to put in a good word to senior facilities director Poh Kee Lean of Heptagon, in the event that Springleaf Engineering was charged for damages due to project delays.

Lim withdrew S$150,000 from his bank account on the same evening before entering the casino, and used S$100,000 to top up Kaw’s membership account with Marina Bay Sands on the morning of Dec 24, 2016.

On a separate occasion, Kaw allegedly advised Lim to provide false documents so that Lim could successfully secure projects with Heptagon.

Heptagon had a three-quotation rule for contracts valued between US$30,000 (S$39,850) and US$300,000, meaning that three quotations had to be compared before deciding on which subcontractor to engage.

To facilitate awarding the contract to Springleaf Engineering, Kaw allegedly instructed Lim to find and provide supporting quotations that would contain false bids and that were priced higher than Springleaf Engineering’s quotation.

To do this, Lim asked for help from his subordinate Peh Chin Wee, who reported to him in Springleaf Engineering, to get supporting quotations from the firm's subcontractors. 

Both of them were said to have known that these quotations would not contain genuine bids by the subcontractors, but were furnished solely to help Springleaf Engineering win the bid with Heptagon. 

Peh allegedly asked for a supporting quotation from Koh Seng Poh, director of air-conditioner installation and maintenance firm DK Square, which was a regular subcontractor of Springleaf Engineering.

Koh is believed to have understood that this was a false bid, but agreed to submit a supporting quotation because he was afraid of jeopardising the business relationship between Springleaf Engineering and DK Square if he declined Peh’s request. 

The false quotation was then submitted to Heptagon.

Peh also allegedly instructed Koh to approach another subcontractor to submit a false third supporting quotation to Heptagon.

On Nov 7, 2017, Heptagon awarded the project to Springleaf Engineering for the sum of S$80,000.

Kaw, Peh and Koh were charged with corruption and their cases have concluded.

Anyone convicted of corruption can be jailed for up to five years or fined up to S$100,000, or both. For abetting the commission of a particular offence, the guilty party can be given the punishment provided for that offence. 

CORRECTION: In an earlier version of this article, we reported that Lim Chor Ghee is a managing director at Springleaf Engineering. This is incorrect. He is no longer employed with the company. We also reported that Kaw Kok Hong, Peh Chin Wee and Koh Seng Poh’s cases are pending before the courts. This is also incorrect. Their cases have concluded. We are sorry for the errors.

Related topics

corruption court crime bribe

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