Woman testifies in Singapore's second sex-for-business scandal

Female executive gives lurid details of a yet another sex-for-business incident involving a government official and a high-technology provider

PUBLISHED : Friday, 28 September, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 28 September, 2012, 3:51am


A key state witness has given a graphic account of intimate relations with a former Singapore police official accused of demanding sex for help in winning government supply contracts.

Cecilia Sue, 36, who sold computer technology to government agencies, said Ng Boon Gay, 46, gave her confidential information that helped secure a contract when he was director of the Central Narcotics Bureau last year.

High-level corruption cases are rare in Singapore, a corporate and financial centre known for an efficient and well-paid bureaucracy, and the case has drawn massive interest in the city state because of lurid sexual details.

State prosecutors said Ng demanded oral sex from Sue on four occasions to assist her companies Hitachi Data Systems and later Oracle, violating Singapore's anti-corruption laws. He can be jailed up to five years and fined as much as S$100,000 (HK$630,000) for each of the corruption charges if convicted.

New evidence presented in court yesterday indicate they had intercourse once.

"I asked him whether there was a leftover budget. I asked him is it about 300 plus (thousand)? He mentioned it was a couple hundred thousand (dollars) or so," Sue said under questioning by the defence.

Asked if Ng influenced the tender for the supply of computer hardware and software to the narcotics board by telling her the budget, she replied "yes".

Ng is the second high-ranking civil servant to face sex-for-business charges after former civil defence chief Peter Lim was prosecuted in a case also involving technology vendors.

In February, the Singapore authorities replaced Lim and Gay, saying the two men were being investigated by the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau.

Lim is accused of obtaining sexual favours on 10 occasions between May 2010 and November last year in return for IT- related contracts.

He could be jailed for up to five years and fined the maximum S$100,000 on each charge.

On Wednesday, Sue told the court she decided against reporting the narcotics chief's behaviour to authorities out of fear, but defence lawyers are questioning her credibility. Also that day, Ng's lawyer argued the affair with the female executive had no bearing on contracts her companies sought from his agency.

"Ng Boon Gay did not help in any form to secure business from the Central Narcotics Bureau," his lawyer Tan Chee Meng told the court. "Personal indiscretions aside, the accused is not corrupt," Tan said.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong vowed last week that dishonest officials will be punished in order to maintain Singapore's reputation as one of the world's least corrupt countries.

"No cover-ups will be allowed, no matter how senior the officer or how embarrassing it may be. It's far better to suffer the embarrassment and keep the system clean for the long term than to pretend that nothing has gone wrong and let the rot spread," he said.

Additional reporting by Bloomberg