|Something to smile about|
Minister of National Development (MND) Khaw Book Wan initially defended the purchase of the bikes by claiming they were good value for money. Same reasoning he offered for buying Herman Miller chairs when he was at the Health Ministry. Any guy paid more than a million smackeroos a year tends to think like that. When public disgust cascaded, Khaw tasked an audit team from his MND to work with NParks to review the controversial purchase. MND passed the case to the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau CPIB) in July 2012. Then in March 2013, DPM Teo Chee Hean, in response to query by member of parliament Lina Chiam, revealed that CPIB had completed its investigation and the case was with the public prosecutor “for assessment and determination of whether there is any offence disclosed”.
This month in August, CPIB charged Lim with knowingly given false information to a public servant, lying about his personal relationship with Lawrence Lim, for which the NParks director can be jailed up to a year and fined $5,000. No need to wait till 27 September 2013, when the case will be up for mention, the punishment will be another slap on the wrist.
The system cannot be faulted, the minister cannot be embarrassed for his error in judgement. The inquiry into the death of Dinesh Raman Chinnaiah was abbreviated by the sacrificial offering of scape goat Deputy Superintendent Lim Kwo Yin, charged and fined $10,000. The Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) has rejected the request by family members to re-open an inquest into the circumstances of the loss of life at Changi Prison. The Standard Operation Procedure (SOP) is to move on.