16 May 2006

Another (Ex)-PAP Man in Trouble

Just a couple of days ago, I wrote about Ahmad Khalis Abdul Ghani, an ex-PAP MP in trouble. Here's another one ex-PAP MP in trouble - Lew Syn Pau. You'll notice that in both articles, the Straits Times carefully refrains from using the words "People's Action Party" or "PAP".

Ahhh, so subliminally sensitive - we really must try to avoid having the party's name associated with such nasty-sounding matters, mustn't we. PAP Members of Parliament have an image of uprightness, integrity and honesty to uphold. The less Teh Cheang Wan, Phey Wee Kok, Choo Wee Khiang and Wee Toon Boon are remembered, the better.

Anyway, Lew's case is still in progress. Let's wait & see what happens.
May 16, 2006
Ex-MP Lew pleads not guilty in Broadway case
He and exec chairman on trial for breaching Companies Act

FORMER Member of Parliament Lew Syn Pau and businessman Wong Sheung Sze yesterday pleaded not guilty to accusations of a $4.2 million share scam involving mainboard-listed Broadway Industrial Group and an Indonesian businessman.

Lew, 52, an MP from 1988 to 2001, and Broadway executive chairman Wong, 56, were facing their first day of trial in the High Court after being charged under the Companies Act in October.

It is alleged that they had lent money belonging to a subsidiary of Broadway to a third party - privately held Silver Touch - to buy Broadway's shares.

A former director of Silver Touch, Indonesian businessman Dick Tan Beng Phiau, was one two prosecution witnesses to give evidence yesterday.

The court heard that Lew and Wong extended a loan of $4.2 million to Mr Tan's Silver Touch in February 2004.

The money belonged to Mauritius-based Compart Asia Pacific, a subsidiary of Broadway. At the time Lew was one of its directors.

Silver Touch then used the money to buy 20 million Broadway shares during a share placement exercise in the same year.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Ng Cheng Thiam told the court that the share placement was part of a financial restructuring exercise undertaken by Broadway to improve its weak balance sheet. The group was prospecting for new investors to inject fresh capital.

Broadway, which makes foam-moulded products, was also planning to restructure its debt by seeking new credit facilities from United Overseas Bank, the court heard.

To achieve its objective, Broadway had appointed several advisers, including Lew, who ran his own business consultancy firm, Capital Connections. He was asked to seek out potential investors, and subsequently found Mr Tan.

Court documents disclosed it was through Lew that the 'two-week loan' of $4.2 million was extended to Mr Tan.

It was also disclosed that Compart (Mauritius) had deposited the money in Lew's DBS bank account on Feb 13, 2004. But only $4 million was transferred on the same day to Mr Tan, via his wife's bank account.

No mention was made in court documents of the remaining $200,000 of the loan.

Mr Tan, who took the witness stand yesterday, confirmed he was introduced to Broadway by Lew.

He also told the court that he even paid $160,000, in two batches, to Lew as interest payment for the loan that was provided to him by Lew to facilitate the purchase of Broadway's shares.

But Senior Counsel K. Shanmugam, who is representing Wong, argued that the prosecution's case was a 'non-starter', given that Compart (Mauritius) is a foreign entity that does not fall under the ambit of the local laws.

He added that Compart (Mauritius) is a separate legal entity from Broadway with its own independent board of directors.

Section 76 of the Companies Act states that a company may not give financial assistance to any person for the purpose of buying shares in the company or its holding company.

The charge carries a fine of up to $20,000, a jail term of up to three years, or both.

The hearing continues today.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well, Doesn't Gomez look like a saint compared to Our Pay and Pay Mps in parliament? So much for the much valued "Selection process", so much for "clean candidateS"

I remember what Chiam See Tong said during the election when SM Goh said that Low Lacked judgment for bringing Gomez in and alluded to Chiam's bringing of CSJ into SDP

Chiam Said "At least Chee Soon Juan never lost public money unlike Tan Chean Wan and others"

Well Said, Chiam See Tong!

Chiam and Sylvia Lim also said in rallies and on Tv broadcast

"Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely"

There is no such thing as a perfect government, but Singaporeans should wake up their ideas about their myth and romanticism of PAP!!!

Anonymous said...

Hello,

"Myth and Romanticism" of PAP? What are you talking about - uh, annoynimous?

Anonymous said...

Well, I believe the difference is that these two (former) MPs are vehemently fighting the allegations, as opposed to Choo Wee Khiang who pleaded guilty and Teh Cheang Wan who was pretty much caught red-handed. It probably isn't fair to make any judgements now before the results come out.

veii said...

Is it a fact that he's a 'former' PAP man? He could still be a member, unless it's stated somewhere that he's resigned or been expelled.

Anonymous said...

must admit that i did not go into the details but were their alleged offence committed when they were MPs/PAP members??

That will say something about the measures taken by PAP to deter them from taking the wrong path.

moomooman said...

Actually it's very easy to fall into misappropriation within the legal framework. I mean.. Companies Act or others must be damn thick and seriously I don't see the most companies even a listed one following it like a bible.

Chiam said about CSJ not losing public money.....

I wonder when he said that... what's in his mind.

One one hand, I think he must really hate CSJ, and on the other hand, I think he also wants to protect his political career and has no choice but to slam PAP and yet in the process "praise" CSJ's integrity.

I guess 17k a month is attractive enough to put hatred aside.

Anonymous said...

The shutting down of a political party by our fair judicary, democratic government and independent press and unions.

Hooray for PAP! They are protecting us from SDP!

Three Cheers for Pay and PaY!

BT
May 18, 2006 Thursday
SDP will not file defence against defamation suit;
It will be wound up if it is not able to pay damages
Michelle Quah

THE Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) has decided not to file a defence against a defamation suit brought against it by Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

This means the SDP - which has until tomorrow to file a defence - is not contesting the case, and will instead leave itself open to a legal judgment involving damages and costs.

The development was confirmed by lawyer M Ravi yesterday, who also told BT he is no longer acting for the SDP.

Mr Ravi said the party's central executive committee told him not to act for the SDP any more and not to file a defence against the defamation suit. He also said the party will not hire a new lawyer for the suit, and will instead accept any judgment the courts hand down.

Mr Ravi said he wrote a letter yesterday to Drew & Napier, the law firm acting for MM Lee and PM Lee, saying he is no longer acting for the SDP.

Observers say the change of mind could have resulted from the SDP not wanting to aggravate the matter. The PAP leaders are asking for damages and costs in the suit. If the SDP cannot pay the damages, the 26-year-old party will be wound up.

Six SDP members, also named in the suit, have apologised to the two ministers for defaming them in a series of articles published in the party's newsletter, The New Democrat, and agreed to undisclosed terms of settlement at the High Court.

Each made a public apology for statements made in articles on the National Kidney Foundation that were published in the party's newsletter.

Two SDP members - party chief Chee Soon Juan and his sister Chee Siok Chin - have refused to apologise and are contesting the suit.

Mr Ravi said yesterday he continues to act for Dr Chee and Ms Chee, and that both maintain their stance and will vehemently defend the case.

He also said any default judgment in relation to the SDP itself should not be construed as an admission of liability on the part of Dr Chee and Ms Chee.

Dawn said...

Moral of the story, get an ex-MP or high ranking civil servant to be your guardian angel if you want to do big business in Singapore.

These 2 will at the worst get away with a slap on the wrist (probably some fine). And because of their personal wealth, anything short of jail time is a slap on the wrist.

They are arguing on a technicality but their basic intent is wrong. In effect, they are using a foreign subsidiary fully controlled by the CEO to prop up the shares of the mainboard listed company. It tarnishes the SES and does not give confidence to investors that the Singapore Stock market has a level playing field.

But given their money, connection and bevy of high priced lawyers, they will go scot free.

Mr Wang Says So said...

Oh, you never know. If Lew is convicted, then apart from the criminal punishment given by the judge, the convicton will probably lead to some disqualification under the Companies Act preventing him from being a company director again. So the consequences could be quite far-reaching.

Marcus said...

The PAP likes to boast about the screening and selection process of its candidates but the character of a person is not so easily determined.

It takes time to know a person, not screening techniques, but even with time, you can still be fooled to the true character of a person. Also greed is a strong motivation and a honest person today may be corrupt tomorrow. So don't make a laughing stock of yourself by saying that all your candidates are impeccable.

The PAP is not above making the wrong judgment so why mock Chiam See Tong and Low Thia Kiang?

And when you make a wrong judgment, the troubles they created is much worse.

So in the same way that they are forcing Chiam and Low, maybe PAP should have a mentor system so that any candidates who make a mistake, his mentor should step down together with him.

lee hsien tau said...

This one, hor, pretty clear cut.
Company's Act pretty straight forward.
If AGM voted, company can buy back = capital reduction exercise.
If left pocket to right pocket = create artificial liquidity or demand = manipulation
But so what, Lew got his MP allowances for so many years already, or kong only mah.

Mr Wang Says So said...

It's not about capital reduction - it's about financial assistance under section 76.