Peter Lim with his counsel
20 February 2013. Defence Counsel for Peter Lim, former commissioner for the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF), said in court that Peter Lim had introduced steps to improve the transparency of the procurement process in the force when he was still an assistant chief of staff in SCDF.T he measures introduced by him include: (1) An evaluation committee that assesses the proposals from bidders must be from another department, and also staff from the department that originated the request for purchase, (3) The bidders must also fulfil all of the specifications stated in the tender or they will be disqualified, (4) The decision of the evaluation committee must be unanimous. Only if these conditions are fulfilled, the proposal will be submitted to the tender board. The commissioner, deputy commissioner and director of finance who sits on one of two tender boards will then individually decide to approve the bid or not based on the committees’ recommendation. However, SCDF’s director of logistics department Chin Lai Fong said that as Secom was the existing vendor, it was only logical for them to go back to them for maintenance. Peter Lim is in trial for allegedly obtaining sexual favours from 3 women seeking business opportunities with the SCDF. Peter Lim faces 10 charges of corruption. The prosecution will proceed with only one of the graft charges for now, involving Pang Chor Mui. Others will be taken up later. The alleged corruption revolves around a tender document that SCDF put out on 6 April 2011 — calling for bids to supply Radiation Portal Monitors. The prosecution’s case is that Nimrod Engineering had the information that SCDF’s was in need of these machines from Lim even before it was made public. Ms Pang at that time was the general manager of Nimrod Engineering, a company that provides security systems. The prosecution called the company’s business development manager Mr.Tan Peng Leng as its the first witness. Mr Tan Peng Leng said Ms Pang had instructed him to source for suppliers of these machines some time before March 18 — at least three weeks before the tender was made public. At the time, Nimrod Engineering did not supply such machines. However, Mr Tan said she did not provide him any technical specifications such as budget, model numbers or pricing, adding that he only received these information only after the tender had been made public. Mr Tan also said that he didn’t sense anything abnormal about Ms Pang’s request as it came at the time of the 2011 earthquake in Japan, when concerns about radiation were rife, and had assumed she saw business potential in the product. In his opening statement, Deputy Public Prosecutor Tan Kiat Pheng said Lim knew Nimrod Engineering was an existing vendor to SCDF at the time of the alleged offence. Nimrod supplied products to SCDF and also provided after—sales warranty services for those products. He added that Lim knew Ms Pang was aware of of his position as Commissioner of the SCDF and therefore had reason to believe that she would give in to his request for oral sex so as not to jeopardise her company’s business relations with the SCDF. Lim and Ms Pang shared a genuine friendship, and the sexual encounter came out of their relationship. Defence counsel Hamidul Haq disputed this, saying that Lim did not engage in oral sex with Ms Pang with the intention of showing favour to her company. It was as a one—off encounter, and a personal indiscretion. He added that Lim had not at any time asked for oral sex. Mr Hamidul also noted that the charge against Lim doesn’t specify the act of corruption, and doesn’t link the physical encounter between them to the alleged corrupt act. Turning to the 6 April tender, Mr Hamidul noted that Nimrod Engineering didn’t have an advantage over other companies bidding for the contract, as Ms Pang had not provided any specifics when she asked Mr Tan to source for a supplier. Mr Hamidul also pointed out that Nimrod Engineering had successfully bid for contracts with the SCDF in the past, and there had been no suggestion in those cases that any corruption was involved. The trial continues and Ms Pang is expected to take the stand later.