Monday, October 4, 2010

The Penang Ostrich

The Sun today reported that in an unexpected move, former Gerakan president Lim Keng Yaik today quit as party adviser, citing unhappiness over the leadership of Gerakan president Koh Tsu Koon (left). “Where is the party going? Maybe, my resignation will shake him up. His attitude has brought this problem in Gerakan. His attitude is akin to an ostrich burying its head in the ground”. Lim has relinquished his party position, clearly out of frustration. ”What is the point of giving advice if the person does not want to listen?” I too share the opinion that Koh does not make a good – no, not even a decent leader! Gerakan is already in their death throes. The last rites are being administered. Soon the members will bury Gerakan for good. When that happens, one less mosquito party to worry about.

On September 29, Singapore’s Straits Times highlighted the case of former chief executive, Ang Seng Thor of listed AEM-Evertech Holdings who was convicted on Wednesday of bribing a Seagate employee and a director of a Malaysian company. But this was no ordinary case of Singaporean graft. Yes, Ang (left) bribed but he also blew the whistle on the corrupt acts committed by fellow executives – knowing full well that he too would be criminally prosecuted. His defense counsel Wendell Wong described it as the “ultimate act of self sacrifice”, and that he wanted to do the right thing. I am not sure if the latter reason is his real motive and the news report did not enlighten their readers whether he is remorseful.

Ang was the joint managing director with Tok Kian You, who was the chairman of AEM-Evertech, a firm supplying precision tools and other equipment to semi-conductor manufacturers. And trhe former had written letters to the board of directors in 2005 to expose acts of bribery by the latter and other AEM employees. He also informed another company of the bribes paid by AEM to one of its staff members and the Corrupt Practices Investigation Department was alerted. Investigations implicated Ang and he pleaded guilty to bribing Tan Gek Chuan, a director of the Malaysian company Infineon Technologies in early 2004 with $50,000 so as to sell the firm four inspection machines with a total value of $1 million. Then in March 2005, he passed $98,160 to assistant engineer Ho Sze Khee of Seagate Technology International, who is said to have demanded a 15 per cent kickback on every order from Seagate.

Ang will be sentenced on Oct 11, 2010. I don't think the court will be too harsh on him, do you?

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