Man listed as BikeHop director called in for questioning

NParks officers riding Brompton foldable bikes.

SINGAPORE - Over the past few days, the authorities have been questioning Mr Willie Ong Weili, 26 - who is listed as one of the three owners of the firm that supplied National Parks Board (NParks) their controversial $2,200 bicycles.

However, his father told The Straits Times (ST) that while Ong's name is listed in BikeHop's company records, his son left the company some time ago.

Speaking to the media at his home in Siak Kew Avenue, the elder Ong claimed that Ong knows nothing.

Ong's father added that he heard that another person from the company has been called in for questioning by the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB).

Earlier this week, the Ministry of National Development (MND) reported the purchase of 26 foldable Brompton bikes by NParks to CPIB, after an internal audit found some discrepancies that suggested the "possibility of bias in the procurement".

The $57,200 spent on the bikes raised some eyebrows, with many Singaporeans questioning if cheaper bicycles could have been bought and whether the procurement process had been fair and justified.

The officer in charge of the deal, assistant director of the Park Connector Network Mr Bernard Lim, has since been suspended until further notice.

According to Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority records, BikeHop was registered in July last year, with Mr Lawrence Lim Chun How, 40, listed as its managing director. The other two owners are Mr Lim Kok How, 37, and Mr Willie Ong.

Other than selling bicycles and related merchandise, BikeHop offers bicycles for rent and conducts bike tour services.

However, the Singapore Tourism Board on Monday ordered the firm to stop its cycling tours as it does not have a travel agent's licence.

yamadak@sph.com.sg

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