Ng: I couldn't 'throw a spanner' in the works

SINGAPORE - When he was director of the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB), Ng Boon Gay gave the final word when it came to awarding contracts.

But, taking the stand in the Subordinate Courts for the second time yesterday, Ng said that he could not "simply throw a spanner" in the works during the procurement process as and when he felt like it.

He said: "It is not appropriate and not the right thing to do. I will never do such a thing."

Ng added that he had to have "good justification and reason" to reject proposals put up by his team, and he would have to document those reasons.

However, the prosecution argued that he still had the authority to re-allocate funds for other uses if a project had not begun.

Ng is charged with four counts of obtaining sexual gratification from then IT sales manager Cecilia Sue Siew Nang between June and December last year.

He is accused of doing so in return for furthering the business interests of her then employers, Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) and Oracle Corporation Singapore.

HDS was a subcontractor for two projects named in the charges.

Ng said he did not dictate which subcontractors were to be chosen for any particular project, and that the contractual relationship is only between CNB and the main contractor.

Ng told the court: "They (the main contractor) will appoint the subcontractor independently, and it didn't matter to CNB who that is."

He said he did not know HDS was a subcontractor for the first of two contracts named in the charges, until after it was awarded.

The second contract, also under HDS, was an extension of the first, he added.

He also told the court that he had no expertise in IT.

Ng admitted that there could be a perceived conflict of interest by third parties or laymen unfamiliar with CNB's procurement process.

He said: "With hindsight, I would have made a declaration and withdrew myself from the situation."

Earlier in the day, Ng's lawyer, Mr Tan Chee Meng, questioned his client over statements given by Ms Sue to the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB).

Ng said that it was common for Ms Sue to ask from time to time if he loved her. In response, he would tell her that he loved her "but not fully", as he is married.

According to Ng, Ms Sue had also asked him to rate his love for her on a scale of one to 10.

He said he had told her about six or seven. "She said that if we had known each other earlier, maybe we could have been together," he said.

Yesterday, Mr Tan revealed that he had sent a letter, on Ng's behalf, to the Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) on March 16.

In it, Ng lodged a complaint against CPIB deputy director Teng Khee Fatt, whom he felt put pressure on him - when his statements were taken - to accept a plea bargain and admit his guilt.

Ng said that Mr Teng had said he would "throw everything at me (and) drag out all parties and families through the mud" if Ng did not do so.

On April 25, the AGC replied, stating that his claim was unfounded.

Ng will take the stand again today.


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Day 4: Ng's wife comments for first time
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Day 3 of trial: Cecilia Sue back in court
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Cecilia Sue makes appearance in court
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