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Tiong Seng CEO, project director on bail amid corruption probe

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Mainboard-listed Tiong Seng Holdings said on Tuesday that its chief executive and executive director Pek Lian Guan (pictured) and project director Pay Teow Heng are on bail amid a corruption probe.

MAINBOARD-LISTED Tiong Seng Holdings said on Tuesday that its chief executive and executive director Pek Lian Guan and project director Pay Teow Heng are on bail amid a corruption probe.

This is in relation to alleged offences under Section 6(b)1 of the Prevention of Corruption Act (Chapter 241) of Singapore, the construction firm said in a regulatory filing.

Mr Pek and Mr Pay were interviewed by the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) on Sept 12 and Sept 11 respectively over "certain staff loan transactions" entered into by the group’s unit Tiong Seng Contractors - the company behind projects such as Sentosa Integrated Resorts and St Regis Hotel. 

"The board is unable to provide further details at this time as the CPIB’s investigation is ongoing," according to the filing.

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Section 6(b) of the Prevention of Corruption Act (Chapter 241) penalises a person for corruptly offering gratification to any agent as inducement or reward for acts relating to his principal’s affairs or business, or the show of favour or disfavour to any person in relation to his principal’s affairs or business.

A person found guilty of contravening Section 6(b) will be fined a maximum of S$100,000 or imprisoned for a maximum of five years, or both.

Tiong Seng Contractors was co-founded by Mr Pek's father, Pek Ah Tuan, in 1959, with Tiong Seng Holdings getting listed on the main board of the Singapore Exchange in April 2010.

The group helped to build Singapore landmarks such as the Resorts World Sentosa Integrated Resort, Capella Hotel in Sentosa, and Parkroyal on Pickering. It also had a hand in commercial, institutional and industrial landmarks such as One Marina Boulevard, Marina Bay Financial Centre, Home Team Academy, NTUC FairPrice Hub and JTC Space@Tuas. 

According to the group's website, the younger Mr Pek started his career with Tiong Seng Contractors, and was appointed director of Tiong Seng Contractors in 1993, and later deputy managing director in 1997. He also advises as a member of various productivity and green councils in Singapore. 

Mr Pay joined Tiong Seng Contractors as a project engineer in 1992. He was promoted to project manager in 1993 and to director in 1998. He manages the tender process for projects and oversees various types of construction projects that Tiong Seng Contractors undertakes in Singapore, from civil engineering to the construction of buildings. 

Tiong Seng Contractors had in May walked off with one of the top prizes at the Building Construction Authority (BCA) awards ceremony. It was the top winner of the Build Environment Leadership Award, and received the pinnacle Platinum Star for its "sustained leadership, excellence and innovation in Singapore’s built environment industry".

For the three months ended June 30, Tiong Seng Holdings posted a 26 per cent rise in net profit to S$1.40 million for the second quarter, from S$1.1 million a year ago. Earnings per share stood at 0.31 Singapore cent, up from 0.25 cent the year prior.

Revenue for the quarter totalled to S$80.5 million, 44 per cent higher than S$55.9 million a year ago. This was due mainly to a drop in work performed for the construction segment, and lower revenue recognition for its property development segment. 

Tiong Seng shares last traded on Sept 9 at S$0.21, down 0.5 Singapore cent or 2.3 per cent.