Jail for former PUB employee who solicited $45k bribes from subcontractor

SINGAPORE – As an assistant engineer at national water agency PUB, he supervised water diversion works performed by PUB term contractors and subcontractors.

While overseeing Pipe Works, a water and gas pipeline subcontractor, Jamaludin Mohamed approached its project manager and agreed to facilitate and expedite the company’s works in exchange for money.

Over about nine months, he collected a total of $45,169.

On Tuesday (Nov 16), Jamaludin, 58, was sentenced to nine months’ jail for accepting bribes and a further 10 weeks for attempting to accept gratification after he tried to receive a bribe from a civil engineering firm.

He was sentenced to a further two weeks’ jail for falsification of accounts that will run concurrently with his other sentences.

He was also asked to pay the sum he received as a penalty, in default of three months’ jail.

He had pleaded guilty to these offences.

PUB dismissed Jamaludin in January this year, following an internal investigation into misconduct. That investigation was unrelated to his alleged corruption offences.

Jamaludin who appeared in court via video link on Tuesday was represented by lawyer Ashvin Hariharan who asked for a reduced sentence for his client, citing a past case where a director at a technology firm had attempted to bribe a government official.

Deputy public prosecutor Charis Low responded that compared to private citizens, “public servants are held to higher standards”.

District Judge Lim Tse Haw agreed, saying the offender’s role in PUB cannot be understated and his culpability was therefore higher, but noted that he pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity.

Jamaludin approached Pipe Works project manager Ganisan Suppiah with his proposition some time in November 2017.

DPP Low said: “Pursuant to the agreement… the accused helped facilitate and expedite Pipe Works’ works through means such as asking the main contractor to submit documentation quickly so that (Ganisan)’s workers could start work early, or giving (his) workers priority to lay the pipes at the sites.”

After Pipe Works received payment from the main contractors, Ganisan passed the agreed fees to Jamaludin in cash between November 2017 and August 2018, through meet-ups at various coffee shops.

Using a company he set up in his son’s name, Jamaludin prepared false invoices to bill Pipe Works for fictitious cleaning services at the various work sites, receiving the gratification money instead.

Ganisan Suppiah passed the agreed fees to Jamaludin in cash between November 2017 and August 2018, through meet-ups at various coffee shops. PHOTO: ST FILE

Ganisan was charged in August with one count of corruption and two of abetting Jamaludin in falsifying invoices. His case is at the pre-trial conference stage.

In July 2019, Jamaludin became acquainted with a management executive who oversaw the sales and projects of Teacly, a civil engineering firm.

Jamaludin arranged for a meeting with her on July 25, 2019, during which he said that he was able to help Teacly secure a PUB contract that the firm had submitted a bid for.

He asked for $500,000 in exchange, but the management executive rejected the proposal the next day.

Mitigating for his client, Mr Ashvin said that Jamaludin had a clean record prior to these offences and also had been awarded a long service award and a model employee award during his time at PUB.

He added that the only reason his client took the money was because his son suffered from a heart condition.

In response, DPP Low said that Jamaludin’s son was born in March 2018, and that his offences had started earlier.

For each bribery charge, Jamaludin could have been jailed for up to five years, fined $100,000 or both.

For the falsification of accounts charge, he could have been jailed for up to 10 years, fined or both.

Judge Lim backdated the sentence to Aug 26, when Jamaludin was arrested.


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