THE TEMASEK TIMES

News and views from an unique perspective

MND suspends NPark officer for buying foldable bikes

Posted by temasektimes on July 25, 2012

The Ministry of National Development (MND) has suspended the National Parks Board (NParks) officer in charge of procuring the 26 S$2,200 foldable bicycles which sparked a massive public outcry lately.

Many netizens have lampooned the purchase as a sheer waste of public funds, but National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan had earlier defended the reasons for buying the bikes to ‘enhance’ work productivity as ‘valid.’

In a stunning U-turn, MND now said an internal audit ordered by Mr Khaw last month “uncovered some discrepancies which, although inconclusive by themselves, suggested the possibility of bias in the procurement”

“The audit team was tasked to review the purchase and to ascertain NParks’ justification and see if its procurement process could be improved. MND has decided that the discrepancies were significant and warrant further investigation,” the ministry said.

50 Responses to “MND suspends NPark officer for buying foldable bikes”

  1. mahbok tan said

    Citizen of SGpore 1 vs GOVT/KBW 0.

    Admit your mistake and deduct your own salary can….!!!

  2. Me said

    How about about the chairs !!!!

  3. Mike Zeng said

    So why did Minister Khaw responded earlier on that he supported the purchase even though it cost $2,200 each?
    Read the answer in the TRE blog written by maxchew.

    • mahbok tan said

      Thats why the miss-ni-sters are stupid ….they shoot first before they aim at the target…!!! Always shoot at their legs …next time hor shoot another miss-ni-ster in front at least they do not waste the resources….!!!
      COS 1 – KBW 0. Period

  4. WR said

    What a disgrace

  5. Lim said

    The controversy should not just end at the internal audit. Hand over the matter to an independent external auditor or CPIB. Then this internal action would not be seen as shielding higher ups or pre-empting more investigations into this very fishy affair. The contract should bve rescinded and a new tender called to put to rest any lingering doubts of improper connections in the Brompton bicycles deal. I would respect Khaw a bit more if he would go the whole way instead of this feeble attempt to suspend an office anonymously some more!!

  6. Teo hen hen said

    Mr Khaw, what do you think?

    • Me said

      MR KHAW! MR KHAW! MR KHAW …… WHERE ARE YOU AND YOUR WORDS OF WISDOM ….. MR KHAW ! MR KHAW … SHAME ON YOU!

  7. Virgorian said

    Thought only Malaysia Babi government is doing all this crap!now we got followers !hey u better join the pig in Malaysia and get corrupted !

  8. Fed Up Singaporean said

    Another scapegoat lead to the slaughter.. If not for new media, we would not have known the government (that claim to have zero corruption) and their ‘practices’. $2,200 bike each, Giant Hyper-mart selling at $128 each.. misused of public funds at it’s finest!!

    • Naivety said

      Someone must have pocketed the difference in amount If the reasonable price for each foldable bike is only at S$128 each selling at Giant Hypermart but NParks paid a price for S$2,200 each…clear-cut blatant cheating!!

  9. defensive is good? said

    Lesson learnt – next time dun defend too early when there is a complaint, investigate first.
    Remember – no wind, no wave.

  10. Mark Roche said

    I have no problem with NParks getting bicycles for their staff. In fact I applaud it. It show that they take into consideration the welfare of their employees.
    However, the cost of such bikes are ridicules as you can get cheaper better foldable’s or better still, Electric bikes at much lower cost. I have notice the trend for certain Gov dept to go for the best, top of the line products and simply scrap the items after only a couple of years.
    Gone are the days, when they purchased equipment to last and squeeze every bit of use from it. Seems that because they have the budget they don’t care on maximizing the goods. A good example to copy would be the Gurukas Para-Police force, who is seen using the same Jeeps for so many years.

  11. tyu said

    Should CPIB take over from here or they must wait for Khaw to lodge official complaint?

  12. hihihi said

    Thanks to netizens for their work. How about other cases like the exp chairs?

  13. Jack said

    I think it has enhanced the productivity of the audit team instead

  14. Realist said

    This shows how ignorant and arrogant KBW was when he commented about the expensive bikes.
    He shoots first by defending the purchase and then backtracked when he realized his error.
    This kind of shoot first and think later approach does not speak well of a full-fledged minister.
    He just shot himself on the foot.

  15. Jaded said

    Ho ho ho, I stand corrected once again! KBW defended the purchase without even looking into it first, now what happen? ended up with egg all over his face! Ho ho ho!

  16. Anon said

    This is how KBW works. If there’s good news, let HIM be the first to break it on his blog. If there’s bad news, let the ministry publicise it, and he keeps quiet. And he has the cheek to take partial credit by saying HE asked for an internal audit!! Right … and I was born yesterday .. he ordered an internal audit because hardwarezone.com published excruciating details that left the ministry no choice but to follow the tral.

    I hope the public sees the true color of KBW from this episode. Bask in the glow when the news is good, deflect the blame when its rough.

    How many remember its under KBW’s watch that public hospital beds didn’t keep pace with population growth? Or that its also under his watch that the notorious “means testing” took place, while the govt was running surpluses?

  17. NaBey said

    Nabey! We all cowbeh then u check. If continue like that might as well I be got and let u cowbeh?

  18. No Can Do said

    Min Cow-Dung owes the ppl a public apology for his unwarranted, unsubstantiated and silly response that all was well with the bikes’ purchase. It was a clear public admission that he didn’t know what was going on under him despite his obscene ministerial pay when he defended the purchase. Now that the truth is out that something may be very remiss somewhere, shdn’t he take some responsibility for opening his big mouth to mislead the public by, say, a cut in pay as a public gesture of apology? It wld also be a good example to his Cabinet colleagues that it’s time to empathise with the rest of us as payback time is just 3+ short years down the road if they are stuck in their elitist mode at the ppl’s expense and taxpayers’ money.

  19. kaypoh said

    Let me guess… sexual gratification again? by some undersexed scholar with ugly wife?

  20. Meowmeow said

    Hooray! Victory for those who complain abt this matter! It’s time to fight back! Good job netizens!!!

  21. Anon said

    OK, which low level employee shall we hang to take accountability ???

  22. Gregory Tan said

    Minister Khaw should now do the honorable thing and resign for not doing due diligence on such highly suspicious purchases under his charge.

    He has made himself even more accountable by being very quick at dismissing any wrong-doing in this bike purchase, and justifying it with alacrity.

    Indeed, with the very compliant MSM, everything would have been covered up for good if there had been no TT and TRE to do further investigation.

    Congratulations to TT and TRE for doing a thankless public duty to expose the corruption going on in Khaw’s tt ministry.

    This despicable episode shows clearly that the ministers are far from deserving of the multimillion dollars salary they pay themselves from the tax payers’ money.

  23. denzuko1 said

    Why the purchasing officer? I thought this one is rotten all the way to the top?

  24. EnglishBengz said

    Khaw Cow Tao to public pressure. LOL

  25. Invictus said

    This is what happens when you don’t use bloody common sense and defend for the sake of saving your ass… Going by KBW’s logic, the police should drive BMWs because it’s a better make and save us in the long run. Got logic ??
    Easy when it’s not your money, right !!

  26. solaris8899 said

    this bikes purchased got ppl accountable of wrongdoing.
    the recent workplace safety causing 2 ppl deaths, still seeing nobody from the authority is accountable.

  27. Annoymous said

    Mr Khaw, starting to feel scared?

  28. Lew S. H. said

    The garmen buyers are not so smart. In fact, a lot of famous and good bicycle brands are contract manufactured in Taiwan. Just buy a Taiwan made bicycle and its as good as any other USA or European made bike.

  29. Lew S. H. said

    Ya, what about those expensive chairs that the garmen bought not long ago as mentioned by someone above.

  30. newhik said

    instead of just the purchasing officer, the approving officers should also be investigated as they are either not doing their jobs and questioning the purchase or they are in it as well.

    • Neutral said

      The NParks officer in charge of this purchase of bikes is no small fry officer – his name is Bernard Lim, and he’s an Asst. Director in one of the divisions. I was interviewed by him for a job I applied a few months ago. No wonder his name sounded so familiar.

  31. biccherry said

    Horrible title, problem wasn’t the purchase of the bikes BUT the sub-standard, insidious way in which the purchase was done.

  32. Lim said

    What a pleasant surprise! They have referred to CPIB and suspended officer Bernard Lim is also named now.There is hope still for Spore!

    • Naivety said

      How can a tender be valid when it only attracted 1 single bid, something “hanky panky” must be going on here!
      How to know whether the price is right & correct here if it has only 1 bid & no benchmarking against others?

      In addition, the bidded unit price of $2,200 per foldable bike was taken at face value without further negotiation by the Assistant Director before awarding contract…Geez incredible, they are anyhow squandering public money in their purchases!

      This is no brainer & it doesn’t take a director position civil servant to know that…where is the corporate governance, integrity & transparency in NParks??!!!

  33. No Can Do said

    @ Newhik at 3.24 pm above: It wld emerge from the investigations if other officers than the purchasing officer are also involved. Likely, the approving officer, unless he was misled somehow by the purchasing officer despite due diligence. But minister CowDung shd accept responsibility as an honourable gentleman, unless he is not one and sticks to his gun to sweep his proper responsibility under the carpet.

  34. Trueno said

    http://forums.hardwarezone.com.sg/eat-drink-man-woman-16/csi-attempt-nparks-brompton-procurement-process-ended-up-dodgy-winning-bidder-3814897.html

    Check out the CSI team had uncovered

  35. redskevin said

    His nose is very big, like Pinocchio.

  36. 龍的传人 said

    亜远讲话请求您想淸楚才回答!
    前后矛盾!

  37. Ken Lee said

    i ya ! no need to ask la! just buy la! ah gong money ma!

  38. LkySi said

    Instead of Brompton bicycles, they should be rewarded with Harley Davidson motorbikes to do their patrols – after lal its public funds – the same public funds that are used to pay our multi million dollar salaries of our Ministers.

  39. cc chia said

    Are they now going to auction off the Brompton bikes in order to recover the money that was overspent?

  40. Ron said

    Sigh. One scandal after another seems to be breaking out all over the place. Any fool will know that $2,000 for a foldable bike which is not a high-end carbon fibre racing model, is absurd.

    Did the Honourable Minister not proclaim how cheap his surgery was? And he could say that splurging such a big sum for a bike and multiple bikes some more was a justifiable expense?

    Even a racing bike with many gears would not have cost that much. And how vast is Singapore Parks? Riding from Changi to Tuas?

  41. bb said

    There is a lady manager from NPark who appears on TV in defending the bicycle purchase. Apparently she looks like a FT-should be sack if she is a foreigner. Immdiately replace by a local.

  42. Bengy said

    it seen like under our young LEE leadership, his guys are making lot of mistakes & created lot of problems..are we employing the right people to do the right job having to pay them so high..should consider to employ the FT to be the minister & leader , they are much cheaper…right Mr. Lee? also in line with your policy & direction…

  43. cc chia said

    Looks like the influx of FTs and foreigners into Singapore (after all Khaw was originally from Penang), will mean higher crime and corruption which they bring with them from their home countries. Remember the Singapore has no crime and very little corruption; it is the 3rd world countries where all these people come from, that such things are commonplace and rife.

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