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Khaw Boon Wan defends initial response to Brompton purchase: No reason to suspect integrity of NPark officer

Posted by temasektimes on August 1, 2012

Beleaguered National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan is now busy redeeming himself in the eyes of the public over his initial nonchalant response to the controversial purchase of the expensive Brompton bicycles by the National Parks Board (NParks) which first erupted on the internet.

Despite many valid concerns raised by netizens over the purchase including the tender being called during the Chinese New Year festive season and its exorbitant price, Mr Khaw defended the purchasing officer’s ‘integrity’ initially.

Speaking to queries from the state media, Mr Khaw explained that though he felt the decision to buy the foldable bikes was ‘justified’, he was not satisfied with the deal:

“I wrote then, that the decision to buy foldable bikes was justified. However, to signal my dissatisfaction and to convey a public message (not just to NParks but to all MND officers) that we should always seek value for money and ensure contestability when procuring goods or services, I added that I thought the procurement could have been better handled and NParks could have gotten a better deal,” he said.

However he was quick to add that “at that time”,ย he had “no reason to question the integrity of the officer(s) involved”.

It is not known how much his ‘no reason to question’ cost Singapore taxpayers.

The matter was finally referred to the Corrupt Practice Investigation Bureau (CPIB) for investigations and the officer in question was suspended after it was exposed online that he is a good friend of the owners of the company supplying the bikes



30 Responses to “Khaw Boon Wan defends initial response to Brompton purchase: No reason to suspect integrity of NPark officer”

  1. As usual, talking c0ck for damage control.

  2. NaBey said

    Chinese has a proverb, when the high beam is not straight, those below will not be straight too. Translate to English means monkey see monkey do. So, pls see yourself in mirror and self reflect!
    $8 bypass is impossible if you didn’t buy rider for deductible and co-insurance.

    • True BLUE Sinkie said

      I like that chinese proverb. It’s beautiful. First time I read this and I am very amused. Well said. well said…. brahahahhaha !!

  3. ngpy said

    We should not have doubted Minister Khaw’s explainations on the purchases of the bikes. Now since it is in the hands of CPIB we should accept and and see what is the outcome from investigations.

  4. Mike Zeng said

    Khaw is jumping from the boiling water to the fire. The more he tries to defend and explain his initial mistake to protect his officer (and his Ministry) the worst his credibility will become. I said b4 that with his humongous salary of $2-3 million p.a, he just can’t see how expensive a $2,200 foldable bicycle can be to the average man especially tax-payers. Money is relative.So to him, $2,200 is just $220. So why the hullabaloo? That I think is why he initially without much thinking blabbered that he supported the purchase.
    It’s true that our millionaire Ministers are living in a world of their own and can’t seem to relate to the average man’s concept of the value of money.

    • True BLUE Sinkie said

      When ministers are paid millions, they have alot of details in thier bank account. but they lack details in their work. Thats the fact of life.. the result of a corrupt cabinet… put that blame on that old fart.

    • SkinFT said

      Very true. That’s why even Japanese who manages to squeeze into the Diet are made to take public transportation and every public money that they use must be published in yearly report. Even with this, Japanese do have their share of reports on public corruption. So, Singapore has none? Think again.

  5. Singapuraboi said

    Hah?! Then the poor guy for suspended for nothing and then why the CPIB investigation if the guy’s integrity is not an issue. Even if u want to CYA at least do it intelligently, and with a little bit more style and dignity than this. Ur reply just made the whole incident even more outrageous. I wonder what the corp comm of MND is up to. They just saboed u. Not only does this look bad, it is leaving a bad taste in everyone’s mouth.

  6. Another lousy minister .

  7. STFU said

    Chinese saying – ”yue miao yue hei”, the more you talk, the worse it will become.
    If I were him, I will ”shao shuo wei miao”, talk less, less problem.

  8. Nabey said

    Hi sir, I think u have loss ur sense in monetary value. We don’t blame u. Just like ur colleague who feel rich when he sees his cpf statement. U guys feel u are rich and u think $2200 for a bicycle is norm. U think $130000 for toyota altis is norm. U think $800k for a hdb is norm. It is ok. We won’t blame u.we just blame why we are born here.

  9. Disgusting pay policy said

    Why do we have to pay the Minister such astronomical salary to deal with simple bicycle purchases? With his high salary money we can easily engage 100 internal auditors to perform more professional checks on the justification of such purchases.
    By paying the minister such outlandish salary we are essentially putting him in a totally different world to value money the way we the ordinary citizens treasure our money. $57000 to the humongously paid minister is peanuts but it is three years salary to the ordinary man in the street. How can such obscenely paid minister feel for and with the common people. Our pay policy is totally illogical and disgustingly unique.

  10. Unfit medical practitional said

    What took him so long to refer the matter to CPIB?

  11. mahbok tan said

    Khaw boh hiew …… better keep ur mouth shut …the more u talk the more shit come out…!!!

  12. SG Talent said

    Do U know that he was born in Penang? ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Cokc said

    Singaporean get sack for this. Malaysian collects millions and to tell us is ok.
    If I m d management, KBW b sack too. Too much bull n cock.

  14. Ron said

    Khaw is a straightforward person and has done much to control costs. After taking up his portfolio, he has revealed information about the housing, more than the previously. He may have made a hasty remark in this case but credit to the Ministry that the matter is now to be thoroughly investigated for corruption.

    Perhaps other procurement contracts should also be reviewed. The entire procurement process should be reviewed for tightening up.

  15. Angry Citizen said

    Talk cock like sing song, does his job just to read report without questioning?
    Good career indeed, value for money sia.

  16. Fed Up Singaporean said

    I really think PAP MP’s are a new breed of creatures on Earth. Their skin is soo thick and they cannot feel shame.

    They say the taxpayers money is well spent but when confronted with overwhelming evidence, turn tail and say oh I guess there’s something wrong I should investigate! Then after that give themselves a pat on the back by thinking up the idea of investigating.

    Not one word of ‘Sorry’ not even ‘We were wrong’ or something. Unbelievable…

    • Raj said

      Just went through stent and ballooning in [C]. class ward without subsidy $14000 and after subsidy about $7000.I have ins etc.Mr Khaw pls show me how to pay $8/-

  17. kaypoh said

    Ok, KBW & all MPs now shd take Brompton to work & save money on cars, give the cars to NParks for carpooling ๐Ÿ˜‰

  18. To Be Fair said

    There’s actually no need to further justify the purchase of the NPark bicycles. If something was done wrong, it is wrong. Our government departments are not perfect. The more we “squeeze” out a reason in defence of a wrong doing, the more will be the negative repercussions (่ถŠ็ž„่ถŠ้ป‘). The issue is not whether the NPark had purchased superior bikes on a value-for-money basis but a question of whether, in the first place, it is a waste of national resources to go for such ultra expensive bikes for the given purpose. We all know that bicycles worth $600 each would have more than served the purpose of the NPark. The move to purchase Bromptom-equivalent bikes likens to buying scented & perfumed toilet papers (say, at $5 per roll) for the buttocks as opposed to what economically & effectively cleans it. Once such a wasteful procurement habit by a government department received blessing from a minister, further extravagant spending will pursue, in an environment where the average Singaporeans are instead struggling for their livelihood. It also leaves the impression that government money comes easy.

  19. Henry said

    We have a bunch of stupid ministers, that’s all!

  20. i say what i think only... said

    lesson learnt: do not defend without knowing whether it is worth defending. because if it is not, u seem like an accomplice more than anything else. not saying he gets the benefits but is the type he must defend his ministry which can do no wrong, assisted in these wrongdoings unknowingly.

  21. Jaded said

    claiming the credit for the uncovering that Singaporeans did online….

  22. Unhappy said

    No reason ? Then why did you initiate investigation ? We are no dumb, Khaw.

  23. Ron said

    This is an example of letting the rank and file handle small matters. MND is involved with billions in housing development. For such small expenditures, why not let the relevant spokesman handle it? After that the Permanent Secretary or the Director in charge should face the press.

    The Minister should stay in the background and only get involved for really big issues.

    • Unhappy said

      Well, I think he likes to handle the cats and dogs issues, the wild boar issues, the vege imports, bicycle purchase
      and many more easier small matters to earn his millions.

  24. Ben said

    Sing song … what ever you want ……..who’s money pay the bill?!!!!!!!

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