A Singaporean new citizen from China was sentenced to only 3.5 years jail for accepting bribes over S$200,000. Yu Jia Rong, 39, a former employee for government statutory board, A*Star, was ordered to pay S$202,430, or serve less than a year, 40 weeks’, jail in default. The China Singaporean faced a total of eighteen corruption charges.
Yu Jia Rong was also charged for lying to the Immigration Checkpoint Authority (ICA). The China Singaporean told the ICA that he lost his passport but, in fact, his passport was impounded while he was released on bail pending investigation.
When Yu Jia Rong was a facilities engineer at government-linked company, Institute of Microelectronics (IME), he sought bribes as “commission” from the project manager and director of Contech Engineering. Three other companies were also awarded jobs from IME through bribery – Techfield Engineering Services (TES), Yield Engineering Solutions (YES) and Techfield Solutions (TSPL).
The corruption went undetected for 2 years, between 2012 and 2013. The Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) started their investigation in February 2014, and tapped Yu Jia Rong’s handphone. Below is a conversation the CPIB released:
“You all don’t be so honest. I will not admit too much. I will at most admit that I take ten- plus thousand.”
Yu Jia Rong came from China in 2000 and have since become Singaporean new citizen. He is exempted from National Service. Although he face charges for up to five years jail for each of his 18 corruption charges and ten years jail for the Passport Act offense, he was leniently let off with a 3 and a half year jail. This is yet another case that provide backing to widespread public speculations that foreigners and new citizens are given lenient sentences.