Photo of Li Hu and his mother Su Feng Xian from Straits Times

The mother of former table tennis national player Li Hu was sentenced to 6 weeks jail for offering a bribe of S$3,200 (€2,000) to a director of the Singapore Table Tennis Association (STTA). Chinese national Su Feng Xian, 56, offered the bribe to the STTA director in exchange for leniency on the punishment of her son’s misbehaviour. According to media reports, Chinese national Li Hu brought a woman back to his STTA hostel apartment for sex.

On 14 Oct 2016, the Chinese mother first received a call from the STTA director while she was in China, telling her that her son will face disciplinary actions. Li Hu, then, had already submitted his resignation. 3 days later on Oct 17,  Su Feng Xian arrived in Singapore to meet with the STTA director in person, and handed an envelope of €2,000 to him. The STTA director warned her that bribery is a crime in Singapore and subsequently reported her actions to the police.

The Chinese national is however unrepentant, and has lodged an appeal against her six week’s imprisonment sentence. Su Feng Xian is currently out on bail pending the appeal.

The Singapore judge said that there is public interest in protecting the integrity of the government statutory board.

However, in a similar high profile corruption case at state-owned company Keppel, the Singapore judiciary did not pass any judgement nor was there any public prosecution. Despite having identified 17 Keppel personnel over the bribery case, nobody was jailed in the Brazilian bribery scandal which resulted in sovereign wealth fund company Temasek Holdings losing US$422 million. Temasek Holdings manage both CPF funds and the national reserves, the losses also indirectly impacted the investment return on the state-owned company.