Former PAP MP Teo Ho Pin who retired from politics this year has joined the public listed construction company Tiong Seng Holdings as its independent director. This was announced by the company yesterday (12 Oct).
Mr Pay Sim Tee, the current CEO of Tiong Seng welcomed Teo, “We are delighted to welcome Dr Teo Ho Pin to the Tiong Seng family. Dr Teo has over his illustrious career built up a strong public service leadership track record and served directorships and C-level positions at various public and private sector companies.”
“From his prior experience gained, notably as an MP and former Mayor of the North West District in Singapore, Dr Teo has developed extensive expertise and a track record in implementing Green and Smart City initiatives to create sustainable buildings and communities. With his strong background and network in the built environment sector, we believe that Dr Teo will additionally help to impart fresh industry insights, spur thought leadership and lend his industry connections to elevate the organisation to greater heights,” Mr Pay added.
Teo was a PAP MP for various constituencies including Sembawang GRC (1996-2001), Holland-Bukit Panjang GRC (2001-2006) and Bukit Panjang SMC (2006-2020). Teo was also the Mayor of the North West District in Singapore (2001-2020) and later served as Coordinating Chairman of all the PAP Town Councils. Over the course of his political career, he had chaired various Government Parliamentary Committees in National Development, Environment and Water Resources, Home Affairs, Law and Foreign Affairs.
However, he was not without controversy as Coordinating Chairman of all the PAP Town Councils. In 2013 at the height of the Action Information Management (AIM) saga, he came out to defend why the PAP town councils had entered a sale and lease back deal with the then PAP-owned AIM entity.
“The vendor would have to deal with all the 14 town councils when reviewing or revising the system. It would be better for the 14 town councils to consolidate their software rights in a single party which would manage them on behalf of all the town councils, and also source vendors to improve the system and address the deficiencies,” Teo replied publicly at the time.
He added that the AIM deal saved around $8,000 for the town councils and gave an explanation of a clause stating that the contract with AIM can be terminated if there is a material change in the town council. Workers’ Party (WP) chairman Sylvia Lim had questioned twice how this clause was in the public interest, as AIM terminated the contract with Aljunied Town Council when WP won the Aljunied GRC at the 2011 GE.
Tiong Seng’s former CEO Pek Lian Guan charged in court for corruption
In any case, it was reported in Sep last year that Tiong Seng’s former CEO Pek Lian Guan and its project director, Pay Teow Heng, were under CPIB investigations for corruption.
According to its website, Tiong Seng was founded in 1959 from a partnership between Mr Pek Ah Tuan and Mr Lee Tuan Chay. Pek Lian Guan is the son of founder Pek Ah Tuan.
In the early years, Tiong Seng was involved in earthworks and excavation work. In the 1970s, Tiong Seng expanded into civil engineering. Some of the public projects included building roads and bridges, and laying sewage pipes.
By the 1980s, Tiong Seng grew to take on larger public projects. It built Gate 2 commissioned by Port of Singapore Authority for its Tanjong Pagar Terminal. It also undertook government building projects such as schools and HDB flats, morphing into a turnkey construction company. Last year, it secured a $287 million contract from JTC Corporation to build an industrial building in Ang Mo Kio.
Pek Lian Guan is said to have served on several boards, including that of Singapore’s Building and Construction Authority (BCA), Singapore Green Building Council and Singapore Business Federation. He has also served as a council member of the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry, and Chairman of the UOB-SMU Asian Enterprise Institute’s Board of Governors.
In Jul this year, both Pek Lian Guan and Pay Teow Heng were formally charged in court for corruption after investigations by CPIB ended. They were each charged on two counts of abetting to conspire to give gratification in the form of loans to Henry Foo Yung Thye, a former deputy group director of the LTA. They had allegedly done so in order to advance the business interest of Tiong Seng.
Pek also stepped down as CEO in Jul and was replaced by the current one, Pay Sim Tee. However, Pek would continue to remain as adviser to the company.