Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Ex-NKF Director's Escape- A Parody of Justice

Dear Friends,

I have written the following letter to the MSM's forum pages. Let's see if it sees the light of day.

Author's note (7.6.07): It has been printed by TODAY. Let's see if the ST will print it too.

Dear Editor,

Ex-NKF director’s escape from justice

The public must surely be justified in being extremely disappointed at how a high profile person like the ex-NKF director, Richard Yong, was allowed to escape the grasp of justice.

Did the Official Assignees’ (OA) Office not smell a “fish” when Mr. Yong sold his three properties in February?

Selling houses, even in Singapore’s red-hot property market, is unlike selling a pair of shoes, it takes time and various government bodies are involved. It is difficult to imagine how no red flags were raised during the process.

Or perhaps the Office thought he was merely liquidating his assets in order to pay his creditors in the impending bankruptcy and hence a nonchalant approach was called for?

Whatever reasons the relevant authorities have to offer, may seem a moot point now as the horse has already bolted. But nevertheless, we would still like to hear them and we would also insist on assurances that our civil servants take their jobs and obligations to the people seriously.

Dr.Huang Shoou Chyuan

(end of letter)

Of course the subject matter is the infamous Richard Yong who was the director/chairman and erstwhile pal of Mr. T.T. Durai of the now unforgettable NKF Saga.

The Saga that is the mother of all Sagas, the one that takes the cake, the one that was supposed to teach lessons how not to kick your own b#lls bacause it can HURT! Unfortunately the NKF saga has become a recurring nightmare- a deja vu experience.

The only difference is that the nightmares come with different names- UNSW/World Bank-IMF meeting/Suzhou/Shin Corp/Virgin Atlantic etc.

All of us willingly or otherwise are caught up in this complicated web in which our tax dollars are used not just to pay expensive cabinet ministers' salaries but also squandered away by government agencies who do not admit responsibility after each and every screw-up!


Dr.Huang Shoou Chyuan

Read the episode of the "Scarlet Pimpernel" below!

Tuesday June 5, 4:17 PM Channelnewsasia

Ex-NKF chairman fled just before ICA could blacklist him

It was only a matter of hours, but it was enough for Richard Yong to slip out of the grasp of the authorities and the National Kidney Foundation.

Three weeks after, the missing blanks in the former NKF chairman’s apparent escape from the country are now being filled in.

The Official Assignee’s (OA) office, which is responsible for the affairs of bankrupts, told TODAY it had “immediately informed” the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) to blacklist Yong on the morning of May 17, the day after he was declared a bankrupt.

But the OA learnt the next day that it was too late. The ICA confirmed that Yong had left Singapore “just after midnight, in the early hours of May 17”. Investigations are now underway.
The getaway was a culmination of a series of events.

First, Yong had begun to cash in on his three properties in February, when he admitted liability for damages in the NKF’s civil suit. When he moved house, he did not report his new address to the authorities.

When news of these developments surfaced, the bankruptcy application against Yong was brought forward a month. Filed on April 27, a copy went to the OA, as did a copy of the May 16 date for the hearing, and a copy of the court’s declaration of bankruptcy — as per the usual process. A Mareva injunction to freeze Yong’s assets was filed on May 9.

The OA’s office told TODAY it was first informed by the NKF’s lawyers that Yong had been made a bankrupt and could be “a flight risk” on the morning of May 17. “The passports of new bankrupts are generally not impounded or confiscated by the OA. However, if there is hard evidence that the bankrupt has previously travelled or has attempted to travel without permission, his passport may be confiscated,” said a spokesman.

Attempts were made on May 17 and the next morning to personally serve the First Notice on Yong at his residence. But with Yong already gone, the OA launched investigations into offences he may have committed, such as unauthorised travel and disposal of assets.

Yong now has until June 12 to submit his Statement of Affairs. If not, the OA may apply for a warrant of arrest.

TODAY understands that Yong’s two daughters are in the United Kingdom. He was last seen on May 21 in Kuala Lumpur. “We do not have precise information on Mr Yong’s current whereabouts. To date he remains uncontactable,” said the OA spokesman. - /fa


Anonymous said...

i wonder - if its people like you and I - if we're declared bankrupt - can we even DO anything without someone from the authorities to jump on us?

i beginning to get the perception that high-profile individuals with big money (elites or expats) tend to get away - esp if they have a story to tell...

1. The NTUC chairman's son (correct me if i'm wrong here) reduced sentence for road rage..

2. The French-Tunisian cocaine ring leader

3. A German national for drugs?

4. Michael Vana on football corruption?

Why i say this? it just that it has happened before. And they still were unable to stop Richard Yong.

Also, if they can give Tang Liang Hong as much trouble as possible after he quit the country, i dont see why we cant do the same to Richard Yong, esp now that he's skipped the country.

Ned Stark said...

I agree that the OA has made an error in the matter of Richard Yong. Btw I think you have made an error, because you said that you would send a letter to the MLM...

nofearSingapore said...

Ned stark: I have sent the letter but let's wait a few days to see if it gets printed. Be patient

anon 5.45pm: I suppose in real life some people are more equal than others ( ref: Animal Farm)
You have good memory- but I really don't recall the incident about the NTUC chairman's son.
I remember Vana- our own superstar striker who fled to Czechoslavakia after he was accused of corruption.

Let's see how they trail Richard Yong and whether they try to pin the Mereva Injunction on him ( but useless now cos the money from the houses are gone!)

Anonymous said...

Hi Dr. Huang

If we have truly a transparent Governance and a top notched civil service, then there should be more accountability.Heads should roll.
Otherwise, this will further add credence to the suspicions that the Govt has more to see Richard Yong disappear then to come forth and be an embarrassment.

Anonymous said...

Just look Chee Soon Juan and James Gomez, both were stopped at the airport when they were leaving Sg on biz trips! And Gomez wasn't even a bankrupt. Chee Soon Juan has brought his case to public attention many times in the past, i.e. why is it that other bankrupts are allowed to travel out of the country while he is stopped. So really Yong's escape from paradise is no deep conspiracy at all. It is the norm! Who knows how many other bankrupts and corporate fraudsters have done the same? Coming and going at will disposing their assets. Sg is a playground of the rich, remember? It is just that opponents of the Leegime are the ones whom they look out for. If you just imagine Sg as a police state, then everything starts to make sense. Sgian get his teeth knocked out, a doctor gets assaulted and so on, yet the police says they cannot do anything. The dogs work for their masters who worships vitamin M! (money lah..)

Anonymous said...

shame on the ga-bra-men for ALLOWING the criminal to run road.

until i see justice prevails over this nkf saga, i swear i will never ever donate a single cent to charity. singaporeans can rot in poverty for all i care!

Anonymous said...

Dear Sir,

Prepare for more wayang. They are now preparing the answers (or non answers) and publish your letter and the reply at the same time.

But, then, they may not publish it at all, saying the case is under investigation and cannot say anything to affect the judgement of the courts. As if this is the first type of cases that we have seen.

Anonymous said...

They don't seem to have any trouble finding James Gomez or Dr. Chee Soon Juan when they are crossing the border.

Anonymous said...

ya heads should roll just like the recent case of that top chinese officer executed for corruption

Clarence said...

oh yr letter has seen light of day. It's in today's Today. =)

Anonymous said...

they looked good with their resume. they always do. they soon rise to the top with a bit of hard work and luck. money soon follow them. they become even more in love with money. not being contented with much, they traded more money with their soul. one day, accountability comes knocking. and because they love their lives even more than money, they resort to lies and indignity. the hole they dug for themselves went deeper and their conscience, became black. it is time to flee. they won't surrender, they wont bow. they can't face the truth nor want repentance. all they have they stash away. the borders have no hold on them. they escaped with wanted goods ah but these are the few unlucky ones who fill the hierachy. these are cowards aplenty yet to be discovered. these are today's leaders and the future shame.

Jeffrey Soh said...

Hi folks,

It is likely that the OA's office may have been too trusting of Richard Yong and acted a wee bit too late.

Consider that our dear Richard attended Court faithfully on so very many occasions. He being a flamboyant dapper and wealthy looking person. Who would have thought that he would really flee?

There is a flip side to the selling of his property. One might have perceived that he was preparing to pay his dues.

The Official Assignee's Office is a very busy office. I would not crucify them. The prolonged economic downturn had taken its toll and many were declared insolvent.

Yes, Richard was a prominent figure. But there is always imperfection every where you go, whether it be a government department, a business organisation, or just our plain old selves. (Don't stone anyone until we are one hundred per cent sure we have no sin ourselves.)

But I do not have the proclivity to use this incident as a means of hammering the government. They have been walloped enough at the last elections. Heehee.

Mentioning the Gomez incident during the last elections is to cause us to be distracted from the matter at hand, simply because this is not a political issue. (The government was eager to address the issue and, at the Registry of Societies, very new and kiasu regulations (probably an overkill here) are now in place to ward off heinous characters who are inclined to enrich themselves in the name of charity.)

Back to the main issue.

Yes, an error occurred. I am sure Someone at the Official Assignee's Office has been told off by his Superior with a great deal of power to remove him. But I pray that he can be forgiven. No one is perfect.

We should actually address the issue at hand. Why don't we collect a fund and post out a reward for information leading to the arrest of dear Richard?

Advertise his face in Malaysia, Australia, the US, Canada, the usual places that Singaporeans are apt to migrate to? Bring him back to Singapore. He has taken full advantage of a charitable organisation and deprived the really sick from having an easier time.

I think if every concerned Singaporean gives a little, this guy will soon be in our holiday resort at Changi with high walls to protect him from angry members of the public.


Jeffrey Soh

nofearSingapore said...

Hi jeffrey soh,
I second your motion!
How do we ensure that this error does not recur?
I forgive but...

Anonymous said...

"this guy will soon be in our holiday resort at Changi with high walls to protect him from angry members of the public"

Really??? LOL. When can public members ever do anything to this type of people? Try to be angry to a MP and you get a LIFE sentence.

Who will protect the members of the public from men who are "prominent figures". Men who kiss babies and tell you one thing and do another thing. Peasants are not a angry mob, they only want one thing: fair judgment to all. But, we are not seeing that actually.

I thought that we have government officials who have helicopter visions. Jeff, you should really come down to the ground to feel the real anger. I feel it every day.

Diversion tatics? said...

Hi Jeffrey,

Perhaps our PM with his increased pay and retirement pension would like to contribute to this charitable cause of bringing a crook to justice? Or is this another scheme to rip-off the peasants for some NATO civil service?

For Richard to escape, he must have some insider info about the small time-window between declaration of bankruptcy at courts vs ICA officers being notified. Would the mgt in charge of such control mechanism own-up, apologise for their honest mistake and tighten the controls?

Frankly, I don't see why follow-up actions can be done on ex-opposition party members without canvassing for public donations but not people closely linked to the PAPs and the civil service.

Anonymous said...

Well, Richard Yong knew the system and played it well. in some ways, i have to give respect to this crook.

he may have milked and cheated the people, but he also exposed and exploited the weaknesses in our system, and raised some conspiracy theories (if untrue) that we focus only on opposition members.

Does anyone have his bio - or can point me to the right direction? wat was he doing before NKF? what are the other directorships businesses he held?

I do agree that this was probably an honest oversight - and rightly, focus on solving the problem.

We would like to hear what they'll do to redress this - that EVENTUALLY, NKF, and in turn the people who supported it, will get what's due to them.

Throw our resources at Richard Yong the way we threw our resources at Tang Liang Hong or other dissidents - since this is such a high-profile situation.

Anonymous said...

guess what? another person managed to skip Singapore!

Michael Karras - an Aussie for drugs.

they must have been busy putting their resources to chase after Richard Yong.

Anonymous said...

Coffers won't touch elite and foreigner because these people are the asses the coffers lick and kiss, and they smell good to them because money taste good !