22 June 2007

The Sentence of TT Durai

The fate of TT Durai has finally been sentenced on 21 Jun 2007 and Gary was right to assume that I would definitely have something to say about this. It has been slightly more than 18 months since KPMG released their investigative report and finally TT Durai now faces a sentence of 3 months on top of an S$4 million out-of-court settlement with the new NKF board.

My question: Is 3 months enough to fit the severity of the wrong doing?

Christopher Lee was sentenced to 6 weeks jail for a hit-and-run drunk driving case that resulted in serious injury of one pillion rider. The pillion rider has to have one of his toes amputated as a result.

TT Durai's misdeeds would surely have affected more than just 1 person, if not thousands of people. Charging patients a premium over drugs rather than passing on the savings, disbursing only 10 cents for every donor dollar to the patients, misappropriating of donor funds for personal benefits are just some of the wrongs that TT Durai has committed.

While there are no official data to support the number of deaths as a result, I won't be surprised if many lives were indirectly lost as a result of these wrong doings. I am sure if donor dollar goes to where it is supposed to go, savings passed on to the patients and more sensible use of the funds i.e. regular taps against gold plated ones, more lives would have been saved.

Yet, the sentence meted out was a mere 3 months? WTF? Where is the rotan?

The reason I brought up Christopher Lee's drink driving case was to serve as a comparison. Lee's 6 weeks vs Durai's 12. That hardly seems fair.

At first glance, one may say that either Lee's sentence is too heavy or Durai's sentence is too light. I chose the latter as I think 6 weeks in jail for drink driving and causing serious injury in a hit-and-run case is fair.

If it were up to me, I would have gunned for a 24-month prison sentence and 3 strokes of the cane, provided there is provision of this option (caning) until this category of the offense.

One may question if I were a tad too harsh but my response is to ask you to think of all the people who were affected and denied the money for treatment. As if, the patients' own medical condition is not a hardship in itself, this sort of corruption further enhances the suffering. Mind you, this would not only affect the patients individually but also their families, friends and loved ones.

To top it off, this is just the NKF charity. His actions not only crippled NKF's credibility but also that of the other charities. What we have now is the people of the land questioning every charity if their donations would indeed be use for the purpose that they were originally set out to do? This is a domino-effect. Directly affected are the kidney patients that are relying on NKF for support. Now other charities are affected which means even more people are going to suffer, now that funds raising performance would plummet in indirect proportion to the surge in the donor public's skepticism.

Now ask me again, if I were a tad too harsh?

However, where credit is deal, kudos to TT Durai for staying behind and face the music like a man, instead of doing a Richard Yong. Kudos to TT Durai for stepping forward and work towards a settlement with the new NKF board to return the money.

For that perhaps a discount to take off 2 strokes and 6 months?

p.s. Some people are still harping on his S$600,000.00 per annum "peanut" salary as being too excessive for a charity organisation. Personally, I do not see this amount as excessive. I think it is a fair amount for a position of a CEO managing a reserve of over S$250,000,000.00.

Still like the recent minister's pay hike saga, it would have been a much appreciated gesture if TT Durai had donated the excess portion of his salary back to charity, say NKF?

- Voxeros

1. lee hsien tau left...
Friday, 22 June 2007 2:22 pm ::
You think 3 months not enough? How about this?

ST February 3, 2007 By Elena Chong

A former police officer was charged in court yesterday with 10 counts of corruption and two counts of cheating involving a total of about $12,000.

Ex-senior station inspector Ko Poh Koon, 48, whose services had been terminated in January 2005, allegedly accepted free dinner and entertainment from businessmen Joseph Teo Kee Lip and Albert Teo Teck Hee when he was with the Secret Societies Branch, Criminal Investigation Department.

This was allegedly in exchange for providing 'protection' to a Nigerian associate of the two Teos, and for help on police matters.

In September 2004, he allegedly lent Mr Albert Teo $20,000, but said it came from a friend. He told Mr Teo, 38, that the friend wanted $10,000 in interest and convinced him to hand over $5,000 as part payment. The following month, Ko is said to have lent Mr Albert Teo $5,000, but wanted $2,000 as interest.

Ko has applied for time to make representations to the Attorney-General's Chambers. He faces a fine of $100,000 or five years in jail or both for corruption. The penalty for cheating is up to seven years in jail and a fine.

Some people have connections. These people work within another law. They are privy to invisible dealings with the AG's.

TodayOnLine 14 April 2007 Leong Wee Keat
A FORMER senior station inspector was fined $1,500 on Friday after he pleaded guilty to conducting himself in ways prejudicial to the good order and discipline of the police force.

Ko Poh Koon, a 27-year veteran of the force, accepted $2,000 worth of free dinner and entertainment from businessmen Albert Teo and Joseph Teo while he was attached to the Secret Societies Branch of the Criminal Investigation Department.

He was treated to dinner and nightclub entertainment between May and June 2004 for the "police protection" of the Teos' Nigerian business associates, and for help and information on police matters.

Originally charged under the Prevention of Corruption Act, Ko, 49, was given a reprieve when the charges were reduced, falling within the Police Force Act.

Under the latter, the maximum penalty he faced for each charge was a fine not exceeding $500 or three months' jail or both.

In Ko's mitigation plea on Friday, lawyer Shashi Nathan argued that Ko "never corruptly accepted any gratification" and never benefited financially. Ko also did not compromise his duties or position as a police officer, nor caused any harm or detriment to police investigators.

Ko had joined the police force in 1976 before he retired in 2003. He was later re-employed by the force, and his services were terminated in January 2005.

2. JayWalk left...
Friday, 22 June 2007 4:11 pm :: 
hsien tau: Welcome to the blog. I'm aware of this Ko Poh Koon case too but the way I see it, the damage done as a result of the corruption has a small locus. It affects only a handful of people. I am likely to be less lenient against Durai for the harm he has done extends to a LOT of innocent people.

3. Gary left...
Friday, 22 June 2007 10:47 pm
The period Durai start to use donor's money is when the Richard Yong step on board.. no meh?? at least before that, Durai did contribute back to society.. lucky Durai got a conscience to return the money..

4. JayWalk left...
Friday, 22 June 2007 11:23 pm :: 
Gary: Durai's contribution has not gone unnoticed. However, the good that he did was in no way anywhere the harm that he has done. Not by a long shot.

On one hand, it may look like Durai is a straight up guy who stayed behind and face the court of law. On the flip side, it may be the fact that Richard Yong beat him to the Houdini act that he was not able to run away?

5. lee hsien tau left...
Tuesday, 10 July 2007 4:54 pm ::
With this Ko Poh Koon guy, it's personal.

The way you put it, brother, one day I'll bet you'd be saying the sentence for LKY et el not enough. It's not an atom bomb unless it's an atom bomb? It just doesn't sound right. Humurabi (probably spelt wrong) said: An arm for an arm, a leg for a leg. I'm all for that.

6. JayWalk left...
Wednesday, 11 July 2007 11:22 am :: 
hsien tau: Personal as in your have something to do with the case?

"Sentence for LKY"? What would that be?

"It's not an atom bomb, unless it is an atom bomb." - Logical isn't it?

"Arm for an arm" is the same as the "Eye for an eye. Tooth for a tooth." Well, let's hope TT Durai get kidney disease and we give him shoddy treatment lor.

7. lee hsien tau left...
Thursday, 12 July 2007 12:26 pm :: http://plusminus48degreeswobble.blogspot
He conjured up 13 charges against me, sent me to IMH for observation on the behest of the complainants. The asshole was once my I/O. Click the link.

8. JayWalk left...
Friday, 13 July 2007 10:45 am :: 
Hsien Tau: Wow. That's quite a handful you have on your plate right now. I bid you good luck.

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