Four arrested in Tiong Bahru FC scandal
SINGAPORE, April 25 — Hougang United chairman Bill Ng and his wife Bonnie Wong, Football Association of Singapore (FAS) general secretary Winston Lee, and ex-FAS president Zainudin Nordin were arrested by the police, and are currently out on police bail, TODAY understands.
The quartet are assisting the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) with the probe into the suspected misuse of funds at the Tiong Bahru Football Club (TBFC), which Ng owns, and an attempt by a senior club official to obstruct the completion of audits of the S.League’s sit-out clubs.
Ng’s lawyer, Shashi Nathan of Withers KhattarWong confirmed last Friday (April 21) that the 57-year-old businessman is assisting the police with their inquiries. The Straits Times reported today said the bail for Ng had been set at S$100,000 (RM313,566).
TODAY understands, however, that the four individuals — Ng, Lee, Zainudin and Wong — have not been charged by the police.
Lawyers and legal experts that TODAY spoke to confirmed that people have to be arrested first to be offered police bail. The bail is to ensure they will return for further investigations.
The State Courts of Singapore also states on its website: “An accused may be offered police bail after his arrest and before he is charged in Court.”
The ongoing drama that rocked the local sports fraternity began almost two weeks ago, when Ng revealed at a press conference for Team Game Changers — the team led by Ng for the inaugural FAS elections — that he had donated S$500,000 to the FAS.
The money was made out to the Asean Football Federation’s (AFF) Football Management System via the FAS.
That then escalated into a public spat between Ng and Lee, with the former insisting that it was Lee and not Zainudin who had requested for the donation. Lee then produced documents proving that it was Ng and Zainudin who had corresponded over the donation.
A police report lodged by Sport Singapore (SportSG) subsequently saw a raid on the FAS headquarters at Jalan Besar Stadium, and three football clubs linked to Ng: Hougang United, TBFC, and Woodlands Wellington.
Ng, Wong, Lee and Zainudin were subsequently questioned by the CAD, and all four are currently out on bail.
Even as the saga continues to develop, the FAS remains on course for a landmark election on April 29 which will see 44 affiliates coming together to vote for the sport’s leaders.
Led by Ng, Team Game Changers are up against Team LKT helmed by former FAS vice-president Lim Kia Tong, in the fight for the mandate to lead the sport for the next four years. — TODAY