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Multi-Million Dollar Public Building Projects Raise Questions of Nepotism

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) has embarked on a new set of projects to build sheltered walkways connecting all MRT and LRT stations to nearby malls, healthcare care facilities, schools, bus stops and estates.

In total, an additional 200km of walkway is going to be made sheltered by 2018 and a series of contracts to build these shelters have been awarded by LTA. The shelters are supposed to cover a 400m radius for MRT stations and a 200m radius for LRT stations and bus interchanges.

On Monday, LTA awarded another batch of contracts for the project and these were awarded to Or Kim Peow Contractors. The two contracts in total were worth $143.8 Million covering many stations and are supposed to be completed by 2018.

Not only is the contract an extremely costly project at over $719 per metre of shelter, it was awarded to a company owned by a long-serving grassroots leader.

Or Kim Peow Contractors is fully owned by OKP Holdings Ltd. which is a publicly listed company in Singapore.

OKP Holdings is founded by Mr Or Kim Peow who is also the Group Chairman of OKP Holdings.

Mr Or has been working in the grassroots for a very long time, having been awarded the PBM Medal for long service back in 2003. He also serves as the Vice-Chairman on Gek Poh Community Management Committee, and the Potong Pasir Citizens’ Consultative Committee (CCC).

His sons Or Toh Wat, Or Kiam Meng and Or Lay Huat, also hold directorships in OKP Holdings and interestingly, all of them are also involved in the grassroots.

Mr Toh was awarded a BBM for service in 2013. He was also given a PBM in 2005 and is a Chairman at Potong Pasir CCMC. Kiam Meng is a grassroots leader and patrol on Anchorvale CCMC, Lay Huat, is a grassroots leader at Tampines GRC and Tampines West CCC.

In fact, this is not the end of the company’s links with the government.

Dr John Chen, who used to be a PAP minister of State and was an MP between 1988 to 2006, is actually also a director on OKP Holdings.

The company actually focuses on public sectors construction and maintenance. According to its annual report and they are just growing their business in the private sector.

This means that the company has been able to grow mainly through government contracts from the start and only after becoming established through this, they are moving into the private sector.

In 2013, the company also secured 7 new public sector projects worth $74.4 million and had ongoing projects also worth almost $100 million.

Is it strange that a company run by grassroots leaders is able to be so influential in public projects and continually secure million dollar contracts when they have not done many private sector jobs?
This story was first published on The Real Singapore.
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