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Brazil bribery scandal by Keppel

1. Many people in Singapore clamored for the six Keppel executives to be given a severe punishment, instead of a warning, for their involvement in the Brazilian bribery scandal. I do not agree with this demand. Let me give my reasons.

2. I do not know the identities of these executives or the details of their actual involvement. I base my reasoning on the information that I could find from the internet. My information may be incorrect.

3. These senior executives did not personally benefit from the alleged wrongdoing. They were carrying out their work and tried their best to win the contracts for Keppel. They managed to win several contracts.

4. The senior executives (i.e. Keppel) had engaged a consultant in Brazil to obtain the necessary permits and approvals for the contracts and paid a “generous” fee to the consultant for the work. Keppel added this fee as the necessary expenses on the contract.

5. I guess that it would not be possible for Keppel to win these contracts without the necessary permits and approvals. If it was possible, I expect that the Keppel would have avoided paying the “generous” fee.

6. I also guess that Keppel had to compete with other bidders for these contracts. Keppel probably won the contracts by submitting the most suitable bid, based on price and quality. I do not have the actual details of the bids.

7. Keppel did have, at that time, the competence and experience to handle this type of contracts well, and probably better than its competitors.

8. Keppel used its subsidiary based in America to handle the project. Apparently, the activities of this US company came under the scope of US laws.

9. The US government investigated and found that the consultant engaged by Keppel had paid bribes to Brazilian officials. This contravened US laws. The US govt took action against not only the US subsidiaries but probably extended the action to include the senior executives in Singapore.

10. The board of Keppel probably approved the settlement of this case by paying a penalty of US$244 million to the US govt. I understand that this virtually covered all the profits made by Keppel in Brazil over many contracts carried out over many years.

11. This profit was earned through many years of hard work by a few hundred or thousand people. It was not earned easily just by paying bribes.

12. I understand that the US government shared 50% of the penalty with the Brazilian govt and 25% with the Singapore govt. They probably kept the remaining 25% for themselves. The sharing was probably in recognition of the “cooperation” extended by the other two governments.

13. I consider the action by the US govt to be unjust and that the executives, workers and shareholders of Keppel had been unfairly penalized. (For disclosure, I am a small shareholder of Keppel along with a few thousand other shareholders).

14. I do not consider it just for the six executives of Keppel to be given a severe punishment for their involvement in this case. I do not know them personally, as their identities are not disclosed. I consider the action taken by the US govt to be unjust in the first place.

 

Tan Kin Lian

 

 

yyy
READER COMMENTS BELOW

27 Responses to “Brazil bribery scandal by Keppel”

  • knn:

    12. I understand that the US government shared 50% of the penalty with the Brazilian govt and 25% with the Singapore govt. They probably kept the remaining 25% for themselves. The sharing was probably in recognition of the “cooperation” extended by the other two governments.

    This is American ‘Rules Based Order’. Countries supporting this RBO deserved to be punished by the Americans.

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  • Absurdity:

    If the executives are so ethical and your explanations are spot on, the government or the sovereign fund would have gone full force to present their case long time ago.

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  • Asd:

    I think call a diamond a diamond corruption is corruption

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  • Analyst:

    “These senior executives did not personally benefit from the alleged wrongdoing. They were carrying out their work and tried their best to win the contracts for Keppel.”

    ….Did not benefit? Winning contracts mean bonuses (and in their positions, very fat bonuses!!!). Approval of bribes does not come under “carrying out their work” unless you condone corruption as a company culture.

    “The senior executives (i.e. Keppel) had engaged a consultant in Brazil to obtain the necessary permits and approvals for the contracts and paid a “generous” fee to the consultant for the work”

    ….Why would a grossly more than ‘generous’ fee be paid. By doing so does it mean accountability for the bribes is transferred to the consultant?

    “I guess that it would not be possible for Keppel to win these contracts without the necessary permits and approvals. If it was possible, I expect that the Keppel would have avoided paying the “generous” fee.”

    ….You just implied that to win these contracts, it is not just getting necessary permits and approvals but also ‘necessary bribes’. If Keppel agreed to the ‘generous’ fee, it also mean agreeing to bribes. Do not get distracted by giving the excuse of trying to win the contracts.

    “This profit was earned through many years of hard work by a few hundred or thousand people. It was not earned easily just by paying bribes.”

    ….If Keppel can approve bribes for these contracts, they may also be doing the same for the other projects. Quantum may be different but one thing in common is it is still a bribe. Mr Tan, after paying the bribes, many have to sweat it out to complete and fullfil the contracts’ requirements.

    ….US themselves may not be corruption-free but how can you conclude they are unjust when they are the one who found out about the bribes and meting out punishment to Keppel’s subsidiary in America. Do you mean if you use an American to kill someone in America, you should not be punished cos you are in Singapore?

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  • The Bavarian illuminati:

    Every other country wants to ripoff Singapore. Remember singtel and India?

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  • MarBowling:

    Tan Golden Chain,

    Based on your Great Holee narrative, so it’s OK to ACHIEVE, BENEFIT AND GAIN ANYTHING under the Sun AT ALL COSTS! Macham like the PAPigs under Lee Kayu and his Sonny Boy Mai Hum, GROW the GDP AT ALL COSTS! DO WHAT YOU THINK IS RIGHT, DON’T CARE WHAT OTHERS SAY!

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  • Light The Way:

    If the US govt was considered to be unjust, then Keppel should NOT have paid up the hefty fine in the first place.

    If a local shareholder was aggrieved by the outcome, then his/her beef should be with Keppel and NOT with the US govt.

    No crying over perceived investment losses. Maybe thank your luck stars if you didn’t bought shares from the now fully liquidated Hyflux.

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  • only stupid people vote pap:


    Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore’s first prime minister from June 1959 to November 1990, in minimising corruption by implementing a zero-tolerance policy ….

    Lee’s disdain for corruption and his beliefs in meritocracy and the importance of good leadership shaped his commitment to a zero-tolerance policy against corruption, which was enforced impartially and sustained in Singapore ….

    According to Lee, “My experience of developments in Asia has led me to conclude that we need good men to have good government. However good the system of government, bad leaders will bring harm to their people.”

    As if it is not clear enough, Lee elaborated that, “We were sickened by the greed, corruption and decadence of many Asian leaders. … We had a deep sense of mission to establish a clean and effective government. When we took the oath of office … in June 1959, we all wore white shirts and white slacks to symbolise purity and honesty in our personal behaviour and public life ….”

    Lee’s unflinching position on corruption, the final component of Lee’s zero-tolerance policy toward corruption, is the punishment of those persons found guilty of corruption offences, regardless of their position, status or political affiliation.

    zero tolerance for corruption.

    zero means completely kosong. zero tolerance, in other words, means completely no tolerance.

    the final component of Lee’s zero-tolerance policy toward corruption is the punishment of those persons found guilty of corruption offences, regardless of their position, status or political affiliation.

    hahaha.

    what a lie. not even a slap. more like a tap on the wrist. this is the pap that sinkies voted into power, a lying clan of moralistic immorals.

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  • knnn:

    The 6 guys are easily let off because they are not the real decision makers, they probably had approvals from the top.

    So if they want to penalise these 6, they fear that the 6 will start to talk which will lead to embarrass as the top are usually appointed by Pinky and team.

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  • Temusik Patriot:

    HOLY JINX!!!…How do you punish a WRONG sanction by The Powers that be???

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  • Sad:

    Sad but is a reflection of how the world work outside of Singapore.
    Not easy to compete and do business in many places as not all work like Singapore.

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  • NotMyProblem:

    @Mr. Tan; it is not punishment for the six executives that Singaporeans are looking for.

    What we want to know is why was it necessary for bribery, could they do something else?

    Why this amount? Who approved this?

    Who was involved? Were all six culpable, or they just the fall guys?

    Don’t the government want and need to know, as taxpayers’ money was invested in it?

    CPIB and AGC have to bring this in the open on how was investigation done!

    Warning may not be even necessary, if they do it for the country. This bribery may even be considered as buying business for the country and jobs for the people and citizen benefitted enormously. If this was the case National Day “stars” should be given.

    Now we only know the white attire of the PAP is stained with black, like zebra!

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  • opposition dude:

    Sorry, if you paid bribes then you paid bribes. No 2 ways about it. You can tell people a nice long story about it being some “processing fee”, “bonus fee”, “donation” or whatever silly excuse you can think of but bribery is still bribery.

    And when you have been found guilty of it, you certainly are not expected to get away with just a wayang “stern warning”, the department who even dares say this has just made fools of themselves and destroyed every single shred of their integrity and credibility.

    Who is going to believe them when they once again mention they have zero tolerance for corruption? We are going to be laughing non stop when that is said!

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  • PAP does not walk the talk:

    Keppel executive should be severely punished. Keppel boards members should be removed.

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  • xoxo:

    Integrity is a rarity.
    Its now just a sounds good feels good motto like most of our National Day jingles.
    The outcome of putting $ before everything is often disastrous.
    Corrupt officials.

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  • claim precedents:

    //These senior executives did not personally benefit from the alleged wrongdoing. They were carrying out their work and tried their best to win the contracts for Keppel//

    aiyoh. ah tan ah tan while you said may (is ??) true ?? that can apply to many other companies whose lower level management staff (perhaps with both-eyes-close knowledge of bosses or much more senior management lar ??) can do the same lar ?? do not try to normalize double standard ?? if it is ok the for goose, it should be ok for the gander lar ??

    so can other companies adopt the same approach and claim precedents ???

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  • PAP GAGMT MOCKERY ACT,:

    MY UNDRERSTANDING IS WHEN THE KEPPEL made several millions in profits these executives earned more bonuses TOTALLING FEW MORE MILLIONS,in yearly income.
    SO THEY EXTREMELY BENEFIT A LOT.
    LAYMAN HAVE TO SLOG FOR THEIR DAILY SURVIVAL,HERE THESE EXECUTIVES MADE MILLIONS ILLEGALLY.
    NO PUNISHMENT AS THEY ARE ELITE,PAP OWN PEOPLE AND CRONIES.
    HERE THE PAP GAGMT LAWS IS ONE FOR THE ELITE, AND POWERFUL AND ANOTHER FOR COMMON MAN.
    CRIMINAL ACTS SO OBVIOUS,IF THE PAP GAGMT DONT TAKE STERN ACTIONS TO CHARGE THEM AND JAIL THEM,THERE IS NO INTEGRITY AND TRUST WITH COMMON PEOPLE ANYMORE.
    A SEVERE CHARGE TO RECLAIM THE BONUSES OF SEVERAL MILLION SHAVE TO RECLAIM BACK,AT LEAST TO SOOTHE THE ANGER OF THE NATION.
    AN OUTRIGHT CRIMINAL ACT PERPATRAITED,AND AMT THE AMT INVOLVED SEVERAL MILLIONS CAN BE LET GO WITH A STERN WARNING IS LAUGHTERABLE, AND MOCKERY OF THE HIGHEST DEGREE.

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  • Equality:

    The rich and powerful must be investigate like the common, both by the US and Singapore. If they commit the crime, they should be punish by the law to ensure equality and justice. We must guard equality and justice and not allow rich and powerful people to escaping justice.

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  • Trust only myself:

    Luckily this guy is a 5% man…….

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  • Even if this case is raised in Parliament, it would only be brushed aside with not meaningful to disclose, the AGC has selective prosecution authority or at most, Parliament will ownself declare Keppel not guilty, a complete waste of session, I say.

    It was an honest mistake, suggest we move on. lol

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  • Trash:

    We miss the point. The nation is built on a totally corruption free environment which enables us to attract billions in investments. No one should be allowed to be distracted from this foundation not even the PM or even the promise of millions in profit for a company much less a GLC.

    Please wake up! We are not selling our birthright for whoever or whatever.

    The pity is now we are prevented from finding the absolute truth. Are these six authorised to pay the debts and by whom? The truth must be out so no entity can be allowed to sully the name of the country; which I believe is worth billions if not trillions.

    The AGC should conduct a thorough investigation and prosecute even if it is not going to be successful. At least the truth or part of it will be out. OR do they already know the facts and not authorised to prosecute?

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  • Asd:

    I think these people corruption get sales then get big fat bonus then now corruption board also get salary saying very hard and troublesome to prosecute these free riders

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  • only stupid people vote pap:

    Asd:
    I think these people corruption get sales then get big fat bonus then now corruption board also get salary saying very hard and troublesome to prosecute these free riders

    you have said it very well.

    from keppel chairman, to keppel ceo, to keppel board of directors, all of them know about the corruption but since everyone of them is rewarded for the sales that were created by the corruption, all pretend to wear white when all of them are black inside.

    all of them we say. POFMA us lah. we happilu supply our pink I/C if they POFMA. let us ask in pap courts the chairman keppel, the ceo keppel, the board of directors keppel, in front of pap judge, whether they swear over their own souls that they don’t know of the corruption that created the sales. we remain adamant that none of them is clean.

    because of this, according to pap rulebook as said in parleement by pap member khaw boon wan, In Japan, the CEO and board of directors will call a press conference and take a deep bow, and they even commit hara-kiri.

    hahaha.

    lky said zero tolerance and that was why they wore white and white. lky alsosaid he would come out of his grave if he saw something wrong with pap Singapore.

    hahaha.

    lky lied about the white and white. lky lied about coming out of his grave to right the wrong. and keppel folks all lied. and CPIB a light wrist tap.

    hahaha.

    hahaha.

    no different from suharto 10% system.

    we need a better group of Singaporeans to form new government. we need to make CPIB an independent body which can even indict the prime minister and the president. then, only then, white and white is white. otherwise, all the white and white are actually black.

    we repeat. POFMA us lah. let us discuss in pap court to see who is lying.

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  • I would say MAYBE the CPIB is correct in NOT wanting to charge the 6, because the circumstances in Brazil at that time warrant/require them to do that (bribe). We all know how corrupt Brazil have been and still is.

    For example, say 20 years ago, IF anyone had wanted to start an internet cafe or for that matter any business in China, one would have needed to do the same thing to get all the licenses issued by the authorities. Gifts, money and women was a MUST if things are going to get done. Of course, things changed after Xi came to power, but that is a different story.

    So my point is, that was the culture and the norm back in the good old days, so the 6 really did not have a choice, if they had wanted the business for Keppel.

    That, may I say rightly, was probably taken into consideration as the act did not take place in Sinkieland where corruption is not tolerated. It was a case of they had to do it, even if they did not want to do it.

    My 2 cents.

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  • only stupid people vote pap:

    TRE Tech:
    I would say MAYBE the CPIB is correct in NOT wanting to charge the 6, because the circumstances in Brazil at that time warrant/require them to do that (bribe). We all know how corrupt Brazil have been and still is.

    For example, say 20 years ago, IF anyone had wanted to start an internet cafe or for that matter any business in China, one would have needed to do the same thing to get all the licenses issued by the authorities. Gifts, money and women was a MUST if things are going to get done. Of course, things changed after Xi came to power, but that is a different story.

    So my point is, that was the culture and the norm back in the good old days, so the 6 really did not have a choice, if they had wanted the business for Keppel.

    That, may I say rightly, was probably taken into consideration as the act did not take place in Sinkieland where corruption is not tolerated. It was a case of they had to do it, even if they did not want to do it.

    My 2 cents.

    Tech, you are saying can corrupt outside pap island?

    Once hand is dirty, always dirty thereafter.

    We used to work for an angmo company. The rule is, walk away from any deal that dirties the hand. No exceptions.

    Unless pap comes out to say can corruption outside sinkie island, the silence is subject to you say and we say. Cannot like this, right?

    CPIB under pap clown must not play safe both ways. Either corruption, in pap island or outside pap island cannot, or corruption can as long as outside pap island. This is so that the world also knows the pap position.

    We still maintain that we need a human of Mr XJP stature to rule Singapore. Under pap clown, apple is not like apple, orange is not like orange, everything waiting for pap clown wife facebook post before anything real can take place. Truly a wtf kind of government, this pap under pap clown.

    Tech: It really depends on how you look at it. In Sinkieland that would be corruption, but in China and even Brazil including several other countries in the past and maybe even present, that is the norm. In Malaysia, a Muslim can have up to 4 wives, how come Sinkieland cannot and because cannot, that is bad or illegal even if it is commited in Malaysia?

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  • Relaxed:

    I spent years in international construction and shipping. I am aware of the corruption in some countries.

    It is either Do or Die i.e. pay and get lucrative contracts or might as well exit that country. The bribes are factored into the contracts anyway. It would have been Brazil that paid the bribes to their corrupt officials, executives via an inflated contract price.

    This is the real world…Keppel got caught out. Many, many cases never surface.

    The key issue: Did Keppel executives personally benefitted? The answer was probably No. The Police would have investigated their bank accounts both in Spore and overseas, would have checked their e-mails, etc.

    This was corporate business strategy pure and simple. Many countries are corrupt. Many big firms resort to such bribery to get jobs.

    Move on…the Government has handled this case well.

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  • As long As Benefits the PAP ?:

    Are you trying to say that as long as it benefits the PAP government any sins can be tolerated and approved ?

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