Representational Image arrest
Reuters

In a very unusual incident, a Housing Development Board (HDB) official was fined S$2,000 for leaking confidential information to a Straits Times reporter.

The accused identified as Ng Han Yuan was working as an estate manager in the resale operations section of the Housing Development Board when the associated case took place. The HDB officer pleaded guilty to one count of breaching official secrets Act by leaking out information to Janice Tai Jia Ling, the Straits Times reporter. After the hearing, the journalist was let off with a strong warning.

During the hearing, the prosecution informed the court that Ng Han Yuan has leaked very confidential information related to the streamlining of resale transactions. Interestingly, the associated case happened on July 16, 2017, and at that time all information regarding streamlining of resale transactions were maintained confidentially. It was only on October 19, 2017, that the HDB revealed the streamlining process through a press release.

Details of the incident

Ng Han Yuan and Janice Tai Jia Ling first met each other through a dating app in March 2017. Within no time, both of them developed a good relationship, and they used to meet up once a fortnight on a social basis, said reports based on the hearing.

The first major incident, in this case, happened on May 31, 2017, when both of them went out and partied as a part of Ng Han's birthday. During the time of boozing, both of them started discussing their professional life, and subsequently, details of the confidential project were leaked. Soon, Tai Jia Ling asked Ng whether she could run a story on the project, but he reportedly said 'No' citing the confidentiality of the information. But on July 16, Ng passed all the information related to the project to Janice Tai Jia Ling.