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The Singapore Police Force today posted a note on its Facebook page to "set the record straight" on photos in which Commissioner Ng Joo Hee was pictured with a woman who has been implicated in the ongoing investigation into former Singapore Civil Defence Force chief Peter Lim, who allegedly obtained sexual favours from three women in exchange for furthering their companies' business interests.
In the photo - originally posted on the SPF's Facebook page last October - Ms Esther Goh, a business development director at NCS Pte Ltd, is pictured shaking hands With Mr Ng. The SPF said Ms Goh was representing NCS, which donated S$10,000 to a charity concert held to benefit the Community Chest.
In today's note, the SPF said it "deeply regrets that the photograph has been misused by irresponsible persons online as a basis for making vulgarities, inanities and all manner of mischievous innuendos".
The Facebook post, dated toda 4pm and signed off by Ho Yenn Dar, Assistant Director Media Relations, Public Affairs Department, Singapore Police Force, reads in full as follows:
"It has come to our attention that a photograph featuring the Commissioner of Police presenting a token of appreciation to Ms Esther Goh (who is involved in an ongoing criminal proceeding) has been circulating online.
"Mr Ng Joo Hee, the Commissioner of Police, deeply regrets that the photograph has been misused by irresponsible persons online as a basis for making vulgarities, inanities and all manner of mischievous innuendos.
"The Police want to set the record straight, and wish to make three points.
"First, Commissioner Ng is not acquainted with Ms Goh.
"Second, the Police want to provide the full context of how this photograph came to be taken. The photograph in question was snapped on the evening of Oct 12, 2011. The occasion was a Police charity concert held to benefit the Community Chest. The incomparable Dick Lee had put up a special performance of The Adventures of the Mad Chinaman for an audience of more than 300, which included Mrs Ng Joo Hee, Ms Jennie Chua (Chairman, Community Chest) and many other guests, local and foreign (to view photos of the event, visit tdy.sg/policefbpage).
"During the event, Commissioner Ng presented tokens to donors who gave more than S$10,000, and also a cheque of S$481,000 to Ms Jennie Chua.
"NCS (represented by Ms Goh), the Lee Foundation, the New Creation Church, Resorts World Sentosa, the Shaw Foundation, the Tote Board & Singapore Pools, Capital Development, Koyo Engineering (S E Asia), Motorola Solutions Singapore, SATS Security Services, Seven Seas Oil Trading, SML Shipyard, the Tan Chin Tuan Foundation and Transmarco Concepts were among 67 donors who had generously supported the Police Charity Drive in 2011. NCS gave S$10,000, and the Police are grateful to it and to every other individual and corporation that helped us exceed the S$350,000 target we had initially set to raise in aid of the Community Chest.
"Lastly, the Police hope that this unfortunate turn of event will not dampen support for our annual fund raising effort for charity.
"Beneath the policeman's gravitas beats a heart of gold.
"The Police have a long tradition of charitable giving. Our support of the Community Chest spans a quarter century. Almost every police officer makes a monthly contribution to the Chest, and the Force embarks on an annual charity drive for the needy and less fortunate.
"It will be unfortunate and most unfair should the Community Chest and the charities that it supports suffer because of the actions of a few misguided and irresponsible individuals.
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