A Housing and Development Board (HDB) officer, 25-year-old Ng Han Yuan, was charged with one count of breaching the Official Secrets Act (OSA) in the State Courts on Friday (November 10) for “wrongfully communicating confidential information” to a reporter from The Straits Times.
Ng, who works as an estate manager in the resale operations section of HDB’s estate administration and property group, was found to have shared confidential information relating to an HDB project titled “Streamlining of Resale Transactions” to ST journalist Janice Tai Jia Ling.
Police investigations revealed that the incident occurred between May 31 and July 16 this year. Information about the HDB project had not been made public at that time.
According to the police, HDB reported a suspected leak of confidential information on July 27 after it received queries from Ms Tai on the undisclosed upcoming HDB initiative.
Ms Tai was issued a stern warning by the police for her actions.
Ng has since been suspended from his duties as an estate manager with HDB’s resale operations section.
During the court hearing on Friday, Ng pleaded guilty to his offence. He also told the court that he will not be engaging a lawyer. He will appear again in court on December 15.
If convicted under the breach of the OSA, Ng may face a jail term of up to two years and fined up to S$2,000.
In an email reply to queries from Yahoo News Singapore on the incident, an HDB spokesman mentioned that this is the first time whereby an HDB officer is to be charged under the OSA.