Former National Kidney Foundation (NKF) chief TT Durai will begin his three-month jail sentence after the High Court threw out his appeal on 30 May 2008. Durai had been found guilty June 2007 of using a false invoice to deceive the NKF into paying S$20,000 to his interior designer friend, David Tan.
TT Durai was found guilty and was sentenced to 3 months jail for misleading NKF by fabricating a $20,000 invoice. He was arrested earlier.
Durai was arrested and was later out on bail. He was charged under the Prevention of Corruptions Act by the Police. He was to stand for trial with other members of the old National Kidney Foundation Board of Directors. In the trail, he has also agreed to pay back S$4 million to the new NKF.
Senior Minister Goh Chiok Tong said that his wife (Mrs Goh, Patron of NKF) regretted the “for a person who runs a big million-dollar charitable organisation, with a few hundred million in reserves, S$600,000 a year is peanuts” statement. He also said to have explained and shown her several e-mails and letters he had received after the remark was made. Mrs Goh has also resigned as patron of the NKF.
NKF board resigned en masse which includes NKF CEO TT Durai, NKF Chairman Richard Yong, NKF Director Mathilda Chua and NKF Treasurer Loo Say San. Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan appointed Gerard Ee as interim chairman and CEO.
The case was dropped by Durai on 5 PM on the second day of the trial. This action triggered the The National Kidney Foundation Singapore scandal, also known as the NKF saga, NKF scandal, or NKF controversy, was a July 2005 scandal involving National Kidney Foundation Singapore (NKF) following the collapse of a defamation trial which it brought against Susan Long and Singapore Press Holdings (SPH).
The trial began with Susan Long and SPH represented by Senior Counsel and MP Davinder Singh, while NKF and Durai were represented by Senior Counsel Michael Khoo. Under cross-examination, it was revealed that Durai collected a monthly salary of $25,000 and collected a 10-month bonus in 2002 and a 12-month bonus in both 2003 and 2004, for a total of $1.8 million over three years. He had access to a fleet of eight chauffeured cars and the NKF paid the taxes and maintenance costs of his personal Mercedes-Benz.
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Straits Times published an editorial “NKF: Controversially ahead of its time?” written by senior correspondent Susan Long. This article became the subject of the dispute, and eventually the lawsuit that led to the scandal. Durai and NKF challenged the first six lines of the article, which claimed that a retired contractor (who declined to be named, for fear of being sued) had ‘lost it’ when he was asked to install “a glass-panelled shower, a pricey German toilet bowl and a (S$1,000) gold-plated tap” in Durai’s office. NKF shortly issued a letter of demand for an apology, retraction, and payment of damages from the paper’s publisher, Singapore Press Holdings (SPH), within 24 hours. Four days after the article’s publication, NKF and Durai served a writ on Long and SPH for defamation, demanding S$3.24 million in damages. The trail was set on the 11 July 2005.