Should We Still Khaw on NParks?

**Information used for this post is gathered by 2 users of EDMW forum. Investigation is still going on and will be fully revealed at 0900hrs 16/07/2012. Please follow this link to get an update. [link]**

This post is a continuation of my take on NParks' Brompton Bikes Purchase.

Forget about the amount of money spent on Brompton bikes. What's two grand to the government right? If S$600,000 is a peanut in the eyes of the elites in Singapore, S$2,200 is the peanut dust you use on muah chee or peanut ice kachang. Forget about it.

An online investigation by an indignant netizen who found the whole dealing suspicious, suggested National Parks Board may have more answering to do. The summary as follow:

The beginning

The above was the tender notice, drawn out on the 19th January 2012. That was just before Chinese New Year.

The above depicts the NParks sent the tender to GEBIZ at the end of the working day on 25th January 2012, 4.40pm which happened to be the 3rd Day of Chinese New Year. The closing date of bidding was set on 30th January 2012. A quick calculation suggested that the tender was online for only 5 days.  

28th and 29th of January happened to be a Saturday and Sunday.

That leaves any potential bidders 3 working days to respond. Provided a potential bid checks his GEBIZ the first minute of work on the 3rd day of Chinese New Year.

Let's ask ourselves a question here. If you are doing renovation for your own house, would you give yourself 5 days during Chinese New Year to get all quotations, close your tender and award the only quotation that you received? No. You would want maximum exposure so that you can get more bidders and get your renovation done in the lowest cost you possibly could at the expected quality. 

Can Mr Khaw explain why NParks performed their tender in such an irrational manner?

Not surprisingly, another investigation after public outcry suggested that no local bike companies might have known about this tender. I quote the source from Diginexx FB account, released on June 26

In response to fervent online forum chatter in reference to the 26 Bromptons ordered by National Parks Board: almost all local bike companies do not follow Gebiz tenders as one would not expect government agencies to want to buy high-end bicycles for group use.

As the commodity indicated in the tender specs: a folding bike with 16 inch wheels is not a common commodity like tissue paper and pens, it would be fair to assume that Procurement/Purchasing would want to seek out the various players in the industry to ask them to consider bidding for their bulk purchase tenders, thus doing their due diligence.

NParks is aware that Diginexx is the authorized distributor that offers the 5-year warranty on the frame and 2-year warranty on parts. If it was really intended for local bike companies to tender for this bulk purchase, NParks would have been able to find through the various bids that there are likely cheaper alternatives to the Brompton and/or be able to receive a competitive price quote from Diginexx so that NParks can buy and save public money in the process.

In this case, no local bike companies was aware of this tender, and there was only one bidder.

And even if NParks had really specifically wanted just the Brompton for their usage, the model in question is a M6L.

A M6L retails at S$2250 per bike at Diginexx which will cover the 5-year frame warranty and 2-year warranty on parts.

In comparison, buying a total of 26 M6L Bromptons at $2200 per bike is unfortunately not a fair deal for NParks especially when the bikes come from a non-authorised reseller, which do not and cannot offer the official five-year frame warranty and two-year parts warranty.

Did NParks want Brompton?

nParks DID have a brompton workshop with the authorized dealers, the proof can be found in on 4 Sep 2011 which can be seen in diginexx's photo page on facebook. I quote:

Forty-six Diginexx's Brompton riders visited Hort Park on Sunday 4 September and spent an afternoon hanging out with fellow B riders, having fun learning how to change their tubes, tyres and degrease their bike chains. The sturdy stand pump owned by Yih Yng was a saviour to many! Many thanks to Bernard Lim of the National Park Board for the kind use of the Multi-Purpose Hall, thank you very much to our helpful elves, David, Steven, YM, Tommy, Gary, Danny and Patrick, Noelle, Joyce and Fabian! Photos credits to Danny, Fabian, Noelle and Patrick! Thank you for a great afternoon of camaraderie and friendship!

There was no doubt NParks knows Brompton very well and were impressed enough by it. Let's take a look at their tender specifications:

The questionable items can be identified by any layman.

Item 2.3: 
The primary focuses of a foldable bicycle is the weight and the dimensions of the bicycle in its folded state. From a quick search from the official website of Brompton Bike, all their bikes ONLY came with 16" wheels. Source: [FAQs | Brompton Bicycle] Is this a coincident or is there any reason why the foldable bike must have a 16" wheel for their job? Specifically 16". Why?

Item 2.7:
There are many competitors who can provide a lighter bicycle than the Brompton model that NParks eventually purchased. Setting a minimum weight did not make any sense here. If light weight is a plus point, shouldn't the specifications read as "Weigh less than 13kg" instead? Why?

Item 2.8:
By stating the need for a 6 speed bicycle, NParks had ruled out a lot of competitors to Brompton. The question here is why did NParks need specifically 6 speeds for their patrol bicycles? Is there a need to have 6 speed for their job. We need an explanation here.

The winning bidder

The tender was eventually award to a company named BikeHop. Who is BikeHop?

Their registered address is a terrace house in a residential area at Siak Kew Ave (Potong Pasir area). It does not operate as a brick/motar bicycle shop nor does it apparantly have any links online to sell bicycles. The issue of whether they can provide actual technical/mechanical support and assistance is very questionable. 

Brompton's authorised distributor and their network of dealers in Singapore offer a standard 5 year warranty on frames and 2 year on parts with only S$50.00 more than the winning bid. A deal exceeding NParks' tender requirements on maintenance by leaps and bounds. This made NParks' choice seemed even more irrational.

There are strict regulations pertaining to registering a company as a tour agency. BikeHop's youtube channel potrayed themselves as a tour agency conducting tours in Singapore and overseas?

Who exactly is BikeHop?

A bicycle shop?
A tour agency?
An online shop?

All will be revealed by today. [link]

Is this the way your colleagues and yourself account to the public?


  1. Oh shit! This is getting out of hand! KNN!

    1. Btw, another S$10K gone down the drain to teach NParks scholars how to eat and drink.

      NParks spends $10K to teach scholars how to wine and dine when overseas

    2. Other than
      - transport(bicycles),
      - food(dine) and
      - drinks(wine),
      are the homes(flats) safe too??

      PRC bogus engineer supervising building of 1,000 BTO flats

      “David Li is a fake C&S Resident Engineer, without any relevant training in Civil / Structural Engineering. And the irony is, he (a fake) is supervising 14 blocks of HDB BTO flats (>1000 units). It seems that the system is not rigid enough.”

      Our source added that David Li is a Singapore PR and has applied for Singapore citizenship.

  2. Good detective work! More and more questions for every answer. Smelly smelly....looks like shit hitting the fan (or bike?)

  3. Diginexx (the authorized reseller) should lodge a complaint to the CPIB (Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau). Only then will some people wake up and smell the kopi.

  4. KNN... it seems that to NParks, everything must be of luxury standard, including bicycles (which must be a few thousands per bike for them to use, not those cheaper ones, even though they are using public money). And the mindset is that it's "normal" to use public money to buy luxury products.

    A M6L Brompton from authorised distributor retails at S$2250 PER BIKE which will cover the 5-year frame warranty and 2-year warranty on parts.

    In comparison, buying a total of 26 M6L Bromptons at S$2200 per bike is unfortunately not a fair deal for NParks, especially when the bikes come from a non-authorised reseller, which do not and cannot offer the official five-year frame warranty and two-year parts warranty.

    For 26 bikes, NParks could have bought them at a much lower price than S$2200, since the retail price of 1 bike is S$2250. What worse, NParks bought the bikes at a high price of S$2200 from a non-authorised reseller which do not and cannot offer the official five-year frame warranty and two-year parts warranty. WTF!

  5. Assuming if NParks had bought the 26 foldable bikes from Giant Hypermart at $128 each, it would have only paid a total of $3,328, saving the taxpayers $53,872. That is to say, for less than the price of 2 Brompton bikes, NParks could have bought all 26 foldable bikes of a cheaper make.

    1. For a single large purchase of 26 bikes, NParks can easily get cheaper and durable foldable bikes costing around S$100 per bike in the market.

      Not many people can afford Bromptom. Bromptom is like Ferrari in the world of bicycles.

      Perhaps NParks has been used to using public money for luxury items all the while, for instance, lounges, tables, laptops, thread mills, stationary bicycles, etc. for their so-called "fun, unique, carefree, freestyle" office environment.

    2. suppose these Giant Hypermart foldable bikes are discarded (or donate to charity) and purchased new again, every 6 months for 5 years, would still have saved taxpayers close to $20K (?)

  6. The YouTube video is BikeHop, not BikeShop

  7. To answer your headline question, the answer is YES.

    The explanation by NParks did not address those questions that the public has raised.
    The media officer merely regurgitate why the model was chosen and how they can improved their procurement process, stop short of an apology or admission of questionable antics for their purchase.

    Clearly, several things have happened : -

    1) Why the specific needs for a 16" wheel and 6speed foldable bike?

    2) Why settle for minimal 1 yrs warranty and servicing if a standard 5yrs warranty coverage can be obtained through authorized dealer? Where it the rationale for favoring the former? Just over $50 savings?

    3) What are the expected replacement parts will cost to demonstrate the value for money they purport? Why was there a need to conduct a "workshop" with BBikers if NParks didn't own one before nor have any "Brand" in mind?

    4) Who is the requesting officer in charge of the procurement process? What is the relation of the officer with BikeHop specifically? Don't tell me there isn't , because this is as clear as day light to everyone out there! If there isn't, please have NParks or Khaw openly confirm it so to prove they have investigated the matter thoroughly, and put on press record.

    5) This whole matter has seriously tarnished the good image of NParks and Mr Khaw. I can only hope they come clean about the entire internal workings of this purchase, instead of beating about the bushes on their classy brompton bikes with the public.

  8. Why foldable bike in the first place. They are not going to fold and travel in Singapore park.

  9. I fully support the purchase of the Brompton. It is portable because it can be rolled around on the wheels, not carried! You cannot expect Nparks to hire only big strong men to do the job! It's a trustworthy brand and it's value for money, go find out. Foldable bikes that cost 100 bucks is as good as trash. If you want a good fold, lightweight, easy to ROLL around (not carry), it's the best!

    1. >>Foldable bikes that cost 100 bucks is as good as trash.
      If so, then a foldable bike costing at most few hundred bucks will do.

      And don't forget they are using public money. Do u think they will buy such an expensive bike if it's their own money or salary??? Wake up la! KNN...

      And u mean the NParks staff can't work or "CYCLE" without using a "Farrari-standard" foldable bike costing a few thousands each??? Just like the PAPpies, who can't work or "SERVE" without receiving their "Farrari-standard" salary of millions??? Again, wake up la! KNN...

    2. Even it's a "must" for NParks to buy Brompton, for a single large purchase of 26 bikes, NParks could have bought them at a much lower price than S$2200, since the retail price of 1 bike is S$2250.

      What worse, NParks bought the bikes at a high price of S$2200 from a non-authorised reseller which do not and cannot offer the official five-year frame warranty and two-year parts warranty. So ended up more public money will had to be used for third-party servicing, repairs and parts replacement. Hmmm...

    3. Fyi, a 16 inch Brompton tyre costs S$50, whereas other 20 inch tyres cost only S$12/- each. The spares for "Farrari-standard" Brompton bikes are also much more expensive and only one official agent so far.

      So you can imagine the higher maintenance and repair costs. So did NParks disclose this to the public (that more public money will be wasted into the drain) on this??!!

    4. ----->Foldable bikes that cost 100 bucks is as good as trash. If you want a good fold, lightweight, easy to ROLL around (not carry), it's the best!

      So what if it's the best??!! $2200 for a bike using public money is ridiculous and outrageous.

      They can ride around on a $200 Raleigh foldable bike. Raleigh and Brompton are all from England. Raleigh is good enough, considering it's public money.

      If u are using public money, buy Raleigh. U want Brompton, use your own money then.

    5. "I fully support the purchase of the Brompton."

      Since NParks bought the bikes (at a high price of S$2200) from a NON-AUTHORIZED reseller which DO NOT and CANNOT offer the official five-year frame warranty and two-year parts warranty, are you going to pay for the expensive servicing and maintenance, since you are FULLY SUPPORTIVE of their purchase?

    6. A bike that is light and strong will not be cheap.
      A bike that is strong and cheap will not be light.
      A bike that is cheap and light will not be strong.
      The buyer decides his priorities on balancing these three

      Premium, most of the time, means quality. Quality items, whatever they are, will last longer, are built better, and have better ROI in the long run. In the bicycle world, this means that your bike will stand the test of time, use, and abuse with less problems or possibility of failure. Not that cheaper bikes are faulty, but admittedly they cannot stand the rigors of consistent and heavy usage.

      Qn: you are FULLY SUPPORTIVE of their purchase?
      Ans : Confirm! Double Confirm!

    7. @Expricornis19 July 2012 13:54

      Food that is healthy and fast will not be cheap
      Food that is cheap and fast will not be healthy
      Food that is cheap and healthy will not be fast

      Your logic

      So in order to allow our bodies to stand the rigors of the decades, we should be FULLY SUPPORTIVE of providing all civil servants the most premium food next.

      Perhaps clothing as well. Well after all they endure weathering everyday.

      We should. Confirm! Double-Confirm!

    8. Woah logic and sensibility has lost it's ground here. Seriously, you think Nparks job is so easy? Civil servants are people too. There are different types of civil servants, these Nparks officers are obviously not the top people. They are workers like everyone. What is wrong with giving them a good foldable bike so they can do their job more efficiently? Normally, I won't speak up on such small issues, but I feel this is just ridiculous. Do not loose sleep over BICYCLES. There are better things to argue and improve in the goverment. Singaporeans are embarrassing.

    9. That's your logic. When it is used not in your favour, it isn't sensible anymore.

      You missed the issue here completely. It isn't about bicycles, efficiency or other "small issues". You have obviously missed out the big issues in this saga. Whatever that rocks your boat.

  10. strida can be rolled around like trolley too

  11. The original investigation cited in this article is 1st posted on Hardwarezone forum at


    And their investigations are still on going.

    1. Great... shall wait for the "EXTRA CSI Attempt -nParks Brompton procurement process ended up with a dodgy winning bidder? [Extra] " on Hardwarezone forum at 9am tomorrow then. MILLION THANKS!
      Dear all Singapore Tax Payers,

      My investigation works are now 100% complete.

      I have good news.

      After finish drafting the presentation, i shall be publishing all the new findings at 9am sharp next morning (Monday, 16th July 2012) right here on this thread. And here only.


      At the same time, i will be filing an official report to the CPIB and if needed, CAD too.

      Some have asked, why 'stir the grass and alarm the snake'? Why not just let CPIB do the work?

      Well the reasons are:
      1) The reasons are secret. You will be get the full picture in due time.

      So people, make sure you notify all your friends who are working at the media industry to bookmark the 1st page of this thread and check back again in the morning.

      Again, i am not against ANY political organizations or companies, i am only trying to help shed some light, and support accountability and the fair use of Singapore's Public Fund.

      See you guys at 9am.

  12. You all are barking up the wrong tree. In this purchase, it was done through a quotation exercise, MOF best practice guidelines specifies a quotation period of 3 weeks to allow for enough verndors to respond.
    In the civil service, the officer calling the quotation does not sign the approval. Also for the very much shortened quotation, special approval must be sought.
    My personal guess is someone much higher in the food chain must have ordered the process. (Don't think it's the Wesley Su fella)

    WIth this being made a big issue, MOF should have been investigating how/why this particular quotation process was used. (Unless someone very, very high orders the investigation stopped.)

    1. To Anonymous,

      Thank you for you advice.

      You won't be disappointed.

      Checkout Hardwarezone forum tomorrow morning.

      You are in for a treat.

  13. It's ridiculous how this whole issue not only blew up in NPark's face and attracted so much public outcry, yet there is no possibility for rectification after all this investigation! Where is the 'check and balance' that's supposedly in place in our civil service? BikeHop is clearly a dubious one-man-show (I am not even calling it a company), why can't NPark annull the contract on the grounds of misrepresentation or fraud, etc.? For argument's sake: in future if the TP were interested to procure vehicles for their patrols, and Ferrari was the ONLY bidder, does it mean that we will see the red devils patrolling our roads???

    1. >>For argument's sake: in future if the TP were interested to procure vehicles for their patrols, and Ferrari was the ONLY bidder, does it mean that we will see the red devils patrolling our roads???

      Haha! I like your analogy. Who knows! They might even do so (Ferraris for patrolling) if there is no checks and balance, since NParks is already using "Ferrari-standard" bikes like nobody's business. Just like the PAPpies, who can't work or so-called "SERVE" without receiving their "Farrari-standard" salary of millions. Public money is like "free & easy money" to them, as long as you belong to the gang.

  14. can u check when did bikeshop register in gebiz? if near the tender open date, then mb got insider trading?

  15. You have proof of the "luxuries" in the office? Otherwise, you can say there is a golden sculpture in the office and we are supposed to believe you? What is so luxurious about common tables anyway? Most people would prefer their own tables rather than sharing.

  16. Will help the case if you do some research. I think Flamingo, Dahon, Tern and Bike Friday also has models of 16" wheels and between 11 and 13 kg.

  17. Can anyone reveal whether NPark has bought other expensive items in this irrational bidding in the past ? The bicycle could just be the lastest luxury item that NPark bought this way, and that the in the past, the bidding for other items may have done this way without the public knowing it. Now they kena caught red-handed with evidence of irrationality, typical of PAP to say "let's move on ?"

  18. I see. The investigations reveal that NParks officers knew the Brompton authorised dealer Diginexx and had a workshop with them, that even though NParks actually targeted Bromptons all along, they did NOT inform the Brompton authorised dealer about the bid. Question: If NParks really really wanted Bromptons and nothing else, why didn't they just collude with the authorised dealer and save all this trouble?

  19. It's not what you know, it's who you know.
    Moral of the story - PI can also win the deal, not always AD is the winner.
    But the question is - fair or not fair? Right or wrong? What do you think?

  20. Khaw is forever cawing ...... like all black crows under the heaven.

    Kudos to this blogger, Singaporean Son. Can't expect Shit Times to produce such top-class investigative journalism!

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