The Betamax case involving a breach of contract by the government appears to have now been determined. The Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC), which was in charge of deciding the case between Betamax, a local company, and the State Trading Corporation (STC), a state enterprise involved in importing several commodities including petroleum products, gave its decision on 6th June in favour of Betamax. Accordingly, the STC would have to pay damages amounting to between $115-125 million (Rs 4.1-4.5 billion) to Betamax for unjustified breach of contract.
The ruling of the SIAC, protected by confidentiality provisions, will not be available for public consultation, and it is not known whether it has gone beyond the issue of breach of contract to examine the terms and conditions thereof. It may be recalled that one of the first dossiers the government issuing from the general election of December 2014 took up after assuming power was the contract given out to Betamax by the STC under the preceding government in 2009. It tried at first to negotiate Betamax out of the country’s petroleum transportation contract in January 2015, on the ground that the contract had been awarded unlawfully thanks to a colourable device consisting of amending public procurement laws and singling it out for privileged contract allocation.