Corruption in Singapore: 32-year low, but many high profile cases?

I refer to the article “Corruption cases hit 32-year low in 2016” (Straits Times, Apr 13).

It states that “The number of cases tackled by the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) last year was the lowest in 32 years.

The bureau received 808 complaints – including some that were not related to corruption – down from 877 in 2015. Of these, 118, or 14.6 per cent, were registered for investigation. This is the lowest number since 1984.

Most of the corruption complaints that were not pursued contained insufficient, vague or unsubstantiated information.

I would like to applaud the CPIB for its great work over the last 32 years in eradicating corruption in Singapore.

As to “Mr Wong said most of the cases investigated by the CPIB were from the private sector. They accounted for 85 per cent of all cases registered for investigation last year – down by 4 percentage points from 2015.

Public sector increased from 11 to 15% “is not significant”

The remaining 15 per cent came from the public sector. Although this was a slight increase from the 11 per cent recorded in 2015, the CPIB noted that due to the small numbers, the 4 percentage point increase “is not significant”.

Many “high profile” cases? 

There were 104 individuals convicted of corruption offences last year: 100 were private-sector employees, and the remaining four were from the public sector” – whilst only “15 per cent of the cases registered for investigation came from the public sector” – the news over the last year or so, may highlight the public outroar and disquiet over several high profile cases involving “(perceived) public money” which may be classified as from the private sector.

For example,

  • the City Harvest Church (CHC) case involving a reported $50 million
  • the alleged corruption of the General Manager of Ang Mo Kio town council
  • 1MDB scandal’s funds traced via Singapore
  • Ex-union leader (ex MP) Phey Yew Kok gets 5 years’ jail for Criminal Breach of Trust

The magnitude and arguably blatantness of such cases do not bode well for Singapore’s reputation, as well as the public’s trust and confidence in our “non-corrupt” system.

Although we are at a 32-year low – we should not be complacent.


For example, arguably some possible statistics that may be of concern could be that

  • the number of complaints increased by about 10 per cent from 736 in 2014 to 808 in 2016
  • the ratio of cases registered for investigation to “complaints received” decreased by about 5 per cent from about 20 per cent in 2012 (179 divided by 909) to about 15 per cent in 2016 (118 divided by 808)
  • the yearly clearance rate decreased by 6 per cent from 86 per cent in 2015 to 80 per cent in 2016
  • increase of 4 per cent in public sector corruption cases from 11 to 15 per cent (“Due to the small numbers, the increase of 4% from previous year is not significant”).
Leong Sze Hian
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16 Responses to “Corruption in Singapore: 32-year low, but many high profile cases?”

  • N.Jungne:

    As long as it is under the Prime Mover’s Office, it is just another Lift Score Board. Belief your business.

    GD Star Rating
  • Amos humiliate L*L and PAP:

    Corruption in Singapore is 32-year low! Really?

    Doesn’t it really depends how you define “corruption”? Isn’t corruption getting public funds you did not earn and/or deserve, i.e., you “stole it”?

    If you “rigged” the system (i.e., elections are not free and fair) so you can stay in power indefinitely, get paid millions annually but taxpayers suffer from sky-high prices, depressed wages, depleted retirement (CPF) savings (after paying for “subsidised and affordable” public housing) and lose job to foreigners, aren’t you being corrupt? Why? Because you are being paid millions you do not deserve and/or earn. You are really “stealing” public funds. You have legalised and institutionalised corruption.

    Do you agree? How do you define “corruption? Singaporeans should ask themselves this question just before they vote in the next GE.

    GD Star Rating
  • Sperm is it tasteless?:

    Who audited these statistics ?

    GD Star Rating
  • We base on believing:

    But who Audits the auditor?
    Who Investigates the investigator?
    Who investigates the statistician?

    Who is the boss of the Auditor, Investigator and Statistician?

    Top in maths and science?
    Where are inventions, tech, science top in the world?
    Is there a mismatch?

    Base on belief or empirical evidence?

    Again, Top in maths and science?
    Absolute unquestioning trust?

    GD Star Rating
  • oxygen:

    FINANCIAL CORRUPTION IS DETECTABLE by audit evidence but CORRUPT CONDUCT is NOT because it is insidious and hard of statutory law definition for prosecution.

    If is practically you-scratch-my-back now and I will scratch-your-back of return favors later of much higher payback of benefits.

    PLENTY OF THESE GOING ON IN SO-CALLED CORRUPTION FREE SOCIETIES. The beautifying statistics of smaller number of apprehended corruption matched by the increased incidence of HIGH PROFILE CASES is NOT flattering statistics by a long shot.

    Most likely it concealed a lot of cleverly disguised hidden CORRUPT CONDUCT not exposed or difficult of exposed of indictable evidence.

    It is patently clear from internet read, Sinkieland’s public morality of honest dealings both in institutions and public among themselves have declined sharply in recent years. They learnt of these corrupt behavior from foreigners of fake qualifications, scams, bribery of law enforcement, preferential overlooking of crime behavior among foreigners by law enforcement etc etc

    GD Star Rating
  • RDB:

    They high ranking Civil Servants from MR4 ot MR1 are paid super high “To be trustworthy” for the PM you see. And so as at GE2015, 70% comprising of them super paid lackeys right down to his papa’s daft which are probably around 30% of the 70% And now they get hit with 30% basic only Water Tariff increase, we the other 30% who voted against incumbent got sabo by them too! As for their about 40% hardcore lackeys, in Mandarin is “Wu so wei” hor!

    GD Star Rating
  • Joke About PAP Ministers:

    Four surgeons are discussing who are the easiest patients are to operate on.

    The first surgeon said, “I like to see accountants on my operating table, because when you open them up, everything inside them are numbered.”

    The second responded, “You should try electricians! Everything inside them are color coded.”

    The third surgeon said, “I really think librarians are the best; everything inside them are in alphabetical order.”

    But the fourth surgeon shut them all up with this observation, “You’re all wrong. PAP Ministers are the easiest to operate on. There’s no guts, no heart, no spine and the head and butt are interchangeable.”

    GD Star Rating
  • 2nd Joke About PAP Ministers:

    A barber gave a haircut to a priest one day. The priest tried to pay for the haircut, but the barber refused, saying, “you do God’s work.” The next morning the barber found a dozen bibles at the door to his shop.

    A policeman came to the barber for a haircut, and again the barber refused the payment, saying, “you protect the public.” The next morning the barber found a dozen doughnuts at the door to his shop.

    A PAP Minister came to the barber for a haircut, and again the barber refused payment, saying, “you serve Singapore, our home.” The next morning the barber found a dozen PAP Ministers waiting for a free haircut.

    GD Star Rating
  • LIONS:

    To put this place,we need to put GOOD OPPO SGS into Parliament to ASK THE HARD QUESTIONS.
    Else,there will surely be more LAPSES owing to LAX ATTITUDE.
    55/45 or even 60/40 MIX of parliamentarians between incumbents n oppo is imperative.

    Sgs owe to thselves to ensure honest checks n balance are put into place for our own good.

    GD Star Rating
  • New Egg Yoke:

    1+1 = 2
    A: Wrong

    1+1 = 11
    A: Wrong

    1+1 = 1
    A: Wrong

    So what is the right A?

    A: Ask Pinky and her minions. Whatever they say.

    GD Star Rating
  • Wise Old Saying:

    Whatever they said, the opposite is the real truths.
    Whatever they are trying to sell you, when in doubt, do the opposite,
    more likely than not, you will be better off.

    GD Star Rating
  • Only For Dafts:

    They already legalized corruption, so what more to boast about?
    Only best friends in parliament, who is checking the checker?

    GD Star Rating
  • Amos humiliate L*L and PAP:

    Amos not only humiliated L*L and PAP but also exposed (in a court of law) the lack of accountability for PAP in Singapore. It has “rigged” the “system” to stay in power (i.e., cannot be removed) so it can continue to pay it office holders millions each year and not be held accountable.

    Since L*L took over Singaporeans are worse of with depressed wages and sky-high prices, “drained”/”scammed” CPF accounts, poor productivity and loss of jobs to foreigners. The “PAP duds” (who do not earn/deserve the millions taxpayers pay them) are not voted out / removed because elections in Singapore are not free and fair as shown in US Court. This is worse than “usual” corruption. PAP has “legalised and institutionalised” the “mother-of-all” corruption.

    Low corruption in Singapore. Really? Think again. Ask yourself how should corruption in Singapore be defined when there is lack of accountability to taxpayers because elections are not really free and fair the judicial system is biased.

    GD Star Rating
  • Fixit:

    AIM how?

    GD Star Rating
  • Goh Choke Tongue:


    GD Star Rating
  • 'Goal' or 'No Goal' ?:

    FAS just ‘score’?

    Or was it a ‘miss’

    Alot of answering to do.

    Stay tune..

    GD Star Rating

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