Wednesday, January 14, 2015

PM: Expending more resources against Corruption

I didn't have the time to finish what the PM said on this issue last night but the main thrust of his message is clear: They are bringing new vigor and thoroughness to the business of fighting corruption in public service.

Like in the SPF, we do not have enough officers in the CPIB. That will go up by 20% shortly. Even laws would be tweaked.

We have consistently erred on the side of financial prudence to the point it becomes penny wise and pound foolish. Almost every virtue taken to the extreme become a vice. Singapore has become an unbalanced society from giving too much priority to accumulating money at the expense of many things which include train maintenance, caring for the aged (not rectifying) to this issue etc., Put together the budget numbers must eventually look ugly with looming deficit unless more money is raised. The public mostly cannot make meaningful comments because there is not enough data or they are all over the place and very time consuming to organize.

Perhaps we have far more financial resources than the public knows. We know we are not even trusted enough to vote wisely. We were always talked down to until it start to backfire that they appear as emperors without clothes....

Late because we have fallen two places for being corruption free, but the PM is doing the right thing now.

Meanwhile things might get worse before they get better as corrupt acts committed earlier will be waiting to be uncovered and punished. Just like traffic offences, they must have thought the government didn't have enough resources to go after them.

Update: Jan 14 8:20 pm

The ST today says more were nabbed for illegal fishing partly due to stepped up enforcement efforts. I think it is mostly due to deploying more officers unless they had invested in more surveillance technology.

The government is under resourced for safety, security and crime including white collar types.


  1. Corruption comes in many ways other than financial conduits. People (civil servants or just about anybody) in privileged/advantages position can influence decisions making, and scratching each others back. That scholarship meeting or medical school interview can be determined if you know somebody. How would the authorities define corruption. It is a no brainer why elites have a bandwagon mentality, keeping out competition.

  2. Why have we come to this sorry state? Because of the emphasis on money - starting at the leaders.

    Singapore's best economic performance for decades was before 1994 when ministers' pays went ballistic. After that, despite being paid millions, Singapore suffered a series of recessions.

    Singapore's best period for being corruption-free or minimal corruption was again in the decades before 1994. After that, more and more corruptions, not just in the private sector, but in the public sector. Not just poorly-paid civil servants, but highly paid top civil servants and top enforcement officers.

    The sad fact is that Singapore's previous sterling record of minimal corruption was not due to high pay. It was due to upright politicians and civil servants who served the public instead of themselves. On the contrary, after implementing indecently high pay for public servants, the incidences of corruption in high places went up.

  3. Has higher salaries reduce corruption - or in reality, increase the practice? Integrity is much a lost word in our society today admist the scramble to get rich and successful quickly by faking performance (and hence the need to cover the hole) or punting (instead of doing a decent piece of work). Maybe a better redistribution of wealth and an arrest to the decimation of the working middle class will tackle corruption better than having more rules, controls and "policemen" in the work place

  4. Hi Peng You, this has nothing to do with corruption but do catch this video on NYT, if you've got a chance. Excellent top class journalism. And its just next door. And look at the name of the person who produced it -- a chinese, presumably Malaysian chinese.

    1. Thanks! The way they are going about this, they will enlist lots more like themselves.