21 September 2012


Singapore is concerned that recent ‘sex for favour’ scandals will have an effect on its reputation for integrity.  Prime Minister Lee “… has vowed to punish corrupt officials, no matter how senior… Anyone who breaks the rules will be caught and punished. No cover-up will be allowed, no matter how senior the officer or how embarrassing it may be.”

At the 60th anniversary of the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau he indicated that instilling public officials with right values was important because “no system can completely stop a determined cheat.”

Incidents this year involving the chief of the Narcotics Bureau, the head of the Civil Defence Force and a law professor at the National University of Singapore have caused national embarrassment. The Prime Minister commented that …”it’s far better to suffer the embarrassment and keep the system clean for the long-term, than to pretend that nothing has gone wrong and to let the rot spread.”

Singapore is ranked as the fifth least corrupt public administration on the Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index, after New Zealand, Denmark, Finland and Sweden. .On the 2012 Worldwide Governance Indicators, Singapore is rated 9th on the Control of Corruption indicator. Although it is in the 90th percentile for the Rule of Law indicator (top 20 places), it is placed in the 50 =75th percentile on the Voice and Accountability indicator.

To remove temptation, Singapore has a policy of high pay for its civil service. And its ministers are the highest paid politicians in the world. The Prime Minister’s salary is US$2.4 million compared with the United States President ‘s  $400,000.