Corruption is kept in check in S'pore: Shanmugam

There is corruption in Singapore, but there is also a system to keep it in check, Law Minister K. Shanmugam said on Saturday.

The Straits Times reported that the minister had defended Singapore's system of meritocracy and said that they system cannot be blamed for the recent high-profile graft cases.

Instead he attributed the cases to human nature.

In his address to 1,800 residents at a National Day dinner in Chong Pang he said that he had been asked why there are so many graft cases in Singapore, a supposedly clean country that pays its public officers high salaries.

He said that corruption is present in every society and that there is no society in the world that is totally clean.

However, the Corrupt Practices Investigations Bureau (CPIB) is highly effective and relies on insiders, internal audits and tip-offs.

He added that National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan had already ordered an internal audit on the National Parks Board's purchase of the Brompton foldable bicycles before netizens raised the issue.

Similarly, an internal audit uncovered irregularities involving former Chief of Protocol Lim Cheng Hoe, said Mr Shanmugam.

But corruption here will not be like in other places where people face corrupt officials in their daily lives.

He also added, "That is why year after year after year, we rank as one of the cleanest, least corrupt societies in the world and we will continue to be so as long as we have this system in place."

abrahamr@sph.com.sg

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