“We will investigate any complaint on corruption thoroughly,” asserted Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Hsien Loong while opening the Corruption Reporting and Heritage Centre today.
Exhorting people to report cases of corruption, Lee said, “And in fact many successful Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) investigations, successful ones, arise from tip offs from the public. So we encourage members of the public who know of or suspect any corrupt behaviour to step forward and inform the CPIB.”
People visiting the new centre at Whitley Road can learn about how the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) tackled high profile corruption cases in the past, as well as report suspected corrupt practices in person.
Reflecting on the problem of corruption in other countries, Lee said, “Corruption has been entrenched in some other countries despite stiff laws and anti-corruption agencies. Graft has come to be accepted as the natural state of things in these countries, with people no longer outraged by corrupt officials.”
He added, “But Singaporeans expect and demand a clean system by not giving or asking for social lubricants, and readily reporting corrupt practices when they encounter them.
“They trust that the law applies to all and that the Government will enforce the laws without fear or favour.”
Interestingly, the number of graft complaints registered for investigation fell 11 per cent to a record low last year in Singapore, with the CPIB pursuing 118 cases — down from 132 in 2015. The private sector accounted for the bulk of these cases, at 85 per cent.
Laying stress on the role of people in ensuring a corruption free country, the Prime Minister said, “The new centre demonstrates the Government’s desire to treat each complaint seriously and transparently, while also educating others of the importance to step forward should they suspect any corrupt behaviour.”
He added, “The key to a corruption-free country are public service officials imbued with the right values, and are paid fair and realistic wages benchmarked to the private sector. This reduces the temptation for public officers to accept a bribe and makes the problem of fighting corruption manageable.”
Exhorting public officials to uphold highest levels of professionalism, Lee said, “The court, the Government and the police officers must continue uphold the highest levels of professionalism and integrity. Our founding fathers left us a clean system, built up over more than half a century. It is a legacy that we should be proud of and do our utmost to protect.”