28 Dec 2005

CPIB to conduct survey on public perception of corruption in Singapore

The Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) is conducting a survey on Singaporeans' perception of corruption here.

It is the second such survey since 2002.

The survey will take place from 20 December to 27 January.

Letters have been sent out to some 1,000 Singaporeans informing them that the CPIB has commissioned a company to conduct house-to-house interviews.

The interviewees would be asked, amongst other questions, what they perceive is the level of corruption in Singapore.

In the 2002 survey, 60 per cent of Singaporeans said they were not willing to report graft.

But in light of the recent corporate scandals, how can Singaporeans be encouraged to come forward?

Dr Habibul Khondker, Associate Professor at National University of Singapore's Sociology Department, said: "I think media can play a bigger role in arousing public interest, in arousing those civic responsibilities in the population, that you have a responsibility that you should not accept things that are not proper. If you see anything improper, you have every right to speak up as these events can be prevented from recurring."

Dr Khondker said that with Singapore being consistently ranked by the transparency index as one of the least corrupt countries, this perception is not likely to change.

He added surveys like the one CPIB has commissioned are what the Berlin-based corruption watchdog relies on for its research.

Thirty questions will be asked in the CPIB survey.

Though the CPIB would not reveal what these questions are, the previous survey had included questions on what Singaporeans thought of the effectiveness of the corruption bureau itself.

Interviewees were also asked to suggest ways to fight corruption. - CNA/ir


The one thing I like about this country: it is absolutely serious about corruption.

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Anonymous said...

What about institutional corruption?

Anonymous said...

NKF shows that it is impossible to let go; PAP's tight control is proved right again

similar experience came from some of the GLC managers awarding themselves generous salaries and bonuses by positive presentation of company results

the real issue is how PAP can find larger nos. of genuinely dedicated people for important positions, who would not exploit the opportunities for excessive personal gain; the record so far has not been perfect

Anonymous said...

Was wondering whether the upcoming CPIB survey covers "legitimized corruption" in Singapore??

Yawning Bread said...

If we use "corruption" in its narrow meaning, strictly confined to illicit monetary gain through the dispensing of favours, or bypassing of procedures, then indeed, Singapore may rank highly, but Singapore's experience may require us to think in broader terms.

A friend of mine asked me years ago: what is the moral difference between leaders enriching themselves through bulging brown envelopes passed under the table, and leaders who pass laws in Parliament giving themselves legitimately fat salaries and perks?

You might say, well, parliament is subject to re-election, but then where does this argument go if Parliament itself passes laws that make it harder and harder for the electorate to unseat them?

Supposing Durai had open-and-above-board Board approval for his salary, bonuses and perks, but he himself was in a position to appoint people he liked to the Board of Directors... would you say there were still serious ethical problems there?

Anonymous said...

It is important for the ruling party to continually emphasise its strong stance against corruption. After all, one of the key justifications for paying themselves the world's highest ministerial salaries is that this keeps them from getting corrupt.

I would be wholeheartedly fight against corruption, if this means that I can pay myself more than a million dollars a year.

Anonymous said...

>Board approval for his salary, bonuses and perks, but he himself was in a position to appoint people he liked to the Board of Directors

this is why ability to find genuinely dedicated people, instead of people who put on a show of dedication, is so important; the other issue is whether previously honest people get corrupted by absolute power

Anonymous said...

By the way corruption is narrowly defined by the govt, even Durai is not corrupted, he was just doing what the PAP does....

Anonymous said...

I'm just very glad that moral corrupting parties are publicly banned forever.

lee hsien tau said...

I have been to inside CPIB when it was temporarily at Cantonment Rd. Reminded me of my first day when i was posted to 3rd SADA in 1981 - was like a prison. Interestingly, I was there to file a corruption report. The interview was conducted by a Ms Tracy Lai. She finally showed me what was supposed to be my late father's will. I asked for a copy, but was denied. To this day, I have not been able to get a copy of the will anywhere, not even from my mother. She says I must sue to get it. That is one instance of legitimized corruption. The survey in the article probably is corrupted. Everything is filtered.

Anonymous said...

"legitimized corruption"...yes this is a good one, and i totally agree dat PAP can just make it more and more difficult for other parties to win elections

Anonymous said...

Lee Hsien Tau:

You're a funny guy. You got a problem with your mother - why blame the CPIB.

Anonymous said...

Laee Hsien Tau:

You deserve nothing! Your father gave all his money to your mother who hates you enough not to want to give U a copy of the will. You loser! Your father probably didn't like you either and left you nothing

lee hsien tau said...

Graffiti in Singapore is normally confined to public toilet cubicles, and more often than not, just contact numbers with offers of sex. But I once read this curious observation in a 4th floor toilet at Park Mall:

'LKY forgot he came out of a hole, same as everyone else.'

That message came unsigned (it could have been Bugs Bunny who wrote that for all I know, such is his character), but it does concur with what Catherine Lim was alluding to as 'the affective divide'.

When Mrs LKY had a minor stroke or something, an SIA plane was commandeered to fly her back home. There's nothing wrong with that, per se, as Singaporeans already accept that our leaders are entitled to certain perks, and besides, LKY paid for the flight.

But it was what LKY praised about the service standard he received that got the hairs raised on my neck (not that I ever allow my hair to grow all the way to my neck; presently I adopt the hairstyle of Mr Mah No-Wait). Ordinary people were encountering problems getting the ambulance to go to the hospital they wish to go to!

Then there was HPL and how Tang Liang Hong ended up down under.

And then there is this Will of my late father, which the Corrupt Practices Improvisation Bureau seems to treat as perfectly legitimate, that, for the last five years after that I know of its existence, I seem unable to get my hands on a copy of? That even Mr Chiam See Tong proved ineffective in helping to obtain?????

Can a thirty question questionnaire survey really be worth the ink it is written on? Can it be relied on by any so-called Berlin-based corruption watchdog for its research? Or is the perception of corruption itself in Singapore also subject to censorship that even a watchdog deems necessary to tread with care?

Who would have dared to speak up about Durai when the court already sided in his favor twice? Who's to know if Durai wasn't some big-fuck's pet-dog on a long leash that unfortunately got loose?

One of the most memorable occasions in my life was being driven down the highways along the outskirts of Kansas City, and the flight over the Grand Canyon. The layers of rock formed over time are plain to see. You don't get to see that even during the slow crawl suspended on the toll bridge over the Bristol Channel (I was having jitters there that I don't get even on a plane).

Here, you only have graffiti in public toilets providing insight that's worth more than any survey.

PS. The mention of Chiam's involvement is not a calculated risk. He won't dare to sue me.

lee hsien tau said...

Anon 12/30/2005 05:17:11 PM

Because the will shown to me at CPIB by Ms Tracy Lai was drafted by an ageing lawyer who has no records on it.

Anon 12/30/2005 08:32:27 PM

You seem to know too much?