There are loads of priceless insights from the book. Nearly a decade ago, Ross Worthington already expressed doubt that economic performance is an adequate substitute for trust. The lack of accountability, complicated by the high levels of remuneration and those aspects of their public duties hidden within the GLC and statutory boards, is starting to bear rotten fruit. Ergo, the work of the government owned National Computer Services (NCS) sold to a political party owned Action Information Management Pte Ltd (AIM) for $140,000 and leased back to the public through the Town Councils (TC). With such shadowy money making schemes in play, no wonder the Service and Conservancy Charges keep increasing year after year.
Worthing quotes this on page 232:
"Intellectuals and professionals sense an atmosphere of corruption - not corruption of money, for there is nothing in Singapore corresponding to the activities of families of Presidents of some of the ASEAN countries, but corruption in the disbursement of power and influence."
(John Goldring, "The legal profession and government in Singapore and Malaysia", Australian Quarterly, 60, 4, 1988)
Earlier, in 1973, T J S George ("Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore", Eastern Universities Press, 1984 p.213) noted:
"Even Singapore's famous graftlessness has an unseen face. Petty bribery is, of course, unknown and no minister of government official grows fat on illegal takings - a unique virtue in Southeast Asia. But this does not preclude the existance of a form of political corruption. Falling in with the government's line of thinking is recognized as a way of getting official favours such as the allotment of choice apartments; a proportion of housing estates' accommodation is set apart as a reward for political support. Government pressure through red tape is brought to bear on industrialists and traders... If, however, the businessmen concerned are personally close to the top political hierarchy, they are spared the pressures."
Frankly, Dr Teo Ho Pin, Coordinating Chairman of 14 PAP TCs, did no favour for Chandra Das by coming to his defence of the latest variant of BromptonGate. This businessman is so close to the top political hierarchy, no pressure will ever be brought to bear on him. Ever.