Thursday, January 15, 2015

Perceived Corruption

Lee Hsien Loong attributed Singapore's drop of 2 ranks to 7th position in the Corruption Perceptions Index to two high profile cases of the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) Commissioner (sex-for-contracts) and Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) assistant director (misappropriating $1.76 million).

Corruption cases nowadays are not always as clear cut as Teh Cheang Wan caught counting the illicit cash from contractors in his Ministry of National Development office.

In September last year, on his appeal, a former Ikea food services manager was cleared by High Court Justice Choo Han Teck who said that his actions did not amount to corruption because there was no third party to induce him to come up with the idea to rip off Ikano, the company that runs the Ikea stores here. Which led the prosecution to ask the Court of Appeal to rule on whether someone could be considered to have been "induced" in cases where the idea of receiving a bribe came from himself and not a third party. The Court of Appeal finally ruled that in order to prove corruption, it was not necessary for the transaction to be initiated by a third party.

The convolution takes another turn in the complaint against Alvin Yeo in relation to the overcharging of legal fees while acting for the Singapore Medical Council (SMC). A Law Society review committee ruled that there was no professional misconduct on the part of Alvin Yeo as he was not the one involved in the preparation of the bills. The same Law Society also wrote: "The winning party’s lawyers have a duty to seek the highest quantum reasonably arguable."

Naturally, the Law Society would not deign to induce anyone to overcharge, and lead him down the slippery slope of greed, avarice, and inevitable stain of perceived corruption. But what do we know, the interpretation of law is often in the hands of devious minds. Which could explain why Yang Yin is emboldened to file court papers demanding access to $1.13 million cash while facing criminal breach of trust (CBT) charges for misappropriating $1.1 million – $500,000 in 2010 and another $600,000 in 2012.

9 comments:

  1. those who create laws are well equipped to interpret them

    ReplyDelete
  2. Why have we come to this sorry state? Because of the emphasis on money - starting at the leaders.

    Singapore's best economic performance for decades was before 1994 when ministers' pays went ballistic. After that, despite being paid millions, Singapore suffered a series of recessions.

    Singapore's best period for being corruption-free or minimal corruption was again in the decades before 1994. After that, more and more corruptions, not just in the private sector, but in the public sector. Not just poorly-paid civil servants, but highly paid top civil servants and top enforcement officers.

    The sad fact is that Singapore's previous sterling record of minimal corruption was not due to high pay. It was due to upright politicians and civil servants who served the public instead of themselves. On the contrary, after implementing indecently high pay for public servants, the incidences of corruption in high places went up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A very good response, Sir. Yes, since the "pay-them-high-so-that-they-need-not-be-tempted" idea did not work. And yes,that unchallenged question about what was wrong with collecting more money started the downhill slide if not acceralerated it.

      Delete
  3. Question: What's the difference between baseball and law?
    Answer: In baseball, if you're caught stealing, you're out.

    ReplyDelete
  4. The funny part of it has to be if he was not involved in the billing, the input hours was plucked from the sky ? Or as a partner, he had no say over the billing ? Either way someone was not very honest with the truth?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The best part is someone believed him ?

      Delete
  5. The ranking will drop further and it is not because of the cases, the world is slowly gaining knowledge of the so called Leegalised corruption where conflict of interest is not a issue because everyone is so called "uncorrupted" due to their roots and connection. They are bounded by "checks and balance" and "accountability & transparency " whereby no one knows who reports to who and no one knows where the money is spent and how much these people are paid. No one gets the sack for screwing up billions

    ReplyDelete
  6. "A One-Stop Corruption Reporting Centre will be set up to receive complaints from the public"

    Another layer added to Ah Loong's kuay llapis Administration. Well done. I wonder this will be under whose charge. Not the Grace Fu woman again I should think - we must not trivialize her work-load.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Corruption in any lousy society is as normal as rats run riot in dirty places.

    patriot

    ReplyDelete