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Singapore’s success in combating corruption: lessons for policy makers

Jon S.T. Quah (Anti-Corruption Consultant, Singapore)

Asian Education and Development Studies

ISSN: 2046-3162

Article publication date: 10 July 2017

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explain Singapore’s success in combating corruption and to identify the lessons for policy makers concerned with enhancing the anti-corruption measures in their countries.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper provides a brief literature review and analysis of Singapore’s policy context before explaining Singapore’s success in combating corruption and identifying the lessons for policy makers to enhance the effectiveness of the anti-corruption measures in their countries.

Findings

Singapore’s success in combating corruption can be attributed to the political will of the People’s Action Party government and the effectiveness of the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau in investigating all corruption cases and enforcing the anti-corruption laws impartially, without fear or favour. Extrapolating from Singapore’s success, policy makers in other countries can learn these lessons: the critical importance of political will; addressing the causes of corruption and learning from past mistakes; establishing and supporting an independent anti-corruption agency with adequate resources; enforcing the anti-corruption laws impartially but not selectively against the government’s political opponents; and combating corruption is a marathon requiring perseverance and sustained effort.

Originality/value

Scholars, policy makers and anti-corruption practitioners will be interested in learning how Singapore has succeeded in combating corruption as well as the relevant lessons for policy makers.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The author would like to thank Professors David Seth Jones and Chilik Yu for their useful comments on an earlier version of this paper.

Citation

Quah, J.S.T. (2017), "Singapore’s success in combating corruption: lessons for policy makers", Asian Education and Development Studies, Vol. 6 No. 3, pp. 263-274. https://doi.org/10.1108/AEDS-03-2017-0030

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited