Search results

1 – 10 of 77
To view the access options for this content please click here
Book part
Publication date: 21 July 2011

Jon S.T. Quah

Singapore is perceived to be the least corrupt country in Asia according to Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) from 1995 to 2010. In 2010…

Abstract

Singapore is perceived to be the least corrupt country in Asia according to Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) from 1995 to 2010. In 2010, Singapore was ranked joint first with Denmark and New Zealand among 178 countries on the CPI with a score of 9.3. However, this does not mean that corruption does not exist in Singapore, which has its share of corruption scandals too. Indeed, the scandal involving Teh Cheang Wan attracted a great deal of attention because he was the Minister for National Development in Singapore from 1979 to 1986.

Details

Curbing Corruption in Asian Countries: An Impossible Dream?
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-819-0

To view the access options for this content please click here
Book part
Publication date: 26 November 2013

Jon S. T. Quah

Corruption was a serious problem in Singapore during the British colonial period and especially after the Japanese Occupation (February 1942–August 1945) mainly because of…

Abstract

Corruption was a serious problem in Singapore during the British colonial period and especially after the Japanese Occupation (February 1942–August 1945) mainly because of the lack of political will to curb it by the incumbent governments. In contrast, the People’s Action Party (PAP) government, which assumed office in June 1959 after winning the May 1959 general election, demonstrated its political will with the enactment of the Prevention of Corruption Act (POCA) in June 1960, which strengthened the capacity of the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) to combat corruption effectively. Indeed, Singapore’s success in curbing corruption is reflected in its consistently high scores on Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) from 1995 to 2012 as the least corrupt country in Asia. Singapore was ranked first with Denmark and New Zealand in the 2010 CPI with a score of 9.30. Similarly, Singapore has been ranked first in the Political and Economic Risk Consultancy (PERC) annual surveys on corruption from 1995 to 2013. Why has Singapore succeeded in minimizing the problem of corruption when many other Asian countries have failed to do so? What lessons can these countries learn from Singapore’s experience in combating corruption? This chapter addresses these two questions by first describing Singapore’s favorable policy context, followed by an identification of the major causes of corruption during the British colonial period and Japanese Occupation, and an evaluation of the PAP government’s anti-corruption strategy.

Details

Different Paths to Curbing Corruption
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-731-3

To view the access options for this content please click here
Book part
Publication date: 14 April 2010

Jon S.T. Quah

Corruption has been defined in different ways by various scholars and organizations according to cultural, legal, or other factors (Organization for Economic Co-operation

Abstract

Corruption has been defined in different ways by various scholars and organizations according to cultural, legal, or other factors (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, 2008, p. 22). The word “corruption” is derived from the Latin word corruptus and, according to the dictionary, it has six possible meanings: dishonesty for personal gain; depravity; undesirable change; corrupting of something; altered word or phrase; or rotting.1 However, the most useful typology of contemporary social science definitions of corruption is Arnold J. Heidenheimer's typology of three major types of definitions (Heidenheimer, 1970, pp. 4–6).

Details

Public Administration Singapore-style
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-924-4

Content available
Article
Publication date: 5 May 2020

Jon S.T. Quah

The purpose of this paper is to compare two corruption scandals in Singapore to illustrate how its government has dealt with these scandals and to discuss the implications…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to compare two corruption scandals in Singapore to illustrate how its government has dealt with these scandals and to discuss the implications for its anti-corruption strategy.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper analyses the Teh Cheang Wan and Edwin Yeo scandals by relying on published official and press reports.

Findings

Both scandals resulted in adverse consequences for the offenders. Teh committed suicide on 14 December 1986 before he could be prosecuted for his bribery offences. Yeo was found guilty of criminal breach of trust and forgery and sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment. The Commission of Inquiry found that the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) was thorough in its investigations which confirmed that only Teh and no other minister or public official were implicated in the bribery offences. The Independent Review Panel appointed by the Prime Minister's Office to review the CPIB's internal controls following Yeo's offences recommended improvements to strengthen the CPIB's financial procedures and audit system. Singapore has succeeded in minimising corruption because its government did not cover-up the scandals but punished the guilty offenders and introduced measures to prevent their recurrence.

Originality/value

This paper will be useful for scholars, policymakers and anti-corruption practitioners interested in Singapore's anti-corruption strategy and how its government handles corruption scandals.

Details

Public Administration and Policy, vol. 23 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1727-2645

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 5 January 2015

Jon S. T. Quah

– The purpose of this paper is to make recommendations to address the four limitations of Singapore’s Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB).

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to make recommendations to address the four limitations of Singapore’s Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB).

Design/methodology/approach

The paper begins by attributing Singapore’s reputation as the least corrupt Asian country to the CPIB’s four strengths: its independence from the police; its adequate staffing and funding; its adoption of the total approach to enforcement; and its impartial enforcement of the anti-corruption laws. It then proceeds to identify the CPIB’s limitations and provides four suggestions to address these limitations.

Findings

The sentencing of Edwin Yeo, a senior CPIB officer, to ten years’ imprisonment on 20 February 2014 for misappropriating US$1.76 million for nearly four years reveals that there were weaknesses in the CPIB’s internal controls and procurement procedures in spite of its effectiveness in curbing corruption. This paper recommends that the CPIB addresses its four limitations by strengthening its internal controls and procurement procedures; enhancing public trust and confidence by further improving its outreach to the population; improving the external oversight of its activities; and developing its in-house research capabilities.

Originality/value

This paper will be useful for those scholars, policy-makers, and anti-corruption practitioners who are interested in how the CPIB can further enhance its effectiveness even though Singapore is perceived as the least corrupt Asian country.

Details

Asian Education and Development Studies, vol. 4 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-3162

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 10 July 2017

Jon S.T. Quah

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…

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.

Details

Asian Education and Development Studies, vol. 6 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-3162

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 30 September 2014

Jon S.T. Quah

The purpose of this paper is to explain why Singapore has succeeded in curbing the problem of police corruption and to identify the six lessons which other Asian countries…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explain why Singapore has succeeded in curbing the problem of police corruption and to identify the six lessons which other Asian countries can learn from Singapore's experience.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper analyzes the causes of police corruption in Singapore during the British colonial period and describes the measures adopted by the People's Action Party government after assuming office in June 1959 to curb police corruption. The effectiveness of these measures is assessed by referring to Singapore's perceived extent of corruption according to three international indicators and the reported cases of police corruption from 1965 to 2011.

Findings

The Singapore Police Force has succeeded in minimizing police corruption by improving salaries and working conditions, cooperating with the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau, enhancing its recruitment and selection procedures, providing training and values education for its members, and adopting administrative measures to reduce the opportunities for corruption. Other Asian countries afflicted with rampant police corruption can learn six lessons from Singapore's success.

Originality/value

This paper will be of interest to those policy makers, scholars, and anti-corruption practitioners, who are interested in learning how Singapore has succeeded in curbing police corruption.

Details

Asian Education and Development Studies, vol. 3 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-3162

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 5 October 2015

Jon S.T. Quah

Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore’s first prime minister, who governed the country from 1959 to 1990, passed away on 23 March 2015 at the age of 91. The purpose of this paper is to…

Abstract

Purpose

Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore’s first prime minister, who governed the country from 1959 to 1990, passed away on 23 March 2015 at the age of 91. The purpose of this paper is to assess his legacy of good governance in Singapore.

Design/methodology/approach

The changes in Singapore’s policy context during 1959-2014 are described first before analyzing Lee’s legacy of good governance in Singapore by examining his books and major speeches.

Findings

Lee Kuan Yew’s commitment to meritocracy, empowerment of the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau to curb corruption effectively, reliance on competitive salaries to attract the “best and brightest” citizens to join the civil service, and maintenance of the rule of law, constitute his legacy of good governance in Singapore.

Originality/value

This paper will be useful to policy-makers, scholars and readers who are interested in learning about Lee Kuan Yew’s contribution to good governance in Singapore.

Details

Asian Education and Development Studies, vol. 4 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-3162

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 5 January 2015

Jon S. T. Quah

The purpose of this paper is threefold: first, to ascertain the levels of effectiveness of the anti-corruption agencies (ACAs) in China, Japan, Philippines, Singapore and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is threefold: first, to ascertain the levels of effectiveness of the anti-corruption agencies (ACAs) in China, Japan, Philippines, Singapore and Taiwan; second, to explain why some of these ACAs are more effective than others; and third, to suggest some policy recommendations for addressing their limitations.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper relies on three well-known international indicators to assess the perceived extent of corruption in the five countries. Similarly, their quality of governance is assessed by their total percentile rank on the World Bank’s six governance indicators in 2013.

Findings

Singapore’s Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau is effective because of its government’s political will and favorable policy context. The Philippines and Taiwan rely on ineffective multiple ACAs, which are inadequately staffed and funded, and compete with each other for limited resources. China’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection is ineffective because corrupt party members are disciplined and not prosecuted, and the political leaders use corruption as a weapon against their opponents. Japan’s weak political will is reflected in its reluctance to address its structural corruption. This paper concludes with policy recommendations for enhancing the effectiveness of the ACAs in the five countries.

Originality/value

The comparative analysis of the effectiveness of the ACAs in the five Asian countries and the policy recommendations for addressing their limitations will be of interest to policy makers, scholars and anti-corruption practitioners.

Details

Asian Education and Development Studies, vol. 4 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-3162

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Book part
Publication date: 21 July 2011

Jon S.T. Quah

The negative consequences of corruption for a country's development have been identified in Chapter 1. Corruption is ubiquitous and is found in “all political systems, at…

Abstract

The negative consequences of corruption for a country's development have been identified in Chapter 1. Corruption is ubiquitous and is found in “all political systems, at every level of government, and in the delivery of all scarce public goods and services” (Caiden, 1988, p. 6). Corruption is a universal problem, and governments all over the world have introduced measures to tackle this “social pandemic” which has “many faces” and is “the most challenging obstacle to economic development” (Campos & Bhargava, 2007, pp. 1–2).

Details

Curbing Corruption in Asian Countries: An Impossible Dream?
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-819-0

1 – 10 of 77