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Abstract

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

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

Article
Publication date: 3 January 2017

Jon S.T. Quah

The purpose of this paper is to explain why Singapore has succeeded in curbing corruption and to recommend three measures for enhancing South Korea’s anti-corruption strategy.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explain why Singapore has succeeded in curbing corruption and to recommend three measures for enhancing South Korea’s anti-corruption strategy.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper compares the contextual differences between Singapore and South Korea before analysing Singapore’s effective anti-corruption strategy and identifying the weaknesses of South Korea’s anti-corruption strategy.

Findings

Singapore’s success in minimising corruption is the result of its government’s strong political will and the adequate budget, personnel and operational autonomy given to the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau to enable it to enforce the anti-corruption laws impartially. To improve South Korea’s anti-corruption strategy, the Korea Anti-Corruption Agency should be established and adequately staffed and funded to investigate corruption cases. Those found guilty of corruption offences should be punished according to the law, without suspending their jail sentences or being pardoned by the president. Finally, the existing public outreach anti-corruption programmes should be evaluated to identify their weaknesses and improve their effectiveness.

Originality/value

This paper recommends three measures for South Korean policy-makers to improve their anti-corruption strategy by learning from Singapore’s success.

Details

Asian Education and Development Studies, vol. 6 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-3162

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 28 July 2021

Jon S.T. Quah

The purpose of this paper is to identify the five mistakes made by political leaders in Asian countries in combating corruption. These mistakes constitute the cycle of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify the five mistakes made by political leaders in Asian countries in combating corruption. These mistakes constitute the cycle of failure which must be broken for Asian countries to succeed in fighting corruption.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is based on the comparative evaluation of the effectiveness of the anti-corruption measures adopted by various Asian countries.

Findings

The cycle of failure in combating corruption in Asian countries arises from their governments’ reliance on corrupt political leaders and the police, and multiple anti-corruption agencies as attack dogs or paper tigers.

Originality/value

This paper would be of interest to those policymakers, anti-corruption practitioners, and scholars, who are concerned with enhancing the effectiveness of anti-corruption strategies in their countries by breaking the cycle of failure.

Details

Public Administration and Policy, vol. 24 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1727-2645

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 13 July 2018

Jon S.T. Quah

The purpose of this paper is to explain why Singapore is a success story today despite the fact that its prospects for survival were dim when it became independent in August 1965.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explain why Singapore is a success story today despite the fact that its prospects for survival were dim when it became independent in August 1965.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper describes the changes in Singapore’s policy context from 1959 to 2016, analyses the five factors responsible for its success and concludes with advice for policy makers interested in implementing Singapore-style reforms to solve similar problems in their countries.

Findings

Singapore’s success can be attributed to these five factors: the pragmatic leadership of the late Lee Kuan Yew and his successors; an effective public bureaucracy; effective control of corruption; reliance on the “best and brightest” citizens through investment in education and competitive compensation; and learning from other countries.

Originality/value

This paper will be useful to those scholars and policy makers interested in learning from Singapore’s success in solving its problems.

Details

Public Administration and Policy, vol. 21 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1727-2645

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 14 April 2010

Jon S.T. Quah

However, after Singapore's independence and separation from Malaysia on 9 August 1965, the PAP leaders were forced to change their vision of Singapore as part of Malaysia…

Abstract

However, after Singapore's independence and separation from Malaysia on 9 August 1965, the PAP leaders were forced to change their vision of Singapore as part of Malaysia to Singapore as an independent nation, which they had earlier rejected. In other words, the PAP leaders had to “reinvent” Singapore to ensure its survival.

Details

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

Article
Publication date: 10 July 2017

Jon S.T. Quah

The purpose of this paper is to explain why Botswana, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, New Zealand, Rwanda and Singapore have succeeded in combating corruption and…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explain why Botswana, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, New Zealand, Rwanda and Singapore have succeeded in combating corruption and identify the lessons for policy makers in other countries.

Design/methodology/approach

The five countries are compared to identify the reasons for their success in combating corruption and the lessons that can be learnt by policy makers elsewhere.

Findings

Political will of the five governments is critical because combating corruption effectively requires them to provide the anti-corruption agencies (ACAs) with the necessary powers, budget, personnel and independence to enforce the anti-corruption laws impartially. New Zealand has succeeded in curbing corruption without an ACA because it relies on other institutions to maintain its good governance. Singapore’s rejection of the ineffective British colonial government’s method of using the police to curb corruption and its reliance on a single ACA was emulated by Hong Kong, Botswana and Rwanda. However, having a single ACA does not guarantee success unless it has the powers, budget, personnel and independence to perform its functions impartially as a watchdog instead of an attack dog against the government’s political opponents. As combating corruption remains a work in progress in the five countries, their policy makers must sustain their effective ACAs to meet the rising threat of private sector corruption.

Originality/value

The paper will be useful to scholars and policy makers concerned with improving the effectiveness of anti-corruption measures in those countries where corruption is rampant.

Details

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

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 29 May 2020

Jon S.T. Quah

The purpose of this paper is to compare and evaluate how the governments in six Asian countries have dealt with selected grand corruption scandals.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to compare and evaluate how the governments in six Asian countries have dealt with selected grand corruption scandals.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is based on the comparative analysis of 11 corruption scandals examined in the six articles on India, Japan, Macau, Malaysia, Philippines and Singapore included in this special issue of Public Administration and Policy.

Findings

The responses of the governments in the six countries depend on the strength of their political will in combating corruption. The responses of the governments in Malaysia, Philippines, India and Japan reflect their weak political will in combating corruption and lack of accountability of the corrupt offenders. By contrast, the strong political will of the governments in Singapore and Macau is reflected in the investigation and punishment of the corrupt offenders without any cover-up of the scandals.

Originality/value

The findings would be of interest to scholars, policymakers and anti-corruption practitioners and activists.

Details

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

Keywords

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

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

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