Singapore’s Corruption Control Framework

  • Today, Singapore enjoys a well-earned reputation for a high level of incorruptibility. The success of Singapore in fighting corruption is the result of an effective corruption control framework with its four key pillars of effective laws, independent judiciary, effective enforcement and a responsive public service, underpinned by strong political will and leadership.
Strong Political Will:
  • The political will to eradicate corruption was established by Singapore’s founding Prime Minister, Mr Lee Kuan Yew, when the People’s Action Party (PAP) was elected into government in 1959. The PAP was determined to build an incorruptible and meritocratic government, and took decisive and comprehensive action to stamp out corruption from all levels of Singapore’s society. As a result of the government’s unwavering political commitment and leadership, a culture of zero tolerance against corruption has become ingrained into the Singapore psyche and way of life.
Effective Laws:
  • Singapore relies on two key legislations to fight corruption; the Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA), and the Corruption, Drug Trafficking and Other Serious Crimes (Confiscation of Benefits) Act (CDSA). The PCA has a wide scope which applies to persons who give or receive bribes in both the public and private sector. The CDSA, when invoked, confiscates ill-gotten gains from corrupt offenders. Together, the two laws ensure that corruption remains a high-risk low-rewards activity. Upon the conclusion of investigations by the CPIB, all alleged corruption cases will be handed over to the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC), the prosecutorial arm of the Singapore Criminal Justice System, to obtain the Public Prosecutor’s consent to proceed with Court proceedings.  

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