Singapore to maintain 'zero tolerance for corruption'

Updated: 2015-01-13 17:34


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SINGAPORE - The Singaporean government will maintain "zero tolerance for corruption, regardless of the rank and seniority of the officers involved", Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said at the Public Service Values Conference on Tuesday.

Stressing the importance to maintain the public's trust in public service sectors, Lee said that to better strengthen corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau(CPIB), the government is reviewing the Prevention of Corruption Act, and will increase CPIB's manpower by over 20 percent.

"We must never let corruption take hold here. Once it takes root, it is difficult to weed out."

Lee also pointed out the significant role of public in fighting against corruption. A One-Stop Corruption Reporting Centre will be set up to receive complaints from the public, and a permanent Heritage Gallery will also be established to educate members of the public, Channel NewsAsia reported.

Singapore has been ranked as the least corruption country in Asia in Transparency International's 2014 Corruption Perceptions Index. However, its global rank dropped two places to seventh at 84 points from the 86 points last year.

Lee said the drop could be due to several high-profile corruption cases that have emerged in the past few years.

"So we must continue to do better. We must not let Singapore's image be damaged. That would be a disservice to the many exemplary officers we have," he said.

Emphasizing integrity as a value for the whole society, Lee urged Singaporeans not to hesitate to report any wrongdoing, as many corruption investigations, including cases from the private sector, start with tip-offs by members of the public or colleagues in the organization.

"This is the real achievement we have made in Singapore, a culture that is anti-corruption," he said.