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Shanmugam on recent corruption cases: Singaporeans are ‘humans’ as well

Posted by temasektimes on August 5, 2012

The recent spate of high-profile corruption cases involving senior civil servants and leaders of the establishment has set some Singaporeans questioning if Singapore is that ‘clean’ after all.

However, Law and Foreign Affairs Minister K Shanmugam uses ‘human nature’ to deflect public concerns, saying that “corruption and falling to temptation are basic vices that have existed since time immemorial.”

“Like in all societies, and in Singapore as well, there have always been people who have been corrupt. There will always be people who will be corrupt,” Mr Shanmugam said.

Speaking at a National Day celebration dinner in Chong Pang on Saturday, Mr Shanmugam said that Singapore cannot completely eradicate fraud and bad conduct, even though it has created a system that is very clean and efficient by international standards.

“There will be people who, whatever rules you put in, they will look to find a way around the rules and they will fall for temptation. There is no society in the world, in the past or the present, where every person is totally clean,” he added.

Unlike other First World countries, there is no independent institution or media in Singapore to expose the wrong-doings of government leaders.

Both media companies in Singapore are under the control of the government and its subsidiaries either directly or indirectly through a complex web of share-holdings while the corruption watchdog is under the purview of the Prime Minister’s Office.


44 Responses to “Shanmugam on recent corruption cases: Singaporeans are ‘humans’ as well”

  1. kaypoh said

    Hmm, I thought you pay yourselves million dollar salaries to eradicate corruption???
    Should we also provide sexy “comfort women” so that that sort of “corruption” can be stamped out? So what do you think?

    • 60 said

      He jialat leow this time..His words has contradicted old man.Old man sure will not let him go.

    • compatriot said

      Now Shamugam says Singaporeans are “HUMAN” as well,does he meant to say that earlier before Singaporeans were not human so that the pap whom the people of Singpore voted them into government has the right by playing with their livelyhood with enormity backed without remorse by all their voted MP’s?

      The leadership of the PAP government has done many bad judgements that caused increasing miseries till today to the livelyhood of borned Singaporeans and citizens

      Those beguiled Singaporeans who were at the attended event whom he says are human as well were with parents and children and with families.What ‘Human Values’ can those people with parents and children there can show to their friends,their neighbours and the people of Singapore?

  2. Anthony tang said

    What a load of crab. When citizens complain on super high salary given to ministers, mps and top civil servants. The answer was to keep them from getting coorupted. Now another story to cover the first one

  3. Ken Lee said

    welcome to land of traitors !

  4. rongY said

    it is the incompetent leaders who created the opportunity for the corrupt officials, LKY should take responsibilty that you pay the officials high salary and they will not corrupt. This policy have fell flat on its face. LHL had no guts to correct this.

    • Edmund said

      There is no way to stamp out corruption.The more money u have,the more u want and there is no such thing as I have enough money and I dont want any more.Word for it is GREED. Money is the root of all evils.

    • The problem is, no one would want to work in the government if they are paid peanuts.

  5. Old man called me Daft said

    Faark the botak blackie – was he referring to his own humanity to justify if he can also commit adultery?

  6. Samuel said

    Incompetence in public sector is also “corruption” because the incompetent continue to be paid (by taxpayers’) even though he/she cannot do the job. A good example is LHL. Just look at the failures of PAP since he took over.
    (1) low productivity of Singapore economy
    (2) low birth rate which started from LKY’s “Stop at 2” policy
    (3) depressed local wages
    (4) failing to plan for the many foreigners it allowed into Singapore
    (5) shortage, “shrinking” and high cost of public housing
    (6) shortage of public buses and MRT trains
    (7) shortage of hospitals, doctors and nursing homes
    (8) shortage of teachers and places in schools and universities for Singaporeans
    (9) shortage of jobs for Singaporeans
    (10) foreigners taking jobs away from Singaporeans
    (11) frequent breakdowns of MRT trains
    (12) overcrowded public transport (buses and MRT trains)
    (13) bailout of public transport (failed privatisation)
    (14) frequent 50-year “ponding”
    (15) high inflation (Singapore more expensive than Hong Kong)
    (16) high cost of education and healthcare
    (17) high cost of electricity (another failed privatisation)
    (18) high cost of private transport and fuel
    (19) poor air quality as per WHO Air Quality Guidelines
    (20) depleted CPF accounts after buying “affordable” HDB flats
    (21) many CPF accounts below CPF Minimum Sum
    (22) massive (billions) losses of taxpayers’ money by Temasek / GIC
    (23) wasteful purchases by Government agencies like NParks
    (24) putting Singaporeans life at risk by allowing rich “yellow trash” to drive in Singapore
    (25) increase social friction with foreigners
    (26) made Singapore a “tuition nation”
    (27) real income likely to fall this year
    (28) failing to provide Singaporeans with Swiss Standard of Living

  7. Toxic PAP said

    Toxic PAP – didnt they always claimed that they ARE Gods – suka suka with 1 set of their own laws and salaries, and for citizens ANOTHER 1 set, but with ONE subset for the RICH?

  8. Poo said

    If u notice the trend, those corrupted people are often the very rich coz they have accees to large cash.. These people are still not satisfied with their wealth despite earning millions a year.

  9. LkySi said

    No free press, no independent judiciary, no independent watchdog, every aspect of life is controlled by govt and or its subsidiaries.

    • Julie Ong said

      Excellent point, LkySi. We must change that. Unless the better educated and informed Singaporeans stand up against this oppression of the free will and expression of the people things will stay the same. I’m quietly confident. In fact some of my fellow contributors to this forum have written very well about their concerns in regard to our future. Although I abhor violence History does tell us that sometimes change can only come about through same. I pray and certainly hope not! I’d rather we sack this ‘evil government’ before they cause irreparable damage to Singapore and more particularly to us, it’s citizens. Be brave. Be resolute. Keep up the Fight!

      I’d love to see the day when we, the citizens of Singapore can stand Tall and Proud because we are Singaporeans! We are truly a very small nation, but perhaps we can be dubbed ‘The Mighty Midget’! Do work at it. Collaboratively.

      WE can do it.

  10. Rafiet said

    So whats up with the high salary? Time to cut again right?

  11. SEX SCANDAL said

    He dare not comment on SEX SCANDALS of senior civil servants

  12. patrick eng said

    finally he admitted like all societies corruption exist. that means paying multi millions is not a solution. hope i get him right.

  13. Native said

    If so, why the hell are we paying million dollars salary to our Ministers and civil servants?

  14. bb said

    So we need to beef up CPIB ie more investigation on corrupt practices.

    • Julie Ong said

      Yes, Bb, I agree on this one. The important thing also is that investigations must be carried out ‘Without Fear or Favour’ and make exceptions for/to no one.
      At last a breath of fresh air – Mr Shanmugam acknowledges the existence of corruption. Total opposite to Mr Lee Kuan Yew who is so self-righteous.

      To be credible the corruption watchdog must be independent and not answerable to the government. More checks and balances on policies as well as probity.

      In short, we should demand for a good and honest government.

  15. Finally… someone from there admits that they are not machines.

  16. Jake said

    Haha. They’ll not be able to argue that they don’t need checks against them now that Shanmugam had implicitly admitted that the fallibility of ppl in the establishment. Unless they say that they’re not humans but demi gods or saints.

  17. Nabey said

    Dear sir,
    Who owns DBS? Why DBS refund 100% to high note 5 investment to hongkees and those uncle and aunties in spore got nothing back?
    U mean the owner of DBS also has morale problem???

  18. Tan Yan Ren said

    Shame- .you- GAMe, is right BUT dont you see what I observe is the real reason for the recent exposure of these misdeeds? SIMPLE…
    1. PEOPLE in Singapore are unhappy.Nobody would be so free to expose such things if they are happy with their lives.TOO busy to” kaypoh”…in chinese hokkien it means to be a busybody.
    2.Those who try , and sucessfully, ALL THESE YEARS WITH THE HELP OF THE C>>>K SU>>>KING press” to SUPPRESS!!!!!the voice of the SINGAPOREANS,….THEY ARE NOW NOT ABLE TO CONTINUE TO DO SO!!!!!!!!!!!…Thanks to the INTERNET!!!!EVERYTHING IS EXPOSED ALMOST IMMEDIATELY!!!I am sure if any politician DARES to supress internet WE SHALL remove them at the next election because they are the traitors of GOODNESS, of Rights, of Singaporeans and SINGAPORE’s interest!!!!!!I WILL take the LEADin this..

    The INTERNET and NETIZENS VIGILANTE ARE DOING SINGAPORE A GREAT SERVICE ……. I MEAN IT…… to advance and improve our Nation.. THIS will Rid SINGAPORE of these Crooks, cheats , Liars , and most of all ….NO MORE COVER UPS!!!!AMEN!!
    Dont let anyone who tells you these are “BIASA ” or “NORMAL failings of any society”…or …”normal human error” or .they are trying to tell you these are isolated cases.. …I DONT THINK SO….the internet is our GIFT FROM GOD to PURGE any atrocities ….if you dont believe look around the world and you can agree that the events happening ALL OVER THE WORLD cannot be “isolated” incidents nor “BIASA”or like Shame u gam puts it….”Singaporeans are human” …C’mon SHAM!!!!!!!

  19. Richard said

    Need futher 70% pay cut for the TOP Civil Service.High pay no corrupt is a history.

  20. U_SEE_ME_NO_UP_AH? said

    I strongly believe that the most realistic approach to solve corruption is to deploy more competent CPIB investigators. In recognition of their success in solving every single corruption case and bringing the perpetrators to justice, they should be paid extra bonuses as a reward for their perseverance and hard work in the course of their investigations. Frequent CPIB screenings should strike fear in the hearts of potential offenders and thus significantly reduce and/or act as a deterrent against corruption.

  21. A G Young said

    I belive many SINGAPOREANS are not interested to know whatever reasons the Minister of LAW gives. BUT…..I believed most important question SINGAPOREANS want to know is “HOW EFFECTIVE IS OUR CPIB?”

  22. Sam Tan said

    Short of saying “Yes” he has more or less condone corruption (either in cash or in kind) to a certain degree committed by highly paid civil servants.

  23. Ni Hong said

    Well-Spoken, That why we must more opposition in the parliament to ensure minimum Corruption.

  24. 'Mk Chin said

    Need Not pay high salary since can’t prevent corruption?

  25. Realist said

    Which ruling govt party whether PAP or WP will pay themselves low salary ?
    High or low pay will also have corruption so why not high pay as term is only 5 years ?
    As mentioned, pay is not the issue. The issue is how effective is our CPIB.

  26. P Koh said

    Corruption is very personal and it does not mean that a lowly paid person is more likely to be corrupted than a highly paid one. The high pay is good but what can we define it as enough which is the crux of the matter. Nobody will say that because of his high pay he is not corrupt because even with a high salary which can buy higher standards of living, people will still demand for more and when they are used to that quality of life and if they cannot get more, the seed of corruption will start to grow. It is all very individualistic and a lot depends on upbringing and the moral values that are taught first at home and then from school.

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