Construction, building maintenance activities 'areas of concern' in Singapore’s fight against corruption

Construction, building maintenance activities 'areas of concern' in Singapore’s fight against corruption

CPIB says it received 358 corruption-related reports in 2018, a 3 per cent dip from a year before.

Construction activities and building maintenance work were two areas flagged by the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau as “areas of concern” in its annual corruption statistics press release on Thursday (Apr 25). Ariel Lim reports. 

SINGAPORE: Two construction industry business leaders bribed a former Resorts World Sentosa director in order to advance their business interests, but they were eventually found out by the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB).

Tan Keng Huat, managing director of Shanghai Chong Kee Furniture and Construction, and Teo Wee Liap, director of Superiortec, had given former RWS director Soh Yew Meng S$300,000 as a reward for addition and alteration works at the hotel, according to the agency. 

Using computer forensics and prolonged interviews with the perpetrators, CPIB officers managed to crack the case. Tan was sentenced to nine months’ jail in August last year. Teo was given six months’ jail last June, it added. 

Construction activities was one of two areas flagged by CPIB as “areas of concern” in its annual corruption statistics press release on Thursday (Apr 25).

Building maintenance work was the other area.

The agency pointed out that private-sector individuals made up the majority of individuals prosecuted in court in 2018. There were 112 charged for offences investigated by CPIB during this time, with the private-sector individuals making up 96 per cent of cases prosecuted.

By comparison, five public sector employees were prosecuted in court, it added. 

One of these was Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officer Chin Peng Sum, who obtained sexual favours in return for tipping off immigration offenders of impending raids. He was sentenced to three years' jail this January. 

READ: ICA officer gets jail for obtaining sexual favours from immigration offenders

KEEPING CORRUPTION LOW

CPIB said, however, that Singapore continues to see a low incidence of corruption. It received 358 corruption-related reports last year, which is a 3 per cent dip from the previous year. Of these, investigations were conducted on 107 cases, which is a 4 per cent climb from 2017’s 103 cases, the figures showed. 

READ: Corruption cases registered for investigation at 'all-time low', says CPIB

A report is registered for investigation if the information received is pursuable, the agency said. 

It takes more than CPIB’s efforts to eradicate corruption here though.

Support and commitment from different segments of the society and strong partnerships with communities are necessary to keep corruption at bay, the agency said. 

To this end, it cited the launch of the Anti-Corruption Partnership Network in September last year as an example of promoting ownership over the prevention of corruption in the private sector.

“The strongest deterrent is a public that continues to eschew corrupt acts and individuals,” CPIB said.   

Source: CNA/kk

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