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    Jan 14, 2015

    New moves to keep corruption at bay in S'pore

    SINGAPORE'S laws on corruption are being reviewed by the Government, even as manpower at the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) will be increased by more than 20 per cent, as part of efforts to keep corruption at bay.

    A one-stop Corruption Reporting Centre will also be set up to make it easier for the public to report cases of corruption.

    These measures were revealed by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong yesterday, as he addressed 600 public servants about maintaining integrity in the public service.

    Public servants have been able to do good work for the country, said Mr Lee, because of the trust Singaporeans have placed in the public service.

    And to maintain this trust, it is important for the public service to uphold its policy of zero tolerance for corruption, he added.

    "If any of you does something wrong, and breaches that trust, you not only let down the public service and yourself, but you are also letting Singaporeans down and you can do a lot of damage," he said.

    While Singapore was a "shining exception" in the world, where corruption is a problem in many countries, the country must never take this for granted, said Mr Lee.

    Recent high-profile cases of corruption, such as the sex-for-contracts cases involving law enforcement officers as well as the misappropriation of funds by a CPIB branch head, for example, could have affected Singapore's ranking in the Transparency International Corruption Perceptions index, he said.

    Singapore fell two spots to seventh place last year.

    "These cases hurt our reputation - they hurt our reputation with Singaporeans, they hurt our reputation internationally," said Mr Lee, adding that it was a disservice to the many exemplary officers who had done their part in keeping the public service corruption free.

    But he said public servants should not be demoralised when such cases surface.

    Instead, Singapore should resolve to punish the culprits and remedy weaknesses in the system.

    "This level of trust that the Singapore public service enjoys, and this degree of cleanliness in the public service, is a most unnatural state of affairs," Mr Lee said. "So work doubly hard to maintain the trust you've earned."