- One landmine after another
- PAP's purchase software developed with public money – via shell company.
- political blow to PAP facing difficult by-election on Jan 26.
- system developed using fees collected from Singaporeans.
- IT system sold to a PAP company, “only bidder” for S$140,000
- leased system to 14 councils for monthly S$785, yearly revenue S$131,880
- “94% investments recouped in first year!”
- run by 3 former PAP MPs, same address as PAP HQ.
- should PAP lose power : Would transfer of power fair and smooth?
- Or will new government deprived of IT services because bought over by PAP?
- Workers Party was served notice no IT services in Aljunied after it won
- Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) should be involved
- episode clouded city’s image as transparent society.
- another bombshell – extra-marital affair resulted in departure of Speaker
- Punggol East (30,000 voters) by-election in a fortnight
- given mood change since, PAP will have a tougher time
Using unfair means to secure monetary gain for yourself which you will not otherwise get by fair means is corruption.
Outfits like TI still give the highest scores to places like Singapore on the Corruption Index. This is because in Singapore the ordinary man in the street rarely if ever runs into corrupt Government officials or corrupt business managers in their private sector. (However this image has been dented lately by shocking sex scandals where people in authority have abused their position for sexual gratification.)
But this is the magic of Singapore. The ordinary citizen who walks up to a counter for some service or to get a license rarely runs into corruption. Meaning the ordinary public runs into very few 'corrupt little Napoleons' over the counter in Singapore. This has been achieved by strict enforcement and by paying relatively high salaries to Singapore Policemen, civil servants and other junior people who come into direct contact with the public everyday. Hence Singapore is perceived as a corruption free society.
However this news about a two dollar PAP owned company being the only bidder to buy a software program developed using taxpayers money and then leasing back the program to 14 town councils and recovering almost the full purchase price in just one year shows that at higher levels of Government everything may not be without its greedy Napoleons.
There is more going on in Singapore than meets the eye. It has long been rumoured that a certain legal firm in Singapore enjoys the patronage of big name clients who wish to have dealings with their gomen. The same lawfirm is also believed to have played an advisory role to a firm which was recently awarded a very lucrative franchise on the island. This is what you hear from Singaporeans in Singapore.
But such practises do not immediately burden the man in the street. It does not matter to the ordinary Singaporeans which corporate giant won the franchise or how they did it. This is the beauty of Singapore.
In other countries, including on our side of the causeway the public gets the short end of the stick at all levels, especially at the lowest levels of Government as well as in the private sector. Few people make much noise about this but private sector corruption in Malaysia far, far exceeds corruption in the Government sector.
But it always affects the common man first. This is the big problem in Malaysia.
You want to hook up a telephone fast you have to kow tim. You want to get an approval for a signboard quickly, you have to kow tim. You want an approval for a house done on time, you have to kow tim. If you are a university professor who is trying to get Government funds for an incubator project you have to kow tim. In the private sector, if you want the Purchasing Manager to buy your product, you have to kow tim. If you are a student at a private college and you want better grades (as reported in the Press), you can kow tim. (In Singapore National University of Singapore law professor Tey Tsun Hang has been charged in Court in a sex-for-grades-scandal).
In Malaysia everything has to be kow tim and it affects the ordinary suffering citizen.
Then you also have money changing hands at the higher levels of both the private and Government sector. This will also impoverish the ordinary citizen but indirectly through adding higher costs in the economy. If there is corruption in the Pejabat Tanah, the ordinary people end up suffering higher house prices.
There is no need to talk about corruption in high levels of Government (BN or Pakatan serupa saja - the Pakatan are actually getting worse).
But in the private sector a corporate bigwig can also buy a controlling stake (say 30% is enough) in a public listed company. He influences the public company to borrow millions from the banks. Then the money is used to buy assets where the bigwig already has an interest. He may even earn big commissions on the sidelines for "arranging" the transaction. Money flows into his pocket. He then sells his shares in the public company and exits the scene. The minority shareholders are now left with a company owing millions to the bank and assets which they may not know how to manage effectively. I think some day one company is going to get stuck with a lot of buses with nowhere to go to. Better watch out.
This is corruption in Malaysia at both the lower and higher levels. In Singapore there is very little corruption at the lower levels.
In Singapore, the ordinary man in the street (who is also the voter) faces very little or no corruption as he goes about getting a car license, a small business license, an inspection of his restaurant, his commercial vehicle license and inspection, getting approval to put up a building, approval for a business signboard and a million other things where the ordinary man has to deal with the Government. Hence Singapore is perceived as squeaky clean especially by its own citizens.
However if you want to get a 'big money' license - well that does not involve the ordinary man in the street. Lain cerita sikit.