New centre to report corruption cases opens
People encouraged to walk into new CPIB facility and give tip-offs on any corrupt activity
Corruption cases here last year were at an all-time low, and Singapore will continue to treat and investigate any possible case seriously, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said yesterday.
To encourage more people to come forward and report such cases, the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) opened its Corruption Reporting and Heritage Centre in Whitley Road, a three-minute walk from Stevens MRT station on the Downtown Line.
"It is a physical place for members of the public to walk in and report suspected corrupt practices in person," said Mr Lee, who was the guest-of-honour at the official opening of the centre yesterday.
"It shows that the Government treats complaints on corruption seriously and transparently."
At 26 per cent, the most common mode of tip-offs was done in person, while one-fifth of reports were made over the phone, according to statistics published by the CPIB.
Mr Lee emphasised the importance of keeping Singapore clean.
"Corruption happens in every society and is ultimately driven by human nature and greed...
"Just look around us and other countries, so often corruption is accepted as the natural state of things.
"It is entrenched and becomes impossible to eradicate," he said.
In contrast, Singapore has developed a system and culture that rejects corruption, he said.
Singaporeans expect and demand a clean system, and do not condone the asking or giving of bribes, he said.
The public service is also paid fair and realistic wages that are benchmarked against the private sector to reduce the temptation by public servants to accept bribes, he said.
"We have a system that works, and we must keep it that way," he said.
The CPIB said in April that private sector cases were the majority in all corruption cases registered for investigation last year.
But at 85 per cent, it was 4 percentage points down from 2015.
Public sector corruption cases accounted for 15 per cent of all cases.
Besides the reporting facility, the CPIB's Whitley Road centre also houses a heritage gallery, where visitors can learn about its history through old case artefacts and quizzes played on interactive touchscreens.
CPIB director Wong Hong Kuan said the centre expands the Bureau's anti-corruption efforts by creating an accessible space for the public to report and learn about corruption.
"The CPIB remains committed and resolute in the fight against corruption and will work closely with the community to eradicate the scourge of corruption in Singapore," he said.