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How Singapore dealt with corruption
How Singapore dealt with corruption

Singapore is a small state in Southeast Asia, which is famous for its advanced technologies. The capital of the same name is considered the second safest city in the world after Tokyo. Including due to the absence of corruption in the country. Singaporeans have found a way out how to overthrow the mafia elite, so today the state is developing by leaps and bounds.

The main principles that helped to eradicate bribery will be discussed in this article.

The country's priority is the fight against corruption

Lee Kuan Yew proclaimed victory over bribery as his motto, even if relatives and friends had to be imprisoned

Singaporeans managed to get rid of bribery in literally 40 years. And this is without the mass shootings of corrupt officials and harsh repression like in the PRC. Previously, Singapore was a British colony. In the 50s, the British left the city, leaving an almost uneducated population with low salaries, inoperative laws and corrupt officials in power.

The election was won by politician Lee Kuan Yew, who proclaimed victory over bribery as his motto, even if relatives and friends had to be imprisoned.

The 4 steps of an anti-corruption program

1. Removal of immunity from officials

All officials, along with their families, were deprived of immunity

The first element of the struggle was the strengthening of the independent Bureau of Corruption Investigation (BRK) and giving it unlimited powers. All officials, along with their families, were stripped of their immunity. DBK agents checked the bank accounts and property of not only members of the government, but their families and even friends. If it turned out that someone was living beyond their means, an investigation began immediately.

DBK fought against large bribery in the highest echelons of power. And for small officials they came up with another way - they simplified the adoption of bureaucratic decisions as much as possible and removed all sorts of ambiguous interpretations. The courts were allowed to confiscate the proceeds of corruption. By the way, DBK repeatedly investigated the case of Lee Kuan Yew himself, but found nothing.

No compromises with corrupt officials

Let's give one example. Environment Minister Wee Tun Boon traveled with his family to Indonesia in 1975. But the trip was paid by the construction contractor, whose interests in the government were represented by Wee Tung Boon. The contractor also provided the minister with housing for S $ 500,000 and opened two loans in the name of his father for S $ 300,000 to speculate in shares on the stock market.

DBK exposed Wi Tong Bun's machinations and sentenced him to 4 years and 6 months in prison. The minister managed to appeal the sentence, and the sentence was reduced to 18 months, but the charge remained in effect.

2. Living within your means

If the official was guilty, the property was confiscated, he paid a huge fine and went to jail

In 1960, a law was passed, according to which anyone who lived beyond their means or had too expensive property could be considered a bribe-taker. In fact, this meant the presumption of the guilt of all officials and state organizations. That is, even for a hint of a bribe, they were considered corrupt until the court proved otherwise.

If the official nevertheless was guilty, the property was confiscated, the guilty person paid a huge fine and was sent to jail for a decent period. The family of a corrupt official was considered disgraced, and no one gave them a good job.

3. High salary is a guarantee of decency

Lee Kuan Yew believed that civil servants should receive large salaries

Lee Kuan Yew believed that civil servants should receive large salaries. First, they deserve it with decent and honest work for the benefit of the government and the people. Secondly, there will be less temptation to take bribes, because people will be in abundance. Thanks to a significant increase in salaries, many good specialists have moved to the public sector.

Due to this, an economic recovery began in the country, and along with it, the income of civil servants continued to grow. Today the payroll system looks like this. The income of an official is equal to 2/3 of the income of workers in the private sector of the same rank (according to the data of the tax return).

4. Media transparency

A civil servant who was caught in corruption instantly became the main character of the front pages

The country needed an independent and objective media that did not obey the corrupt officials from the government. Newspapers reported honestly every bribery incident. A civil servant, who was caught in life beyond his means or corruption, instantly became the main character of the front pages.

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