Saturday, July 27, 2013

Malpractice in the Public Service

A senior officer of the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau has been charged for embezzling public funds to feed his gambling habit in the casino.

This has provoked a decision by the head of the civil service to review the rules on visits to the casino by public officers.

This is a typical reaction in Singapore - to address the symptoms and not the root cause.

There are many opportunities for public officers to gamble, besides vising the casino in Singapore. How about other forms of gambling, such as the turf club, casino overseas, or the stock market?

If the casinos are bad, why only ban public officers? How about other citizens or even foreign workers?

If public officers are to behave properly, we need a better system of oversight and supervision, that is clearly lacking in our system, judging from the many cases of abuse of power that has been observed lately.

Our government leaders have to set the example of being transparent and accountable, so that the same standard can pervade to all levels of the public service and to our society in general.


Lye Khuen Way said...

I agreed that any outright ban of Civil Servants viviting our two casinos is infringing on their civil rights.
If these casinos are deem "bad", why have them in the first place?

They would not listen when there were outcry before they were built. The GDP was all too important. We know from Mr Lim Boon Heng that the benefits of employment was tearfully unfulfilled.

Yes, Mr Tan, we are only good at prescribing remedies for the symptom.
Hardly an effective, forward looking goverment we once could be proud of

sgcynic said...

"Our government leaders have to set the example of being transparent and accountable, so that the same standard can pervade to all levels of the public service and to our society in general."

Fully agree. And sadly, the absence of integrity and accountability now pervades the whole system. The tree will fall, just a question how many moneys remain among the branches when it does.

yujuan said...

The root cause of the malpractices that have seeped into the public service arena goes deeper.
For lustful corruption, it's the highly competitive, but very mundane nature of public work, highly paid civil servants' needs have changed from monetary to bedroom needs with other women other than their yellow faced wives.
In economic terms, it's the Law of Diminishing Returns, up to a level, money is no longer the draw, and the graph line flattens and starts to trend down.
Those less hoary and younger public officers have more monetary needs, like servicing an expensive car and mortgage house loan, would pilfer public coffers to keep up with the Jones, or to feed newly acquired gambling habits in our tempting casinos onshore.
Complacency and trend to do less wherever possible are breeding a lazy culture of - if it ain't broken, dun fix it, meaning, fix it only if it's broken, the less work the better, still get high pay what, why do extra work.

yujuan said...

Agree with Govt leaders, even the most secured system put into place will not be fool proof.
But if I am the Head of the Public Service Agency, won't give all my worth's time, just follow instructions given by the Ministry concerned to plug up the hole for people to see. After all, any more future cock up, I dun have to be held accountable, just hold a press conference, apologise and affirm new action would be taken, and my head still stays on, I won't be headrolled.
So TKL is right, the root cause is not addressed, status quo would prevail again.

michael13 said...

The political old guards like Dr Goh Keng Swee, Mr Hon Sui Sen and Mr S.Rajaratnam who talked and did about "Passion and People". Unfortunately, the current ones are more interested in "Money and Power".

There is a saying: "Once our basic needs are satisfied, our level of wealth has no effect on how happy we are."

So in Today's Singapore, the situation is commonly described as - if everyone gets richer, no one feels better off.

How do we build an inclusive society that begins on that basis?

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