Ensure the lapses were just lapses

Every year the Auditor-General's Office exposes lapses, including some large-scale financial mismanagement, in various ministries and statutory boards (Auditor-General raps government agencies for lapses; July 19).

According to the dictionary, a "lapse" is a slight error due to inattention or forgetfulness, or a drop in standards of an isolated or temporary nature.

However, some of the "lapses" that have been reported have apparently been recurrent, and not minor at all.

Singapore has attained a unique standing among former Western colonies in Asia with our good administration.

It would be sad indeed if this starts to slide.

It is reasonable to suspect that not all "lapses" are innocent and unintentional; these suspicions have to be disproven.

I hope that the Auditor-General's report does not just end with the expose but that there will be appropriate follow-up investigations to establish if the "lapses" were inadvertent and not sabotage of any sort.

Ong Siew Chey

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 22, 2017, with the headline 'Ensure the lapses were just lapses'. Print Edition | Subscribe