Tuesday, Mar 3, 2015Tuesday, Mar 3, 2015

Parliament: PAP MP rebuts WP member's 'crony capitalism' charge

Published on May 30, 2014 8:43 AM
PAP MP for Jurong GRC David Ong.

A Workers' Party (WP) member's charge of crony capitalism in Singapore was rebutted by PAP MP for Jurong GRC David Ong yesterday. He cited international indices that have consistently ranked Singapore as among the least corrupt countries in the world to make the point that "there is no room for crony practices in Singapore".

On Tuesday, WP Non-Constituency MP Gerald Giam had said that Singapore came in fifth among 23 countries on an index measuring crony capitalism by The Economist magazine.

Singapore should be on guard against "rent-seeking" behaviour here, meaning businesses or individuals "trying to make more money without producing more for customers", Mr Giam had warned. Some examples of rent-seeking include forming cartels, or lobbying for changes in regulations that benefit a company at the expense of customers.

Yesterday, Mr Ong said he fully agreed with Mr Giam that the Government should be on guard against rent-seeking, especially in major industries. "That is why the Government introduced the Competition Act in 2004 and established the Competition Commission of Singapore to protect consumers and businesses from anti-competitive practices of private entities," he said.

If you are not a subscriber, you can get instant, unlimited access here