Be on guard against cheats, malpractices

Unscrupulous people and cheats seem to be having a field day recently (Wage Credit: Over 1,000 employers caught cheating, Dec 21; and $40m in SkillsFuture fake claims: Five charged, Dec 20).

There is an urgent need to institute measures to mitigate the risk of corruption and financial malpractices so that we can ring-fence potential pitfalls upfront.

This is especially relevant for any scheme with a high probability of inciting such behaviour, including new government incentives that are highly financially valuable to the beneficiary.

It is important for any department or agency that is administering new schemes to have their malpractice defensive measures subject to the professional review and independent advice of the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) and the Ministry of Finance.

The authorising and approving officers would benefit from the CPIB and ministry's proactive education.

With the constant talent flux, an eye must also be kept on newbies in financially important jobs.

It is also critical for the CPIB to systematically educate foreigners working here as well as new citizens and permanent residents about Singapore's zero tolerance for corruption.

Cheang Peng Wah

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 25, 2017, with the headline 'Be on guard against cheats, malpractices'. Print Edition | Subscribe