SINGAPORE - One would think it foolish to try bribing a police officer in a country ranked the seventh least corrupt place in the world.
But, under pressure and faced with incriminating evidence, some still try.
Just ask Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Patrick Chan Wai Hoong, 44, who was offered bribes while on duty in two separate incidents in 2016 and 2017. He rejected them on both occasions, and the suspects faced more severe penalties.
Said ASP Chan: "People do try all types of methods to get out of that situation they are in, and they do not necessarily offer cash. Some offer cigarettes, others offer sexual services.
"All officers, not just myself, will reject these gifts. We must have integrity to not take bribes, so that the public have confidence in our police force."
For his actions in turning down money and gifts, including an offer of $10,000, ASP Chan was commended by the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) on Friday (Dec 8) morning.
A total of 18 individuals from the public and private sector received plaques for their stance against corruption.
Among them was Singapore Safety Driving Centre automotive tester Goh King Seng, who was offered $500 by a Chinese national who performed badly in his driving test last year. The student driver was later jailed for three weeks for the attempted bribe.
The Esplanade's security executive Peter Rennie Tee Keng Lye received a plaque for rejecting repeated bribery attempts by a club director and two floor managers. He had responded to a fight outside a nightclub, Queen, and was told by the three staff to not report the incident. They, too, were fined $10,000, $8,000 and $4,000 each for corruption.
The two cases involving ASP Chan occurred while he was recording police statements from two female suspects for vice-related activities.
He recalled: "In the 2016 incident, she was panicking because she thought I had evidence against her. But her mind was clear enough when she offered the $10,000."
The suspect was arrested for the act of bribery, even though ASP Chan was just conducting checks on her involvement in an unlicensed massage parlour case. Both female suspects in the two incidents were later jailed for a month each for corruption.
CPIB director Wong Hong Kuan on Friday spoke about the need for Singapore to remain corruption-free.
He said: "Corruption is a fact of life but let us not make it our way of life. We have come a long way since 1950s when Singapore was plagued with corruption, moving from a third to a first world least corrupt nation.
"We should zealously guard what our forefathers had built over the last six decades and not let acts of greed ruin it."