Conflicts of interest

What A Tangled Web We Weave

As I survey the public scene in Singapore today, it is obvious to me and sad that we have a serious problem of conflicts of interest.

I shall not enumerate the numerous examples. They have been talking points amongst the public for a long time. We cannot continue to allow the government of the day and ministers to decide whether the position of a particular person is in conflict with the public interest.

A new non PAP government in future must set up an independent Office of the Conflicts of Interest headed by an Ethics Commissioner. There is such an Office and Commissioner in Canada which is totally independent and accountable only to the Canadian Parliament and not to the Executive.

We should go one step further and make such an Office and Commissioner accountable to the People of Singapore and not just Parliament. The Commissioner should enjoy the same status as that of a High Court Judge and his decisions must be binding.

We should not tolerate having spouses of Politicians occupy important public service positions where their decisions may be in conflict with the interest of the government or the political party their other half belong to. Neither should we tolerate any instance where a spouse occupies a senior role in a commercial entity, which is awarded a government contract that his/her other half may have influence over. These are but only a few examples of how conflicts of interest may arise.

We need to take active steps to bring about accountability and transparency instead of simply mouthing nice sounding slogans.

 

Lim Tean

 

 

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12 Responses to “Conflicts of interest”

  • Billy ma:

    This saga thoroughly exposed the so far hidden power-play support-rich structure.

    It permeates the entire government system that makes it look so legal & normal.

    But it seem the PAP got caught with its pants down to its ankle.

    Let watch & see how lhl & his cronies conjure up a story for this one.

    Just listen to the ELD explanation & you want to laugh & cry at the same time.

    Long queue because of additional prevention checks & whatnot?

    These people claim that they must be paid $millions because they are the best & brightest. Yet the excuse for the problems can’t be anticipated during planning.

    It’s beyond words that they even don’t feel any shame about what’d happened.

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  • Senior Singapore Citizen:

    The next government, if any, should immediately set up a Presidential Commission of Inquiry to investigate, detect, arrest and charge those culprits who deliberately put themselves or their spouses, relatives, close friends, personal secretaries, personal lawyers, personal accountants, etc into positions of conflict, irrespective of whatever excuses they might have put up before. The definition of “conflict of interests” is to be determined by the Presidential Commission of Inquiry, not by any other Tom, Dick or Harry, or their sons and daughters.

    After that has been done, and all criminals have been punished, then we can talk about setting up a Ethics Commission. The house has to be cleaned first before setting up an organ of state to ensure that the house is clean.

    If those culprits/criminals are still loose in the environment, they are bound to sabotage whatever good intention/deeds the people may wish to set up.

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  • fair is fair - 2 yrs + 2 mths:

    1st, the prosecutor prosecuting liew mun leong maid is the daughter of liew mun leong kaki.

    pap island real life lagi mor teruk than kDrama.

    2nd, the police handling liew mun leong maid case is on the surface very slipshod but in truth is probably on the take from liew mun leong or from prosecutor or from both.

    kDrama plots do not even come close to pap island reality.

    3rd, the pap judge. such incompetence? or promised a lucrative position in CAG Surbana Capitalland?

    in most kDramas, it is any of the above. in pap island, maybe even worse. we don’t know. we are sure no 39% or 61% will ever know if pap dy agc proceeds with the “”" let’s move on it is an honest mistake “”" narrative.

    we have never voted pap. we never will. because of the rot in pap being worse than even the most corrupted themed kDrama.

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  • Ah Ha:

    Noble words….ain’t gonna happen! Not for another 15 to 20 years. Do you for one millisecond think the current government would set up such a department? Do you think they will after winning at least the next if not the next two elections? And who can blame them, they have a two thirds majority, the life breath and heart of the people. How about you speak of some Singaporean with a pair standing up and doing something, that is not going to happen either. How many noble hacks are chasing the Law minister for a quote or his plan of action, none, zero, so many wannabe hacks but not many willing to to do the work. Analyze the the populis and what will you find?

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  • "Own-self check own-self":

    “A new non PAP government in future must set up an independent Office of the Conflicts of Interest headed by an Ethics Commissioner. There is such an Office and Commissioner in Canada which is totally independent and accountable only to the Canadian Parliament and not to the Executive.”

    Lim Team must be dreaming.

    The word “independent” does not exist in PAP’s vocabulary. The Elected President is suppose to be “independent” but only PAP stooges are allowed to hold the post.

    LKY (and PAP) never believed in “independent” or conflict of interest. They want TOTAL control and “fix” those who go against them. They are “opaque” (not open and transparent) so they can hide their mistakes or at least “spin” it. Also the reason there is no REAL accountability in Singapore.

    BOTTOM:LINE Singapore is POLICE STATE (with the world’s highest paid “policemen”) It is a country of FREE-RIDERS, members of PAP (Power And Privilege) party.

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  • Every affair leaves a trail:

    You know mister, Papeconomics is not topmost 4th Crony-capitalist regime in the world foe nothing; it’s blemished by the characteristic demerits of corrupted third-world regimes like Russia, Philippines, Malaysia, India and Indonesia…. nepotism, cronyism, constitutional manipulation, and ahhh swiping peoples lifetime savings through hdb and medisave and what you call that? Minimum retention sum paid out from 65 > 85 years old huh?

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  • SG chinese'ism:

    But sg is at least 70% chinese.

    Chinese are by culture more self preservatory than some other race.

    The self is regarded more at the expense of the society.

    We see more indian sg performimg better in politics despite being a small minority in sg. They dare to speak up more and are thus more articulative.

    We need to rebalance sg population fabric by increasing the ratio of indian sg vs chinese. Malays are ok for now being in the middle. I propose 10% reduction in chinese race and 10% increase in India race. It would be understandable if some ethinically biased would disagree

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  • xoxo:

    Not just conflict of interest; EXTREME AND OPEN conflict of interests is being practised here and with much P.A.P.( Pride,Arrogance, Pomposity)???

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  • Soccerbetting2:

    Reported on Straits Times website :Quote -”Singapore Kitchen Equipment CEO, director on bail amid graft probe

    Singapore Kitchen Equipment said the investigation is ongoing and no charges have been filed against Ms Sally Chua and Mr Alan Lee.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI
    PUBLISHED4 HOURS AGOUPDATED2 HOURS AGO
    FACEBOOKWHATSAPPTWITTER
    SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) – Catalist-listed Singapore Kitchen Equipment said on Sunday night (Sept 13) that its husband-and-wife founders Sally Chua Chwee Choo and Alan Lee Chong Hoe are on bail amid a corruption probe.

    Ms Chua is the group’s executive director and chief executive officer, while Mr Lee is an executive director.

    They are on bail in relation to investigations into offences under Section 6(b) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, the group said in a regulatory update.

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    It added that their passports have been surrendered to the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB).

    Ms Chua, Mr Lee and group senior sales manager Alvin Chiao Shan Ren were interviewed by the CPIB on or about Sept 10 in connection with entertainment expenses and sales commissions relating to certain projects undertaken by Q’son Kitchen Equipment, a wholly-owned subsidiary.

    The group, through Q’son, provides commercial and industrial kitchen solutions for the food and beverage and hospitality services industries. Ms Chua is also the managing director of Q’son.

    Singapore Kitchen Equipment said the investigation is ongoing and no charges have been filed against Ms Chua, Mr Lee and Mr Chiao as at Sunday. Its nominating committee is of the view that the trio remain competent and it would be in the group’s best interests that they continue to discharge their responsibilities and duties in the operation of the group’s businesses.

    Although it is presently not aware of any impropriety or offence committed by Ms Chua, Mr Lee and Mr Chiao, the board said it has appointed solicitors and an independent reviewer to, among other things, review the group’s internal processes and internal controls to further strengthen corporate governance.

    Singapore Kitchen Equipment on Sunday requested to lift a trading halt called on Sept 11. The counter last traded at 9.8 cents on Aug 20…”Unquote .

    Response : Even $1 corruption will be hauled by law to be charged .no charges have been filed against Ms Sally Chua and Mr Alan Lee ??? Just because this is a woman involved in corruption ,so no need charges and no need to send her to jail meh ? Pui !

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  • Ask Wooden Goh:

    Lau Goh said Singapore is unique with exceptional families that can work without conflict of interest.

    Ha. Sure. Everyone in the group work for their common interest.

    xoxo:
    Not just conflict of interest; EXTREME AND OPEN conflict of interests is being practised here and with much P.A.P.( Pride,Arrogance, Pomposity)???

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  • Realistically:

    I recall that 83 year old Tommy Koh Tong Bee aka Prof Tommy Koh of Tembasu College and ambassador at large had long ago called for the establishment of an OMBUDSMAN for deal with complaints about litigants not given a fair hearing/trial.

    He is now more concern about sinkies being 3rd world rather than the judiciary being 1st world. Go figure.

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  • bells and whistles:

    //He is now more concern about sinkies being 3rd world//

    what to do ? while we have all the bells and whistles showcasing 1st world, the culture (soft side) is now getting not so 1st world anymore and quite chat-ba-lang liao ??

    slowly, this will translate into more petty fight, shouts, cutting queue, littering, vandalism, stealing, scams, cheating etc, etc ????

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