It has been 6 months since the corruption case at the Prime Minister’s ward, Ang Mo Kio GRC Town Council, was revealed to the public but there has been no news from the Corrupt Practice Investigation Bureau (CPIB).
Little details were also made public, there was no description of the alleged corruption – how it took place, how much was involved, who else were implicated, how was the act discovered, how long the period did the manager got away with his act and etc. Everything is shrouded in censorship and state media failed to uncover more than the name, Victor Wong. The case was also announced only a month later in Dec 2016 – where Victor Wong was already replaced with a new general manager.
Swept under carpet for over 6 months now, there was no court hearing nor any update from the police over the corruption case. No thanks to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong that is. Unlike other democracies where corruption bureaus are independent state organs, the Singapore dictator Prime Minister controls the CPIB under his Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).
It is unknown whether PM Lee Hsien Loong himself is under corruption investigation too but this is highly unlikely as proven from Malaysia’s PM Najib Razak’s 1MDB case – the latter fired the entire investigation team when they unraveled evidence pointing to the Malaysian PM.
Town Council corruption aside, it seems PM Lee Hsien Loong has a lot more to hide than official matters. The PM is currently fighting in the High Court with his siblings over distribution rights of the oral transcripts left behind by his father Lee Kuan Yew. The PM’s only two siblings – Lee Hsien Yang and Lee Wei Ling – want to make public the content, but is met with complete opposition by Lee Hsien Loong. It appears the oral transcripts contain remarks that could damage Lee Hsien Loong’s leadership which led the case to the High Court.
Another major secret with Lee Hsien Loong is the amount of national reserves and CPF funds available. The PM went through the trouble of re-writing the country’s Constitution to include a racist clause to ban non-Malays from contesting in the coming Presidential Election. That aside, PM Lee signaled his intention to introduce a new law to over-ride the President’s decision with only a two-third majority in Parliament – an easy feat considering his ruling party take up 83 out of 89 MP seats. All in all, PM Lee Hsien Loong has full access to the national reserves and CPF funds.
Furthermore, Lee Hsien Loong’s second hat as the chairman of GIC and his wife Ho Ching’s CEO position of Temasek Holdings thickens the plot. A series of high profile selloff of national assets like Neptune Orient Line and SMRT Taxis suggests that the regime is cash-strapped. Nobody except Lee Hsien Loong knows of course – not even his trusted cronies like Law Minister K Shanmugam.
Singapore prides itself for non-corruption in South East Asia but it appears that the country is a regulated corruption by itself where corruptions are legalised. While a single party state may not amount to corruption as proven by his father’s administration, Lee Hsien Loong’s governance is exactly the reason why absolute power corrupts.