When questioned in Parliament why did Keppel got away with only a conditional warning for corruption, Senior Minister of State for Finance and Law Indranee Rajah defended the state-owned company saying Singapore “cannot be a global policeman”. The illogical response justified the corruption saying Singapore companies should be clean “as a matter of principles”:
“The Government is extremely disappointed with the conduct of Keppel Corp… (But) We cannot be a global policeman. Singapore companies have to operate in all kinds of environments. Still, as a matter of principle, they are expected to keep their systems clean, and they cannot lower their own standards of integrity.”
The PAP Minister also claimed that Keppel has been heavily punished and told Singaporeans to have blind trust in the CPIB under the Prime Minister’s Office:
“As far as the company is concerned, it was a heavy price to pay given that the total penalty was almost eight times the bribes which the KOM paid…In the case of the KOM scandal, its employees are still being investigated by the CPIB, and the Public Prosecutor will determine whether to prosecute them after investigations are completed. Irrespective of status, senior corporate figures, politicians and government officials have been brought to task for corruption in the past. There is no doubt about CPIB’s record.”
Minister Indranee Rajah also lied that Keppel’s US$422 million fines have no impact on investment returns for the government. Contradicting herself in the same statement, Minister Indranee Rajah admitted that Temasek Holdings have 20% stake and insisted that investment returns are not affected:
“Keppel will have to pay the fine, and there will be no impact on the Government’s fiscal position. Temasek holds a stake of about 20 per cent in Keppel. It does not interfere in the business decisions or operations of its portfolio companies.”
The current chairman of Keppel is Lee Boon Yang, a former PAP Minister.