In a recent survey conducted by Transparency International, Singapore ranked 8th-least in the world for perceived corruption and this has been met with cynicism from the public and even Singaporeans. Many have questioned the accuracy of the corruption index although Transparency International have stated the ranking is based on “perception” and does not indicate the level of corruption in the country.
Singapore’s current political system is at the core of corruption debate with many pointing to the ruling party and especially the Prime Minister himself. The current Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong is the son of the former dictator Lee Kuan Yew, and despite his lack of athleticism, the effeminate leader actually rose to become a Brigadier General in the Singapore Army.
Lee Hsien Loong also held the chairman position of the country’s sovereign wealth fund company, GIC. His wife, Ho Ching, is the CEO of the other sovereign wealth fund company, Temasek Holdings. His sister, Lee Wei Ling, a director at National Neuroscience Institute. His two sons, Li Hong Yi and Li Hao Yi, are both government scholarship recipients.
The Lee family aside, members of parliament in the ruling party are usually business directors and army personnel – further raising suspicions of deeply-rooted nepotism and corruptions in the Singapore government.
The use of a corrupted judiciary and a corrupted police force to clear corruptions of political leaders is especially rampant in Asia. Just yesterday, Malaysia’s Attorney-General cleared their Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak of corruption.
The Singapore government and its political leaders also often use defamation suits and it’s draconian media control laws and Sedition Act to persecute both individuals and companies. As a result, Singaporeans grew apathetic of civil rights out of fear from the government’s authoritarian powers.