A Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) welfare officer stole S$343,480 welfare fund meant for the low income over 4 years undetected in the Ministry. 33-year-old Chia Kwang Hwee corrupted the funds meant for ComCare recipients between 2011 and 2014. His act was only discovered when a ComCare recipient complained that he did not receive any assistance.
Chia Kwang Hwee created two bank accounts, one belonging to him, for fund disbursement of 42 recipients. The total amount siphoned over 4 years is S$343,480 and he used the money to buy luxury goods and services, and his S$14,000 debt. He is currently on a S$100,000 bail with his passport confiscated.
It is unknown why the corruption took over 4 years to be detected, but the incident highlighted the lack of accountability and transparency behind payments of welfare assistance. MSF Minister Tan Chuan Jin is unable to explain why his ministry could not detect the act earlier, and only lamented on his Facebook page saying “Control measures can only go so far.” There is also no mention if the amount owing to the rightful recipients will be compensated.