In a country that is well known for its clean incorruptible image, it is surprising to learn that a Singapore immigration official was charged for accepting sexual favours from women in exchange for visa extensions.
Naughty, naughty, indeed.
Chin Peng Sum, 51, was slapped with 33 charges, 13 of which are wrongful communication of information under the Official Secrets Act, and four counts of corruptly accepting sexual gratification under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
Singapore’s The Straits Times reported that Chin received some ‘favours’ from Chinese nationals Zhu Shirong and Wang Chenghong last year, in exchange for recommending that their Special Pass visas be extended.
Chin is expected back in court on October 25, with bail set at US$3660.
Chin’s not the only one in trouble – the staff sergeant with the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority was also charged with obstruction of justice for deleting incriminatory text messages exchanged between him and the individuals he warned of impending raids.
Needless to say, in Singapore, “It is a serious offence for public officers to act in their own interests and use their position to solicit corrupt benefits,” says the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB).
“Singapore adopts a zero-tolerance approach towards corruption. The CPIB takes a serious view of any corrupt practices and will not hesitate to take action against any party involved in such acts,” it adds.
It’s not known what his punishment will be yet, but it sounds like he’s landed himself in some rather serious trouble.
If this is any indication of how high a standard civil servants are held to, Singapore has one of the highest civil servant salaries in the world at US$41,000 a year, with an annual bonus linked to the country’s economic performance that year.
Singapore is ranked as among the least corrupt countries in the world, but as the old saying goes – ‘A few bad apples can spoil the bunch’.
Source: South China Morning Post, The Straits Times