SERGEANT Samuel Anandaraj Anthonyraj was drawing a salary of $2,800 a month from the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) when he was offered a $1,000 bribe by a drunk driver last year.
The man had slammed his car into a taxi at the junction of Upper Serangoon Road and Hougang Avenue 3, and wanted to leave before the police arrived.
He took out a $1,000 bill and signalled to Sgt Samuel to "close" the case. But the off-duty officer from Sengkang Fire Station, who had witnessed the accident, stopped him from leaving.
Sgt Samuel, 29, told The Straits Times: "It was a lot of money... but as an individual, you must do the right thing."
His actions led Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to cite him as an "exemplary officer" yesterday at a conference on maintaining integrity in the public service, organised by the Civil Service College and held at Suntec City Convention Centre.
Another role model honoured by Mr Lee was police sergeant Goh Wee Kian.
Last year, a foreign woman detained in Geylang for vice activities shoved her handbag at the officer from the Criminal Investigation Department, offering him all the money in it. He reported her to his superiors. "I felt offended," said Sergeant Goh, 27, yesterday. "Do I look like someone who would take the money?"
Both men said recent cases of corruption involving public servants were demoralising. The SCDF and the police were hit by corruption scandals in 2012 involving two top officers. One was acquitted, while the other was found guilty and jailed.
Said Sgt Goh: "The public may think we are all corrupt."
Sgt Samuel said the cases served as a wake-up call: "They remind us not to go there. But we also have to move forward and put it all behind us."
This article was first published on January 14, 2015.
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