Government comments

SINGAPORE - About one in five cases opened by the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) over the past five years involved public officers, Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean has revealed.

On average, there were 39 cases each year, and about two thirds of such cases led to prosecution or disciplinary proceedings, he said in a statement issued by the Prime Minister's Office yesterday.

The findings, which came from a study conducted by the police's Commercial Affairs Department and the CPIB, showed that the number of graft cases involving public officers has "remained low and quite stable over the last five years", said Mr Teo.

His comments came after a CPIB officer was charged with misappropriating $1.7 million of public funds.

Acknowledging public concern over recent high-profile cases involving public officers, he stressed that it is "vital" to have systems and practices in place to ensure integrity in the public service.

Minister for Law K. Shanmugam, who spoke to reporters at the Supreme Court yesterday, said that if the allegations against the CPIB officer are true, the Government will have to deal with the matter "decisively and firmly".

"What we need to do is always be vigilant, be on top of it, and...make sure this doesn't become the cancer that spreads right through," he said.

Get My Paper for more stories.