Keppel Corp bribe tarnishes Singapore’s squeaky-clean image says Hong Kong paper

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Keppel Corp’s bribe tarnishes Singapore’s squeaky-clean image says Hong Kong paperThe South China Morning Post or SCMP made the Keppel Corp scandal its main, breaking story today saying “Singapore Inc” will have to face tough questions in 2018 on their commitment to the Lion City’s vaunted anti-corruption ethos.

It cited several issues that have already raised worries over whether the Lion City was slipping in its intolerance for graft, saying the country’s squeaky-clean image is under fire.

“The country’s squeaky-clean image, buttressed by its high rankings in international anti-corruption indices, had already taken a beating when Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in July was forced to emphatically refute allegations of nepotism and abuse of power levelled by his own siblings,” wrote SCMP.

It said the oil rig builder Keppel Corp scandal came as a shock while the public comes to grips with the graft scandal.

One political observer went as far as to describe 2017 as “annus horribilis” for the city state’s corporate sector, said SCMP.

That sentiment echoed the hand-wringing among government critics that followed last week’s announcement by US prosecutors that Keppel’s offshore and marine arm, Keppel O&M, agreed to pay a US$422 million settlement to avoid a criminal trial for bribing Brazilian officials.

SCMP said a series of corporate scandals in Singapore have put the pressure on Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

Keppel O&M’s US$55 million topped the nearly US$19 million in bribes that were involved at a scandal at state-linked shipbuilder Singapore Technologies Marine, making it the biggest corruption case to hit one of the so-called Singapore Inc companies linked to state sovereign wealth firm Temasek Holdings.

Local political observer Eugene Tan said the latest case raised “serious questions about the Singapore corporate sector’s commitment to anti-corruption and ethical business dealings.”

“Given the scale and the length of illicit dealings, it raises legitimate questions of corporate governance, board leadership, and stewardship,” said Tan, a law professor at the Singapore Management University.

“The scandal caps a year where Singapore’s branding, reputation, and integrity have been negatively impacted. 2017 has been Singapore’s annus horribilis.”


  1. Yeah its “Anus Horrible” 2017 for the plebian folks, wat with all the tax increases and rampant corruption cases. For the white elites, 2017 is “Absurdly Huat” big time year..all cleared of charges ownself declare ownsellf big bonuses year.

  2. Many more unaccounted for…frm PA..SLA..SMRT…other stat board..
    contracts given to own supported..just like recently construction flyover accident..own grassroots leader awarded job n safety lapse resulting in 2 death.Now they stop the work n probably this grassroot leader will go bust.

  3. last similar case india’s weapon purchase involving a similar glc, but this is an isolated one bcoz one idiot used his own millionssssss for under table bribe to benefit contract deals to somebody’s company w/o approval and top also not made known! Sg should select this one as our real E.P. and national hero. Ex-emperor must also be resurrected to give him the well deserved lifetime award!

  4. This is the fact

    Wake up Malaysia, it’s the same government that has been managing our economy and ringgit downward.

    *The Falling Rinnggit (Rate on Feb 27)*
    2017 : S$1 = *RM3.16*
    2016 : S$1 = *RM2.99*
    2015 : S$1 = *RM2.65*
    2013 : S$1 = *RM2.50*
    2009 : S$1 = *RM2.38*
    2005 : S$1 = *RM2.32*
    2001 : S$1 = *RM2.18*
    1996 : S$1 = *RM1.85*
    1992 : S$1 = *RM1.59*
    1987 : S$1 = *RM1.18*
    1983 : S$1 = *RM1.10*
    1978 : S$1 = *RM1.04*
    1973 : S$1 = *RM1.03*
    1965 : S$1 = *RM1.00*
    (Before *1965* same currency)

    1985 : US$1 = *S$2.31*
    2017 : US$1 = *S$1.40*

    1978 : US$1 = *RM2.10*
    2017 : US$1 = *RM4.40*

    And Malaysian are blind to the fact that *the ‘Financial’ Management of the country is rotten!*

    • Malaysia hospital is recycling devices and also left defective medical devices unrepaired due to lack of budget. Thank God, this thing can never happen with PAP’s government .

    • Economy good doesn’t means Singapore has a good Govt. You guys only see things one sided. I am telling you guys the truth Anyway, I am not a MACAI, BN or even DAP supporter but a true blue Singaporean so you guys don’t need to do any name calling.

    • As objective as possible, what is your definition of not good government?

      Am quite curious on what leadership in the world are you comparing with to draw your conclusion .

    • How about one of the best if not the best education system in the world.

      How about very high % of home ownership where many graduates in HK, China, Malaysia, South Korea, Taiwan cannot even afford unless they are willing to stay at the country side .

      How many cities are as safe as Singapore where you can walk in wee hours at any corner of Singapore

      Just to name a few.

    • Oh, the Sing Dollar is so strong. But the prices of our goods have gone through the roof. (We import almost everything.) As a pioneer, I am shocked to see the cost of a tin of baby’s milk. Many, over $100-. And the thousands who cross the Causeway each week end to buy supplies.

    • Have you heard of many business complaint about lacking of many skilled workers that they have to cease many business expansion and opportunities. Do you know what make US and silicon valley a place of high tech innovation? It is the gathering of multitudes of foreign talent that make it possible and in the process, create more job opportunities for the local US citizens.

    • Bro James, what you mean by Singapore education just create robot?
      Singapore score the highest in Science and Maths in the world.
      Our 2 local University is reaching Top 10 in the world.

      Bro James WengHoong Lam, please be more precise and elaborative in putting your point across instead of using a general non definitive statement such as robot or not good government

    • By the way, bro James WengHoong Lam, you have not answered my question on what government model that you aspire ours to be as you seem to be so disatisfied with the existing system.

    • James, it is quite true u said that education system in this country creates students lack of critical thinking skills n no doubt that the students scores highly in Maths n science but compared to Taiwanese n the South Korean students, they managed to produce Brand such as Acer n LG which is used in plenty of the countries

    • My dear bro William Hidajat , is excellent creative education the main domineering factor in determining the potential of developing a national brand.

      You have to understand such thing as economy of scale. The Jews being the most intelligently gifted in the world that produces upto a quarter of Nobel prize winner do not have many known national brands as it requires a large domestic market before it be realistically compete in the world. We did best at competing in our physical constraint by being excel in many areas such as, financial sector, petrol processing sector, life science sector, water technology, military hardware manufacturing, and many othees

      Bro William Hidajat. It begs me the very fundamental question of what are you so very disatisfied with PAP that you are even willing to pick bones on an education system that has been recognised as the World BEST.

      Please do not skirt around the main issue of what areas that PAP is falling behind as compared to the very very Best in the world.

      Bro William, what government are you admiring now. Najib, South Korea, Indonesia , US, China, African, Arab, Western and Eastern Europe.

    • Bro William, which developed western countries can even compete with Singapore by proving a very high home ownership in the CITY. How many developed western countries can provide a safe and secure environment where you small child can wonder around in the wee hours at night without being mugged or kidnap.
      How many countries can afford you to drink directly from the Tap.
      How many huge and big western countries have even higher Foreign reserves that a small punny Nation of Singapore.
      When you return from holidays abroad, do you feel a sense of National pride and security by just comparing the standard of our airports.

      Bro, it amazes me of what causes you to be so inappropriate and ungrateful of what the PAP had done.

    • Bro William, each time you spend in Malaysia , have you ever feel great and appreciative of the power of our currency.

      Are you feeling glad that we do not have to physically travel to Johor everyday to get a better pay for our family.

      So please enlighten me on what is your motivation of getting so angry with the PAP

    • James, NS is a necessary policy as this country cannot afford a large military but somehow the males definitely feel disadvantaged having to sacrifice 2 years of their youth. Last time full time NS was 2.5 years but think about it, this country has no enemies whereas full time NS in Taiwan n South Korea was only 2 years n they also faced potential conflict.

    • Keppel corruption case has given this country a bad reputation but unfortunately the environment the company is operating in is quite complex n they have no choice. The funny thing some chose to deny allegations

    • I travelled to several places like Taiwan n also HK which r on the same par with this country, thing surprise me about HK that there is no GST, this could b the reason tourist esp those from China went there to shop. I went out at night but I felt quite safe.

    • Bro, tell me which country do not have similar Keppel reputation. Even our WP is being shared by its own auditor for just managing a town council in a relatively short time. If it is to ever manage on a bigger scale, I can only imagine there will be multitudes of Keppel situation on a daily basis.

      Bro William, do you prefer the living conditions in Taiwan with harsh conditions for young competent graduate couples to own a home. Bro, Ive relatives and friends in both Taiwan and Hong Kong who has lamented about the deteriorating security conditions (not as bad as in Malaysia) where gangster and triad are still abound. You sure you got the right into about security situation in these countries. Pls reverify your sources again.

      Bro William , do you know that the graduates in Taiwan are getting lowest pay than even their predecessors that they are struggling to even actually save for buying houses.

      The escalating cost of renting renting in Taiwan, HK, China and Korea is bitting very hard on the pockets of the graduate couples. So the issue of GST is not relevant at all if the main dream of owning a home and a secure environment cannot be fulfilled.

    • Bro, I have friends who work in China and friends who travel quite often with untold stories of many swindle, scam, threats to petty theft. I will take your good experiences in China as a good piece of lucky star that shine on you during your visit.

    • Bro, you ok with an exceptional high pecentage no of unemployed Chinese graduates in China. You will be shocking to know the % by just to a simlple verification in the NET.

    • Quite true that Taiwanese grads face lowest salary compared to the this country counterparts. Triads do not go around terrorising pple in public but this country also has secret society n some pple have been killed just like the case of the victim in East Coast, look at the no of perpetrators caught in the petrol station murder case, some were caught in this country. Strange no of pple going to seek jobs to HK is quite high

    • Bro William, I’m quite amaze at the level of disgruntled effort on our education with the no of accolades that we have for a country of such small scale to achieve a height that is an envy of many developed countries.

    • Bro I am equally shock by the many shocking revelation bought about by the US justice department t against their own senators and officials for corruption and sexual misconducts

    • Bro are you aware of the fact that our ITE, Diploma and local university are well sight after and recognised in very country and top listed Companies. You mean you are still trying to pick a bone and sow petty discord on our well recognised education system

    • Bro, you have not answered my question of whether you will want your graduate generation to struggle to buy a home as in other major developed cities or to have a guaranteed well developed public housing.

    • Bro are you not satisfied that almost all our younger generations are able to find a jobs they match their qualifications as compared to many jobless graduates in other developed cities.

    • Bro are you ok to give a sweeping statement to compare Singapore securities with China when you must have heard or seen the numerous atrocious glaring blantant reports of insecurity in China.

    • Definition should b like Seoul or HK. At least the US is more daring to reveal about the senator committing of crimes whereas in the case of Keppel, the case has bribery has been ongoing for a decade.

    • Bro William, you can easily get the prove of our local pay from the Net. In fact just by observing around your colleagues, friends and acquaintances. Can you actually find any unemployed graduates or getting meagre salary. Let me quite you an example , my nephew engineer fresh graduate got a job within 1 month with $3,400 salary and my colleague diploma graduate got his job within 2 months for $2,200

    • Bro, tell me do you prefer for your children to strive in Korea education that can produce renown works renown products but are most likely be living in rental flats due to the absence of affordable public housing with rental cost making a big portion of their expenses

    • I believe that Korean products have penetrated into every corner of the world just like US but their education system is tougher than ours. There is a documentary which showed students from Britain going to stay in Korea to attend schools n surprisingly, the students from Britain what they learned in A level back in their country has been taught in the Korea lesson. This country definitely need to b like Seoul

    • Bro, for all your dusrunt about Singapore System. You have not answered the question on which government or countries that you aspire our country to emulate.

      Do you prefer your children to receive their education in South Korea that can produce national cars and TV

    • Emulate just like South Korea 100% no doubt about it. The citizen of this country still have to wait for flats n whereas Seoul housing is still expensive, they still have choice to move to rural part of the country but not for The youngsters in this country

    • Bro, you have rightly say so. Which city in the universe can accord the resident with such a high rate of resident home ownership in the CITY. Can you imagine that my staff with a family income of less than 3 K can afford a home. In Malaysia, a household income of $10 k can’t even afford a cheap condo.

      What say you if you need to own a home at Malacca for daily commute ti Shenton way taking assumption that there is sufficient income to purchase that private property in Malacca. Don’t you think it will be an envy of the South Koreans, Chinese and HK that All Singaporeans can easily own an affordable homes thru excellent world’s unique public housing scheme with equally excellent amenities and transport in a city country of Singapore?

      Bro, your continue display of discontentment and disapproval of our renowned education and world class public housing system speak volume of your characters of ingratitude. Is this the values that you proudly hold that you will want to pass it to your next generations

    • Bro, have you spare a thought of why many Malaysian parents are willing to get their children to make the daily arduous task of travelling to Singapore for their education.

    • Bro do you know why many Malaysians are travelling daily to Singapore to work and not other way round.

      The strength of our currency is not a God given right but is due to the dedication of a collection group of competent leadership

    • Bro, since Singapore and HK are similar in many ways. Do you want your children to live in HK and struggling to pay rent instead of using their income to purchase a home?

    • The implementation of stamp duty on the sale n purchase of properties is an indication that prices of the HDB flat have skyrocketed. Khaw BW deserved all the praise for maintaining the stability of price

  5. Have we become so inept at intetnational affairs that we are caught with pants down when we try to do business with 3rd world countries.
    Am so certain Sg is not the only one giving bribes away in Rio.

    • Wonder what happen to the best of the best thinkers members of the responsible Gov. agencies were doing while all these less than normal business practices were happening under their watch ?
      Especially what were those agencies that are responsible for up keeping the squeaky clean image of our country doing to have allow such serious lapses to happen in the business organization of our country?
      This is serious matter that affect our Country good reputation and standings built up in the past years since independent day under the late PM LKY and it must not be tarnished by some irresponsible game players in the corporate owned by the country!!
      A public hearing should be in the order to get to the root of the problem ! Set our Country back on the zero tolerance corrupt free nation track !!!
      Our country’s past 50years of hard work and diligent to keep out corruption must not be tarnished by some top corporate honcho’s bad decision , God forbid!!!

  6. This case is the high profile one, what about awarding construction contracts to their own pple, potong pasir committee members when their firm is blacklisted for their safety records and resulted in death of workers when the viaduct collapsed. Isn’t that corruption already?!!! Yishun Lee award govt contracts to her own company?!!! And the list goes on!!! No corruption? Ya right!!!!

  7. WTF .. It would be like the AIM case – Keppel will be allowed/asked to conduct its own investigations, act blur for 6 months and then Keppel say own investigations show ‘no lapses’. AGC will readily accept their findings, tell Singaporeans “Let’s move on, other more important things to do” & refocus on hammering LSW.
    Tai-Chi .

  8. Yes this island is stagnant as a country now. Nothing is smooth sailing for the island state. No potential new big investments or pull factor right now. Things are getting expensive as there are no new foreign investments so the money has to come from the people working and living in this island state. Good luck.

    • So far, the Government is silent. Today, we have 3 employees of SMRT Trains accused of cheating their Company. A tragic year. One too many, and each over period of years, undetected. Kepple Club, Co-Operative, both fresh in our memory. After a splash in the MSM, nothing further is said thereafter. Sweeps all under the carpet. We fear for our Country, under the current leadership.

  9. Haha…OWNSELF CHECK OWNSELF. What do U expect??? Using their power… Under these current bunches…they are destroying n sinking S’PORE n destroying the life n future of the LOCAL BREEDS. Also down to 154th, which is the REAL N FAKE NEWS??

    • There is no possibility that corrupt practice will cease but once a corrupt case has been brought to light, there need to b an effort to inform the public aka taxpayers how the case is being handled

  10. Singapore is well known for its squeaky dirty dealings overseas. Only the Citizens are fed with distorted and half-truth news by their Mouth pieces.The News papers and the TV Media.

  11. The crux of the problem Singapore leaders and PAP painted a ‘ultra clean n incorruptible’ image on how it conduct itself but the ‘going-on’s’ are far from it. There is no way, mega contracts for oil rigs, commercial aircrafts, turbine power generators, etc do not involved ‘kick-backs’…Taiwanese Defense purchase of warships involved massive corruption despite EU Law that forbids it. Same with US companies ie: GE, Boeing, etc., US Law forbids but proxies are used. Keppel or Sembawang could not have won so many contracts merely on competitive pricing or technical advantages – only a naive person would believe that. I now wonder how clean and incorruptible are the CEOs or Chairmen of our GLC or government bodies are!

    • Not being cynical with corporate honchos & gov leaders ……..they espouse the importance and adherent to good governance , spew great virtue about compliant , practice of diligence but absolve themselves from doing likewise!!! thats how great all these CEO and their lackeys are good at and to rub salt into wound , they think of all reasons to short change lower rung employee through various means via the channel of HR!
      HRs these days are ppl in the pockets of all these lackeys of corporate honchos!!!!

    • Brunei has oil. Therefore, they hardly get into the world’s politics unless Joint Venture with the most idiotically supposungly self declared “clean”. Usually such declaration isnt….

  12. Does this website knows that Jack Ma is using SCMP for the party or those he is beholden to ? Does this website knows SCMP has been infiltrated by the Chinese security agencies ?

  13. its a problem that we need to address aggressively. but people who jump to scmp about anything negative related to singapore must also keep in mind that scmp’s position is politically loaded. afterall, hk views singapore as one of the primary threats to their position.

  14. LHL owns the people lots of explanation. The world is watching closely. So many dramas been played. The family feuds, the SMRT breaks down, the Keppel, the disputes with China, President selection….etc.

  15. Why don’t SCMP publish business ties of Xi and the new leaders ? Because it is no longer independent. But us owned by Jack Ma. And useful to investigate the proxies.

  16. And I see pple are so happy clapping,dancing,eating buffets presented by the grassroot committee ignoring the true facts of this country is heading south wards with the current leaders.heard n seen nothing much of the ever famous Daryl david from amk.just another backdoor MP.

  17. This is the time that the president can/should step in to ask for a full report of what’s going on and show her leadership in handling issues concerning the public coffers. Which is precisely her job besides looking stately at official functions and earning millions a year. If she doesn’t do that, then it’ll be quite obvious what she’s put there for.

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