Corruption is defined as a ‘perversion of a person’s integrity in the performance of (especially official or public) duty or work by bribery, etc.. Corrupt practices can occur during any affair or transaction.  It Is important to eradicate corruption as they pose as issues for any entity, especially a country, to function.

It is important for any country to ensure its ethical practices and management, in order to build trust and credibility, internally and externally in relations with other countries. A means to achieve this would be through diligent monitoring. Singapore utilises many different frameworks and means for this, one of which by the adherence and implementation of a statute focused on prevention of corruption (referred to as the “Prevention of Corruption Act 1960”).

The Law’s stance on determining Corruption within Singapore

  1. Acceptance of an act of gratification

The first element necessary to determine corruption would be the physical act of accepting an act of gratification. ‘Gratification’ is defined in the Act as being a list that not only includes money, gifts, loans, but property, employment, service, or a promise of any gratification, and more.

The action of the offence is then complete even if the recipient had not shown favour to the giver at any point.

The intention of the giver is paramount, as the context of the gift would be assessed in Court to determine if corruption had occurred. Here, the Court looks to other material facts and more.

  • Gift being an inducement or reward

Secondly, there needs to be evidence that the gift was given as an inducement or reward, with the intention to procure or receive a benefit. This leads the Court to analyse the relationship between the gratification itself and the intention of the act of gratification.

Typically, the second and third elements are analysed together, as part of the same factual enquiry.

  • Objective corrupt intent

There needs to be an objective corrupt intention, with it being present throughout the entirety of the transaction. It is not enough to simply have the purpose of gratification to cause the recipient to provide a benefit to the giver. At this juncture, the Court looks to whether the recipient believed that the goal was to achieve a dishonest gain or advantage. There must be dishonesty present. Dishonesty further enhances the corrupt action of accepting gratification.

Typically, the second and third elements are analysed together, as part of the same factual enquiry.

  • The recipient had accepted the gratification with guilty knowledge

The recipient had to have awareness that the advantage gained was corrupt. For this, the Court utilises a subjective test based on the material facts of the case to determine requisite guilty knowledge.

However, weight should be on the aforementioned three elements establishing the objective standards of corruption should still be applicable equally to parties within a case.

Reporting Corruption

The possible actions to take in order to effectively report a case of corruption are as follows:-

Lodging a Corruption Report: In Singapore, the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (“CPIB”) is the agency responsible for the investigation and prosecution of fraud and corruption cases. You can choose to lodge a report to the CPIB through an e-complaint, personally heading down, writing to, emailing, faxing, or calling them. More details are available within their website.

Engaging a Lawyer: Where you might require more advice and consultancy about your case and the legal procedures, it is ideal to consult a lawyer for guidance and representation. Mr Amarjit Singh Sidhu of Amarjit Sidhu Law Corporation has represented numerous clients in a wide variety of matters over the years, from traffic offences to high-profile criminal cases – to family and divorce matters. With a vast knowledge of Singapore’s laws and wealth of experience, Mr Amarjit Singh Sidhu will be able to provide valuable and timely advice for your situation. For more information, feel free to contact us for a consultation.

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