...Government action against corruption ineffective

As what said by 31 per cent of the 1,000 respondents here. Ouch. That hurts. Sure overall, Singapore was placed in the second-best tier of countries when it came to prevalence of petty bribery. Then again...

Singapore has done relatively well in the latest annual bellwether survey on anti-corruption by global civil society organisation Transparency International but some results of the survey, which was conducted online here, raised eyebrows among those whom MediaCorp contacted.

The 2010 Global Corruption Barometer - a public opinion survey done in 86 countries - found that overall, Singapore was placed in the second-best tier of countries when it came to prevalence of petty bribery.

Just nine per cent of those polled here said they had experienced such incidents.

But when asked to assess government action against corruption, 31 per cent of the 1,000 respondents here said these actions were ineffective, 40 per cent were undecided and 29 per cent said they were effective.

Commenting on the survey, Institute of Policy Studies senior research fellow Gillian Koh noted that citizens in some Western developed countries had a higher belief in the effectiveness of their governments' actions.

"While we do read about cases being prosecuted, perhaps the public might benefit from having more information on how the cases were uncovered in the first place," she said.

When contacted, GPC deputy chairman (Home Affairs and Law) Hri Kumar Nair reiterated that the majority of Singaporeans do think that government actions against corruption are successful and that the online survey may not paint an accurate picture.

Among 11 institutions picked for the poll, the media here were perceived to be the most affected by corruption.

But Singapore Management University law lecturer Eugene Tan said he felt that the difference in scores between institutions was too small to be meaningful and that the poll did not explain why the media was ranked lower.

GPC deputy chairman (Information, Communications and the Arts) Baey Yam Keng added: "The online survey might have attracted certain profiles, perhaps people who do not rely on the mainstream media (for news) ... that could be something when digesting this information."

From Channel NewsAsia, "Singapore does well in global corruption survey but...".

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