Helen Clark - S'pore lauded for efforts to fight graft

Mar 14, 2012

Wednesday, Mar 14, 2012

SINGAPORE'S exemplary efforts in fighting corruption to build an effective public administration are something which many countries can learn from, said Ms Helen Clark, administrator of the United Nations (UN) Development Programme.

Addressing a 200-strong audience at the Singapore Lecture, the former prime minister of New Zealand said these have enabled the Government to build a merit-based public service which "remains one of the world's most effective to this day".

Ms Clark had been invited to speak about the importance of governance for sustainable development at the event, held at the Raffles City Convention Centre.

The talk was organised by the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies and chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam.

Ms Clark said: "The story of how Singapore was transformed from a city where corruption was rife at the time of independence to one of the least corrupt places in the world is a remarkable one.

"It started from an understanding that Singapore's development strategy required the attraction of foreign investment, which, in turn, depended on having a clean government."

She added that "a solid and unwavering political commitment to tackle corruption" was built on that foundation.

Ms Clark also lauded the efforts of the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau and the solid legal framework here, which "played a vital role".

In his opening speech, Mr Tharman said that sustainable development is a "timely but complex" topic as it cuts across economic, social and environmental issues.

He added: "It is a universal concern which has serious implications on future generations."

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