SINGAPORE: Replying to a question from Member of Parliament (MP) for Aljunied GRC Sylvia Lim on the risk of corruption in the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF), Senior Minister of State for Defence Chan Chun Sing said MINDEF, like the rest of the government has a zero tolerance policy towards corruption.
He said Singapore’s defence procurement process is widely recognised to be of the highest standards.
Ms Sylvia Lim had commented on Singapore getting a "D+" rating in a Transparency International (TI) report.
"In political oversight, TI even singles out our defence supply committee as being provided with minimal information to guide decision—making. I think we should continue to review how much more information about MINDEF’s spending can be shared with parliamentarians and the general public to reduce corruption risk. Australia and Germany managed to be graded "A", and the USA was graded "B" even though arguably, they have equally compelling security concerns about transparency. Can we be a bit more transparent?
"It is interesting that every now and then, international publications such as Jane’s Defence reviews make revelations about specific purchases of military hardware by the SAF, and yet we seem to survive the disclosure. Has the government closed its mind on the issue? Or is it studying how the MINDEF can move towards more oversight to minimise corruption risk?"
Mr Chan said: "Suppliers know that MINDEF has high expectations and that we drive a hard bargain when it comes to pricing. We have also been described as a "reference customer"— that means that when Singapore buys a platform, it sets a benchmark for cost effectiveness of that platform. We have studied the TI report in detail and will decide where more information can be released, so long as it does not compromise our security goals. We are confident that our current systems and processes to guard against corruption remain robust. Nevertheless, we will regularly view our processes to ensure that we remain corruption free."
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