Are You Corrupt Or Cor-right?

Public officers are sometimes stuck with making difficult choices.

Based on real case studies from the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB), have a go at what you’ll do in these scenarios. Will you make the right moves? Or end up charged in court with corruption?

What really happened:

Melvin agreed to provide Boss J the loan.

While it may seem that Melvin did it to secure his re-employment, investigations by the CPIB showed that this loan was unrelated to the re-employment with no corrupt intent from either party.

As such, neither party was prosecuted. But both were referred to their agency for disciplinary action, as their actions (lending and borrowing money) contravened their agency’s Code of Conduct.

In this case, Boss J was more culpable than Melvin. Boss J was issued with a letter of warning for borrowing money from his direct subordinate without declaring it beforehand. He was also blacklisted for future employment with the agency.

The CPIB says:

Officers may sometimes be stuck in a dilemma on whether to help a colleague with a loan.

This case highlights the ambiguous nature of loans between subordinates and superiors: Is it corruption or just violation of company policy? Remember that loans can constitute a conflict of interest and result in disciplinary action or prosecution.


Stand a chance to win a prize from the CPIB. Answer this quiz and send your replies to with your answers, name and organisation by 7 Sep 2018.

  1. One of the elements of corruption is gratification. What does gratification constitute?
    1. Money, or any gift, loan, fee, reward, commission, valuable security or other valuable property or share in any property.
    2. Any position, duties employment or contract.
    3. Any part or full payment, release from or discharge of any obligation or other liability.
    4. Any other service favour or advantage.
    5. All of the above.

  2. My supervisor suddenly asked me for a loan which according to him is meant for his wife’s hefty medical expenses. In return, he told me that he would give me a good grade for my staff appraisal report. I should:
    1. Agree immediately as the staff appraisal period is round the corner.
    2. Agree to lend him as I am afraid to offend him.
    3. Reject him because I do not have the money.
    4. Reject and report the matter to the CPIB or police at the earliest opportunity as it may constitute a corrupt act.
    Aug 2, 2018
    Siti Maziah Masramli
    Brenda Lim
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