Will You Be Bribed Or Be 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?

Will you be tempted by bribes, or make the right choices?

Public officer Marly* (not her real name) had the responsibility to check and inspect premises leased out by her organisation. Her task: to ensure that tenants comply with the terms of their lease, and follow local laws and regulations.

She discovered that several foreign worker dormitories, managed by owner Mike, were already housing workers despite not having received all the required approvals.

At the same time, Mike learned that Marly had racked up debts from overspending on credit card bills. Marly had also shared that she was desperate to get money for her daughter’s university education.

What really happened:

Marly and Mike agreed that if Marly did not report Mike’s non-compliance, Mike would loan her a substantial amount of money. Over several years, Marly received S$31,500 from Mike and tried to get $5,000 more.

Marly was eventually convicted. She was sentenced to a total of eight month’s imprisonment and ordered to pay an additional penalty, which is the sum equal to the bribe amount.

Mike had also pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment for corruption.

The CPIB says:

This case shows that officers who face debts or other financial struggles are vulnerable to bribes. Although they have personal troubles, this should not compromise their official work duties. Officers in need should seek alternative avenues for help.


Stand a chance to win a prize from the CPIB. Answer this quiz and send your replies to CPIB_Event@cpib.gov.sg 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 3, 2018
    Siti Maziah Masramli
    Brenda Lim
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