The global resolution that Keppel Offshore & Marine (KOM) reached with the authorities in the United States, Brazil and Singapore over a corruption scandal achieved far more than if the matter was prosecuted only under Singapore laws alone, Senior Minister of State for Law Indranee Rajah told Parliament.
She also stressed that the Government does not condone corruption by Singaporeans or Singapore companies overseas, and expects them to comply with the laws of the countries.
She added that they cannot lower their standards abroad even in complex business environments, and more importantly, they must not bring these practices back to Singapore.
Ms Indranee was responding on Monday (Jan 8) to MPs who asked about the corruption scandal involving the unit of Singapore-listed Keppel Corp.
The government-linked conglomerate’s offshore and marine unit had reached an unprecedented global resolution with the authorities in the United States, Brazil and Singapore on corrupt payments totalling US$55 million made by a former Keppel agent in Brazil.
Ms Indranee said in response to a question by Workers’ Party MP Sylvia Lim (Aljunied GRC) that the unit under Keppel Corp was not let off lightly, noting that it gave US$55 million in bribes and was punished with a penalty of US$422 million.
KOM employees are also still being investigated by the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB), and the public prosecutor will determine whether to prosecute them after investigations are completed.
Ms Lim had said there was the perception that KOM was being let off with just a slap on the wrist as the company was given a conditional warning in lieu of prosecution by CPIB and the Attorney-General’s Chambers.
To this, Ms Indranee said there was no doubt about CPIB’s record in taking action against individuals regardless of their status.
She named government officials and politicians as well as senior management of government-linked companies who have been investigated and charged in the past, including seven senior management members of ST Marine, one-time National Kidney Foundation chief executive T.T. Durai, former civil defence chief Peter Lim, and the late National Development Minister Teh Cheang Wan, who took his life while investigations were going on.