MARUAH issues a stern statement on Keppel corruption case


The following is a statement from Maruah

We refer to the TODAY article (Keppel O&M corruption case a black eye for Singapore Inc., 27 Dec 2017) and wish to highlight the negative effects of Keppel Offshore & Marine’s (KOM) corrupt practices on human rights and development.

Based on details released by the US Department of Justice, KOM paid US$55 million in bribes to Brazilian state-owned oil company Petrobras, Sete Brasil and to Partido dos Trabalhadores (PT), the then-governing political party in Brazil. But it now has to pay a fine of US$422.2 million, as part of a global resolution with the authorities in United States, Brazil and Singapore, and it has also taken disciplinary action against 17 current and former employees.

Meanwhile, in Brazil, former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva was recently sentenced to nearly 10 years jail for corruption, as part of a huge ongoing corruption investigation involving companies overcharging Petrobras via cartels, then bribing Petrobras officials who facilitated such contracts, who in turn paid bribes to politicians, who retained those Petrobras officials.

MARUAH is deeply disturbed at the blatant corruption of KOM, disregarding its own history, Singapore’s long-held stance against corruption, Keppel’s own ineptitude as a company to maintain a business and human rights role model practice, as a government-linked multi-national company.

We are also bewildered with the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC), on two counts: that the AGC issued only a conditional warning to KOM, on a corruption scandal of this scale, based on fact that KOM is cooperating with US investigations and that its subsidiary company had pleaded guilty to violations; secondly what then entails local prosecution when a Singapore-based or Singapore-owned company bribes in other countries, to gain business opportunities.

It is disappointing that a government-linked company carried out such corrupt practices, violating the core principles of transparency, accountability, and non-discrimination, and contributing part of the damage to the people of Brazil. Human rights are inseparable and interdependent, the consequences of corruption are multi-faceted and impact on all human rights; civil, political, economic, social and cultural, as well as the right to development, as can be seen in Brazil’s poor development status, a result of years of corruption.

We urge our government to approach corruption as a systemic problem rather than a problem of individuals or errant companies. We need to incentivise companies to follow the guidelines of the Corrupt Practices Investigations Bureau, comply with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, encourage more companies to comply with ISO 37001 that specifies requirements and provides guidance for establishing, implementing, maintaining, reviewing and improving anti-bribery management. We also ask that the government enforces key fundamentals of transparency, thorough investigations, high levels of accountability through public reporting mechanisms, a judiciary, and the protection of human rights and their development as a core principle to be anti-corrupt.

Leong Sze Hian

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  1. They have failed us. They justified super high salary as barrier to corruption. Now what happened? Their form of meritocracy produced this breed of flops. We are loosing money and now credibility. And they can lecture about succession. Singaporeans are the most stupidest in entire Asia.

    1. Ya, not scared to buy expensive property when market is facing over supply, too scared but drive reckless, too scared but ready to take bribe. This is selfish , ugly mentality.

  2. Ace Chew says:

    Pay high salary not to curb corruption but to keep corruption a secret using our blood money!!!! minimum sum of CPF, raise cost of living and raising tax make sense perfect sense.

  3. Mohd Saqib says:

    Come on who owns Keppel.The irony of it is that a country with a reputation of having no tolerance of corruption is now embroiled in the scandal of the year.

  4. Who is above the Law?

    Who is preaching integrity in our system?

    Who is preaching high salary no corruption?

    Who is preaching ownself check ownself system is integerity?

    Who is preaching ownself appointed ownself COI is integrity?

    Who is preaching one party systems is still the best system?

    1. Dannis Lee says:

      In your perspective those drunk drivers especially repeat offenders got caught fined is enough no need jail terms. As long pay money to Court is enough for all crimes.

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