DID POLICE TOP DOG AC MELVIN YONG BREACH THE CIVIL SERVANT’S CODE OF CONDUCT?

According to Channel NewsAsia (CNA), Assistant Commissioner (AC) of Police Melvin Yong has been spotted in Tanjong Pagar GRC mingling with residents at a PAP-organised walkabout today (16 Aug) [Link].

AC Yong was accompanied by Tanjong Pagar GRC MP Chan Chun Sing at Pek Kio Market, CNA reported.

The Straits Times had earlier reported that the Singapore Police Force (SPF) has confirmed AC Yong’s last day of work is co-incidentally today, 16 August [Link]. In other words, AC Yong is still a civil servant up until 2359 hours today.

CNA reported thus on today’s PAP walkabout involving AC Yong [Link]:

However, with this walkabout, Mr Yong is now expected to be a PAP candidate for Tanjong Pagar GRC in the upcoming General Election. Mr Chan, who is a Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, has said that Mr Yong will not be a “new face” in the area.

“He’s not a new face in that sense because he was in the Clementi Police Division,” said Mr Chan. “So actually he has been working very closely with the Tanjong Pagar team all this while and he has a very good feel of the ground situation in Tanjong Pagar.”

AC Yong, who is currently director of the police’s Public Affairs Department (PAD), has been with SPF for 20 years. He was commander of Clementi Police Division from 2010 to 2014. He has also held key appointments such as Deputy Director for Planning & Organisation and Director for Administration & Finance. He was also Deputy Director for Operations from November 2013 to June 2014.

Code of Conduct for civil servants

AC Melvin Yong (Photo: ST)

The Code of Conduct published by the Public Service Division (PSD) for Singapore’s civil servants remind them to remain “completely neutral in all political matters and matters of public controversy”.

PSD used to publish its Code of Conduct on its website but it has since taken it down [Link]. However, thanks to the archival capabilities of the Internet, TRE was able to retrieve a cached copy [Link]. PSD reminds its civil servants to always maintain a high standard of conduct in serving the public:

Maintaining High Standard of Conduct

The Civil Service works under a Code of Conduct based on the principles of incorruptibility, integrity and propriety. Civil servants are expected to conduct themselves with impartiality and honesty at all times, by:

  • Remaining completely neutral in all political matters and matters of public controversy
  • Refraining from using their official positions to further their private interests
  • Avoiding from giving favours or special treatment to any external party
  • Avoiding from engagement in outside activities which could lead to a conflict of interest

Since AC Yong is still a civil servant today, do you think he has breached the Code of Conduct laid down by PSD, by clearly participating in a political walkabout together with PAP politician Chan Chun Sing?

Or did he oh-so-coincidentally wear a white shirt and white trousers to Pek Kio Market for breakfast this morning, and accidentally bump into Mr Chan, who then took the opportunity of introducing him to residents?

Shouldn’t PSD censure AC Yong for breaching the civil service’s Code of Conduct, since technically he is still a civil servant all of today?

Do you think PSD will censure AC Yong? If not, why not? A blatant case of 1 country, 2 systems? What do you think?

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