Senior Minister Of State’s Wife Is Appointed Auditor-General, No Conflict Of Interest

The government have gone out of its way to keep reminding its Civil Servants that they cannot hold two jobs, as this will not be in the best interest of Singapore. So, for example, if you are a Civil Servant working under one Ministry, you definitely cannot be a Grab driver, as you might inadvertently talk to your passengers about your work, and you know you cannot divulge secrets to others not in the government service.

They call this conflict of interest. In fact, if you are married, you are not even supposed to talk to your spouse about work secrets. Again, conflict of interest. But, when the government appoints the spouse of a Senior Minister for the post of an Auditor-General, there are no conflict of interest. In case you might not know, an Auditor-General’s job is to audit Ministries, and flag up inconsistencies in the Ministries. Often, the AG reports would contain embarrassing findings and may even uncover misconduct. And the AG has the power to check all the Ministries in Singapore, and flag up any wrongs.

So, when the government appointed Ms Goh Soon Poh as the Auditor-General early this year, no one in the Government / PAP bothered to openly declare if there is any conflict of interest. Ms Goh happens to be the wife of Senior Minister of State for Defence Heng Chee How. The AG, of course, will have to audit the Ministry of Defence too, which is under their duty. But of course, when one is appointed to the highest post by the government, they do not have any conflict of interest. We all know that people in the PAP ivory tower are righteous, and they cannot do any wrong.

As Chan Chun Sing himself said, the Govt knows that Ms Goh is the wife of Heng Chee How, but that she had went through the rigourous process of integrity checks, and she has years of experience in the public service, serving the nation with integrity and sense of public service. So of course, she is above and beyond conflict of interest. When she audits her husband’s Ministry, she will of course, in the name of duty, flag up any inconsistencies, and by doing so, show up her husband’s lack of leadership. After all, the sense of duty for the nation is above than the sense of duty of a wife, right?

Or is it because the top posts in Singapore are gained through your connections rather than your qualifications?

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