Corruption and Remuneration in Singapore: The Dignity Argument


  • Florian Rücker



This chapter links the topic of high public officials’ remuneration to that of corruption. It does so by analyzing an argument set in the Singaporean context, which contends that a high salary is necessary for people to maintain their dignity, so that they in turn will not condescend to corruption. First, to best adhere to the intended meaning, the argument’s author’s conception of dignity is interpreted as being culturally Chinese dominated, making it a normative virtue that is closely related to the virtue of keeping face. With this understanding of dignity as a foundation, the link between remuneration and dignity is first analyzed, illuminating particularities in the Singaporean public sector and elaborating on the differentiated concept of dignity. Following that, the link between dignity and corruption is addressed, shedding light on corruption in Singapore. The analysis suggests inter alia the potentially high relevance of structural sociocultural conditions for potential anticorruption strategies.


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