Written Replies to Parliamentary Questions

Written Reply to Parliamentary Question on Crimes Committed by Persons Who Act on Behalf of Companies by Mr K Shanmugam, Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Law

Published: 28 February 2017


Mr Murali Pillai: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs whether the Ministry will consider introducing an offence for commercial organisations that fail to prevent the commission of economic crimes such as bribery, fraud and money laundering by persons who act on their behalf such as employees and contractors.



1. Singapore takes a tough stance on economic crimes such as bribery, fraud and money laundering. Our rates of economic crimes have been low. We are consistently ranked among the least corrupt countries.


2. Commercial organisations, such as companies, are also liable under the law if they commit these economic crimes, or abet the commission of these offences by their employees, contractors, or any business partners. There have been cases in the past where companies were charged for such offences.


3. The current legislative and regulatory levers we have to take action against errant companies are adequate. At this point, there is no need for a further specific provision to penalise a company for failing to prevent a crime from taking place, where the company did not commit and did not abet committing the crime.


4. To ensure that companies adopt good corporate governance practices, the Companies Act imposes various obligations on company directors who provide stewardship of companies. In addition, the Code of Corporate Governance sets out corporate governance best practices for listed companies to comply with or explain any deviation from these practices.


Law and order