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Corruption and Governance in Asian Countries

Prof Quah conducted his first research project on corruption in Singapore in 1977 when he examined the administrative and legal measures for combating bureaucratic corruption and the various forms of police corruption. Since then, he has proceeded to initiate research on the anti-corruption strategies in Bangladesh, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mongolia, Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, and Thailand. He taught a module on Corruption and Governance in Asia focusing on the anti-corruption strategies in ten Asian countries for six years at the Department of Political Science at the National University of Singapore.

As the lead consultant for the United Nations Development Programme Mission to Mongolia from September to November 1998, he formulated a National Anti-Corruption Plan for the Mongolian Government. He prepared a background report on “Bureaucratic Corruption in Indonesia: Some Suggestions for Reform” for the World Bank’s Jakarta Office in June 2002. He is the author of Curbing Corruption in Asia: A Comparative Study of Six Countries (Singapore: Eastern Universities Press, 2003) and National Integrity Systems Regional Overview Report East and Southeast Asia 2006 (Berlin: Transparency International, 2007).

Administrative Reforms in Singapore

His interest in administrative reforms in Singapore began in 1972 when he initiated fieldwork for his doctoral dissertation on the former Singapore Improvement Trust and the Housing and Development Board. He completed his Ph.D. dissertation on “Administrative Reform and Development Administration in Singapore: A Comparative Study of the Singapore Improvement Trust and the Housing and Development Board” for the Florida State University in June 1975. In addition to Singapore, he has also done research on administrative reforms in Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand.

Public Personnel Management in Asian Countries

Prof Quah’s interest in public personnel management can be traced to his M.Soc.Sci. thesis on “The Public Service Commission in Singapore” which was submitted to the University of Singapore in August 1970. He taught a course on Public Personnel Management at NUS for many years which focused on Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. Apart from publishing on public personnel management in these five countries, he prepared a report for the Commonwealth Secretariat in London in 1993 on Human Resource Development in Japan, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan. He was invited by the Government of Macau Special Administrative Region to evaluate the Public Personnel System in Macau in July 2000.

Public Policy in Singapore

He taught an Honours Year module on Public Policy in Singapore for 30 years at NUS and has published extensively on various public policies in Singapore. He was Honorary Consultant for the Neighbourhood Police Post Project for the Singapore Police Force from August 1982 to May 1986 and co-authored with Stella R. Quah, Friends in Blue: The Police and the Public in Singapore (Singapore: Oxford University Press, 1987). As a consultant for the Religion Project for the Ministry of Community Development in Singapore from August 1987 to October 1988, he co-authored the final report on Religion and Religious Revivalism in Singapore (Singapore: Ministry of Community Development, October 1988). As Acting Director of the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS), he chaired the Study Group on National Values and edited In Search of Singapore's National Values (Singapore: Times Academic Press for the IPS, 1990).

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