Singapore Not A Democracy? Oh Yes It Is

I agree with Gary S. Becker: To fight corruption, public officials must be paid what they are worth ("Want to squelch corruption? Try passing out raises," Economic Viewpoint, Nov. 3). When you pay peanuts, you get peanuts. I would like, however, to correct a mistake he made. Becker wrote: "Neither Singapore nor Hong Kong are democracies." Although the latter has never been one, Singapore has been a democratic nation since independence. What is even more ironic is that he later mentioned contested elections. As he may not be aware, free elections are held every four to five years in Singapore, where voters can vote any corrupt and incompetent politician out of office. Democracy and high wages for public officials have indeed helped to reduce, or even eliminate, corruption here.

Andrew Wong Onn Chee