"Godber's Gone!" It was June 8, 1973, and Peter Fitzroy Godber, the Police Chief Superintendent accused of corruption, succeeded in sneaking out of Hong Kong, heading home to Britain by taking a detour through Singapore. The news about his escape buzzed through the community, causing uproar among the public that had long suffered from rampant corruption. Public confidence in the Government's efforts to fight corruption plummeted.
People from all walks of life took to the streets, chanting slogans of "Fight corruption, arrest Godber". To ease the furore, the then Governor Sir Murray MacLehose appointed Senior Puisne Judge Sir Alastair Blair-Kerr to form a Commission of Inquiry to look into the circumstances of Godber's escape, and to review anti-corruption work of that time.
In October 1973, the Government adopted the Blair-Kerr Commission's recommendations and in February 1974 established the Independent Commission Against Corruption. The ICAC was separate from the Police Force and the rest of the civil service. Among its first daunting tasks was bringing Godber, once a powerful Police Chief Superintendent, to book.