Low corruption rate doesn’t mean no corruption
Just like Wong Kan Seng said about low crime rate doesn’t mean no crime, low corruption rate does not mean there is no corruption. According to the stats, of all the cases investigated by CPIB, only 7.5% involved civil servants. And of the 135 cases charged last year, only 6 were from the public service. The numbers look quite healthy for a city that is famed for being corruption free. The few high profile cases recently do not tarnish the good reputation of the public service.
The problem of corruption is prevalent in many other countries and how to deal with them is first to recognize the problem. Countries that don’t recognize that there is a problem will have no corruption problem to deal with in the first place. Some are true and some are fiction, or corruption being disguised in various forms.
China is getting very serious in this business, recognizing that it is a serious problem and has to be dealt with urgently and with the full might of the state machinery. Vice Premier Wang Qishan has been tasked to clean up corruption, the most senior minister in the new leadership appointed for the task. Many cases were revealed publicly. The most startling change is to allow the media/blogs to publish cases of corruption that have not been proven. Luo Changping, the deputy MD of a news magazine Caijing, famed for publishing corruption in high places, received a call by the police that they will protect him. His publication of such cases used to be censored immediately and be visited by the security officers. Now his publication could remain untouched for months.
Wang Qishan also urged other officials to read the French Revolution written by Alexis de Tocqueville. The 19th Century French Revolution led many aristocrats to the guillotine, not much different from the Communist Revolution in China in 1949. Wang Qishan’s message was clear, ‘The biggest failing of the old regime was the corruption of the rulers.’ Said Dr Gao Yi, a history professor at Peking University.
The corruption problem in China is huge and pervasive and would take more than one man and a few years to eradicate. They know they have a serious problem that could lead to regime change.