Fight Against Corruption

Denmark ranks as the 1st among the world's least corrupt countries. Singapore ranks 8th. India ranks 65th. North Korea and Somalia rank 149th.

A study of these systems reveal the following facts.

1. An Anti-corruption agency, independent of the police and executive is crucial to check corruption. Countries having multiple anti-corruption agencies don't seem to have much success. One cannot remove dirt with dirt; one has to use an agent that is intrinsically anti-dirt (soap-water). Singapore's "anti-corruption agency, the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB), is well resourced and independent. It is empowered to investigate any person, even police officers and ministers, and conducts public outreach to raise public awareness and shape social norms." (Lee Hsien Loong)

2. In countries like Singapore, the high-level officials are paid well and corruption is kept at bay at that level. The idea is that anti-corruption begins from top to bottom. "There is a Chinese proverb: "If the top beam is askew, the bottom beams will be crooked." Keeping a system clean must start at the very top." (Lee Hsien Loong)

3. Spreading awareness and educating the people in order to encourage them to support a corruption-free society is important. The citizens must detest a corrupt system and be willing to report instances of corruption to the concerned authorities.

4. Integrity and willingness to be corruption-free is crucial among both leaders and citizens.

5. Ideologies that endorse and justify corruption must be discouraged.

6. Citizens must be willing to cooperate with policies that aim at combating corruption. They must be careful not to criticize before having tried to understand. Citizens must "expect and demand a clean system." (Lee Hsien Loong)

7. Governance systems and services that facilitate corruption must be dealt with immediately. One open example is the weak state of Indian railways that makes it easy for TTE's to practice grafting by abusing their powers since people who really have no other means to obtain seats succumb to bribing these TTE's since the railways do not provide sufficient travel facilities to meet the demands of the people.

8. Transparency norms must be binding on all government servants, citizens and all businesses. Accountability must be mandatory. "Beside law enforcement, there is a broad consensus that fighting corruption involves public participation and transparency mechanisms such as disclosure of information." (Marie Chêne)

9. Freedom of Press is a crucial element in curbing corruption.

10. Deterrence, Prevention, and Education is the three-pronged strategy applied by Hong Kong. "Hong Kong ICAC adopts a three-pronged approach: deterrence, prevention and education. As a result, the Commission consists of three separate departments : the Operations Department to investigate corruption and to prosecute the offenders: the Corruption Prevention Department to examine the systems and procedures in the public sector, to identify the corruption opportunities and to make recommendations to plug the loopholes; and the Community Relations Department to educate the public against the evil of corruption and to enlist their support and partnership in fighting corruption." (Kwok Man-Wai)

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