Bribery and Corruption

Ko Myat

ET-72Everyone has not only good qualities but also bad ones. If they possess more good qualities than bad ones, they are called good men. To the contrary, they are termed as bad men if bad qualities are prevalent in them.
Every nation has not only good citizens but also bad ones. Its standard is not judged by area, wealth or natural resources but determined by the character and integrity of its citizens. Indeed the greatness of a nation lies in the hands of its people.
Nowadays, countries around the world are struggling with malaise inflicting them all _ bribery and corruption. According to Webster’s Third New International Unabridged Dictionary, corruption is defined as impairment of integrity , virtue or moral principle. Good human qualities are jeopardized in exchange for material possession and personal satisfaction.
Transparency International (TI), an NGO headquartered in Berlin , Germany, has been publishing Corruption Perceptions Index ( CPI ) since 1995. TI clearly states on its website that its index anually ranks countries by their perceived levels of corruption, as determined by expert assessments and opinion surveys. So we should not take CPI as an absolute truth. It may not reflect the actual level of corruption in a country. Sometimes it may be either inaccurate or biased. Some argue that its reliability may be doubtful. But it is of assistance to analysts, observers and policy makers. It offers some ways of expression that corruption exists in some form or another from minimum to some extent.
TI’s definition of ‘corruption’_ the misuse of the public power for the private benefit _ is well worth noting. There are some points in studying corruption perceptions indices. It is stated that no nation in the world is completely free from corruption. Around 68% of countries worldwude are facing serious problems of corruption. It is striking that half of G20 are among them.
TI calls itself as the global coalition against corruption. It is an undeniable fact that corruption has become a global problem like climate change. Every nation should strenuously strive to eradicate bribery and corruption completely from this world.
Chinese president Xi Jinping has been waging relentless war on corruption in his country for four years. He has vowed to crack down on ‘ tigers and flies’, implying corrupt high-level officials and low-level civil servants alike. China jumped from 100th in 2014 CPI list to 83th in 2015.
In our country, the new government has publically stated that it will not tolerate any form of bribery and corruption. The President’s Office issued a directive on April 1 warning against taking bribes. The NLD government has laid down the policy of ‘not giving’ and ‘not taking’. That is a good news for ordinary citizens , who have been bearing the brunt of graft and corruption for years.
In 2015 CPI list, Myanmar is ranked 146th out of 177 countries even though it stood only at 156th in 2014 list. One of the ASEAN nations, Singapore, is ranked in top ten list both in 2015 and in 2014. In the ease of doing business index , created by the World Bank Group, Myanmar is ranked 177th out of 189 countries in 2015 whereas Singapore stands first in that list.
That is why the new government of Myanmar is moving heaven and earth to stamp out corruption, an impediment to socioeconomic progress. It is a herculean task to clean the Augean stables of corruption in several sectors of the economy and society. Their effort will come to little avail without the active participation of all citizens.
Younger generation should be nurtured to value good character and hard work. Older one should kick the old habits and displine themselves. We , all citizens, must work collaboratively and treat each other respectfully. We must be good citizens , who love responsibility , accountability and trustworthiness.
Lastly, remember the saying: “If wealth is lost , nothing is lost . If health is lost , something is lost . But, if character is lost , everything is lost .

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