Combating corruption with ironclad conviction

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  • “Let us picture our country as a human body and corruption (the bribery kind) as a disease. Through this perspective, we can see that this malignant disease has spread to all parts of Myanmar’s body.”
    “The government departments, civil society organizations, private businesses, and institutional concepts of law, rules, customs, and proce-dures are suffering from serious illnesses caused by corruption.”
    These are excerpts from the Anti-Corruption Commission Chair-man’s speech, delivered at the International Anti-Corruption Day Forum in December last year.
    Corruption and bribery have taken root like a chronic disease, but we believe the anti-corruption movement is akin to medical treatment that dresses the wounds and slowly heals the illness over time.
    Bribery and corrupt practices not only infect every sector and thrive persistently, they change and adapt to the current situation, and conceal themselves to survive another day, like cancer cells. This makes them very hard to subdue and eradicate.
    In some departments, corruption exists in the entire organizational hi-erarchy, with hush money divided among officials according to their rank or status. But, nothing can be kept under wraps for long and cases of cor-ruption become public either through dissatisfied citizens leaving depart-ment offices, or whistleblowers dissatisfied with the situation of their col-leagues.
    Although the pace at which the Anti-Corruption Commission is car-rying out its duties is slower than what people would like, we must remem-ber that the scale of corruption in the country is huge, and it has remained unchecked for too long. Not to mention, the ACC is short of skilled, experi-enced members and technological support. But in spite of these shortcom-ings, it has managed to tackle monumental cases at the national level.
    It is now evident that the Union Government has taken a firm stand on anti-corruption, and the public is no longer tolerant of nepotism and other forms of corruption plaguing our nation.
    The shift in attitude towards corruption has also caused some long-practiced corrupt customs to disappear. These results are the strength that will push us all forward to achieve greater results.
    We must all view eradicating corruption as a national duty and do our part, no matter how small or big, in every sector we can contribute to, thus empowering the nation’s anti-corruption movement.
    The role of citizens and the media is especially important, and with their combined strength, we wish to successfully remove the blight of cor-ruption to protect our integrity, development, and culture.
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