Since after gaining Independence until now, bribery and corruption had deep-rooted in our Myanmar society as if a chronic disease. Though different governments ruled the country under different kinds of political systems for years, the problem cannot be solved out. Instead, it remained rooted, finding it difficult to be cured.
Rank second in south-east Asia in 2017
According to the statistics released by the global corruption watchdog on the annual report of South-East Asian nations in 2017 Vietnam ranked first in the worst-corrupted countries, followed by Myanmar the second. Compared to that of 2015 it can be said to have made infinitesimal progress because in that year Myanmar and Cambodia co-held the first post in the worst list. In addition, it is said that Myanmar was next to Somali in the worst list of the corruption out of 183 countries in 2010. According to the World Bank’s studies, the present situations on corruption in Myanmar still remained too high compared to that of the global corruption. Its findings pointed out that over 50 percent of companies related to the governmental departments had to pay illegally for the acquisition of import licenses, with 30 or 40 percent of companies paying illegal payment as bribe for tax evasion and work permits. In the report it was also described that practices of bribery and corruption were coming to get involved not only in economic sector but also in judicial and legislative sectors.
Joined the international organizations
On 20th November 2012, Myanmar became a 137th member country in the UN Anti-Corruption Convention, signing the agreement of ethics to be followed, which were laid down by the Convention. Now, Myanmar is co-operating the activities by combining with other member countries. And, Myanmar is a member country of Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative [EITI], signing the UN agreement on the corruption in December 2012. Myanmar became a 10th member country of SEA-PAC [South East Asia Parties Against Corruption.
A commission formed after promulgation of a law
On 7th August 2013, in the reign of the former government when multi-party democratic system commenced to have been introduced the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw promulgated the anti-corruption law as the law no- 23/2013, with anti-corruption commission formed in March 2014 to practically implement the prescriptions included in the law. The objectives of forming the commission are to perform the anti-corruption as the national obligation, to bring about the emergence of the clean government and the good governance, to upgrade dignity, responsibility and accountability in administration, not to harm the state-owned properties and the citizens’ benefits and to effectively arrest those who commit bribery and corruption. The commission’s responsibilities include 15 points, mainly concerned with investigations of the cases and submissions of the investigation reports to the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw and the President of the State.
Taking actions against corruptions
In accordance with the prescriptions of the law, the commission managed to take actions against 9 who committed the corruption and 125 servicemen who violated rules and regulations for the civil service personnel, recovering a total of K 20685000 of the national revenue until the end of the year 2015, according to the report of the commission to the Hluttaw. Now, the incumbent government took its office for one and half year period, but bribery and corruption cases are still being seen in some places. In the previous year one township administrator and two other junior officers suspected to get involved in the corruption were sent to trials. Similarly, news and information of the arrests of one secretary of the regional government and other village administrators had been found in social media.
Corruption led a country to lagging behind in development
In fact, problems of corruption can harm the national development and citizens’ rights and opportunities, simultaneously causing unnecessary complicated problems in the circles of regional, political, social and economic organizations. Bribery and corruption are everywhere across the world, more or less. But, it tends to spread on the large scale in the countries with the low per capita income. Therefore, Myanmar saw corruption in different types almost everywhere, hence the plunge into less developed country’s status and the worst corruption violating country. Corruption is the dishonest or illegal behaviors, especially of people in authority for personal benefits. In other word, it is the abuse of official status and ranks and positions for personal interests.
Gap in social class, inflation and high prices
On the other hand, the problems of bribery and corruption cause negative evil effects to the national economic development and services of public affairs as well as to the foreign investments directly. The more abundant national resources and profitable enterprises a country has, the greater corruption cases the country has.
Bribery and corruption can cause unbalanced state of earning income among the citizens, begetting a great gap between the rich and the poor. As the result of the higher inflation rates skyrocketing prices will occur.
In eradicating problems of corruptions, it is necessary for the government to collect the revenues and taxes without letting any wastages occur, and thence to systematically manage in spending the national revenue for the public interest. Budget to be used for the public services are to be transparent. As for the government, it needs to publicize rules and regulations in inviting tenders as well, so that the public will have known about everything.
It is necessary for the international organizations watching Myanmar affairs and local media to get news and information accurately and transparently. Especially, it needs to get rightful and effective presentations of news and information as quickly as possible.
Public co-operation and advices needed
The public need to broadly study as to whether there are cases of bribery and corruption in governmental departments. Being well convinced of such cases vividly can speed up making reforms. It is incumbent not only upon the government alone but also upon the conscientious people to gain success in alleviating or eliminating corruption. As for the Anti-Corruption Commission, the Office of Union Auditor General and the Office of the Union Supreme Court, they need to firmly stand on their own stances without fear and dependence on other parties. In the anti-corruption system, it is of great importance to supervise over every sector assigned, to check on surprise and to counter-examine.
To sum it up, it is urgently needed for the State to supervise making potential influx of foreign investment enter the nation as promptly as possible, making public health care, education system reforms and economic policy reforms effective and deliveringsupports from the so-called NGOs, straight to the people. Now, people are greatly desirous of elimination of corruption, hence the need to take part in the all-inclusive campaign for getting rid of the disgusting corruption, as for the entire national populace.
By Than Phyo Naing [Kanyingyo]
Khin Maung Oo