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Thread: Hong kong : Story -most corrupt nation to clean nation : Must read lesson for indians

  1. #1
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    Default Hong kong : Story -most corrupt nation to clean nation : Must read lesson for indians

    Corruptions and scams, is becoming identity of India and Indians. Most of people has lost hopes of corruption free society, because the problem is deeply rooted. But, a story of one asian country (at that time, now part of China) - Hong Kong may give some hopes. Yes, Problem of Corruption can be eliminated.

    Hong Kong today is one of the least corrupt societies in the world. Transparency International currently rates it above Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, Britain, Austria, and even the United States.

    Yet it wasn’t always so. In fact, 40 years ago, Hong Kong was one of the most corrupt places in the world. Corruption was a way of life and famously existed ‘from womb to tomb’ in the former British colony.

    The police, civil service, major government departments and agencies, private businesses, the construction industry, schools – all were plagued with endemic corruption. Firemen demanded kickbacks before they would tackle a blaze. Even nurses asked for so-called ‘tea money’ for emptying bedpans. Taxi drivers meanwhile could buy monthly stickers for their cab windows that would protect them against any kind of traffic prosecution.

    The police had its own Anti-Corruption Department – but this achieved very little.
    In the late 1960s, corruption started approaching critical levels and was partly responsible for a series of anti-capitalist and anti-colonial riots that very nearly led to a revolution and a take-over by China.

    Two key things helped trigger Hong Kong’s turnaround from being one of the world’s most corrupt societies to being one of the least. [COLOR="rgb(255, 140, 0)"]The first was the arrival of a new governor[/COLOR] – the colony’s top official – a smart and no-nonsense civil servant and former British ambassador to South Vietnam who preferred to walk to meetings rather than take his official Rolls Royce. [COLOR="rgb(255, 140, 0)"]The second trigger was local public outrage[/COLOR] over the fact that a senior police chief was able to escape with millions of US dollars in bribery money and despite having been placed under arrest at the time.

    Up until then there had been a total failure of political will to tackle the growing problem. All in charge of governing the city – in Hong Kong itself – and those officials ultimately in charge of the colony back in Britain shut their eyes to the problem. They thought it could not be challenged or changed and feared that given the police force was itself so corrupt, it could not be tackled without law and order collapsing and chaos ensuring. Of course, many officials were themselves on the take.

    The public outcry over the police chief’s escape and the decision of governor Murray MacLehose to tackle the problem regardless of the political cost marked the total turning point for Hong Kong. The then colony slowly became a showcase for how to run a transparent and accountable government.

    In another very clear lesson for the Philippines, the move against corruption also marked the beginning of Hong Kong’s transformation from mere colonial trading post to the huge financial player and investment center that it is today.

    The link between the two – corruption and economic development - is absolutely clear.

    How corruption was killed off in Hong Kong

    So what did Governor MacLehose actually do?

    The key step was his setting up the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) in 1974 and working to ensure it had the capabilities, power, protection and funding to deliver on the job he gave it.

    According to the current head of the ICAC, Timothy TM Tong, the commission has achieved its goal of “helping to turn Hong Kong from a city plagued with corruption to among the cleanest in the world.”

    In the mid 1970s, MacLehose started off by making the ICAC directly accountable to him. He also gave it sweeping powers and made sure most employees were recruited from overseas. The ICAC never shied away from taking very difficult decisions or making enemies – and it was supported by the governor throughout. In its early and most difficult days, the commission would often take over entire police stations and sack entire units and teams rather than take a chance with leaving some corrupt individuals in place. At the same time, it set up amnesties for lower-grade officers and made use of their intelligence and evidence to further the fight against corruption. He showed too that crime did not pay by successfully overseeing the extradition of the corrupt senior police chief who had fled overseas.

    Recent former Deputy Commissioner and Head of Operations Tony Kwok Man Wai puts the success of the ICAC down to following five factors:
    HongKong skyline
    Political will: Without clear leadership and the continual support of Governor MacLehose and his successors, he says, the ICAC would have failed in its mission. Instead of being hurt by or drawn into political battles it was allowed to fully focus on operations and delivery;

    Financial support: Similarly, the ICAC never had to battle for its budget. Political will was translated into proper financial support. According to Kwok, the ICAC is “probably one of the most expensive anti-corruption agencies in the world” - its budget being equal to half of one per cent of Hong Kong’s gross domestic product. That said, given the staggeringly high percentage of the Philippine annual budget which is reportedly lost to corruption, it would add up to be a sound and obvious investment;

    Proper legislative support: The Commission was given very clear and wide powers from the very beginning and covers all kinds of bribery and corruption in both the public and private sector. Says Kwok: “Not only are we empowered to investigate corruption offenses, we can investigate all crimes which are connected with corruption. We enjoy special investigative power, such as power to check bank accounts, requiring witnesses to answer questions on oath, restraining properties suspected to be derived from corruption, holding the suspects’ travel documents to prevent them from fleeing;”
    The Commission is also said to be highly professional and adopts a very technical approach: Given the very nature of corruption alongside the difficulties of investigating cases, collecting evidence and securing convictions, the need for and value of a very professional and technical approach is itself very clear;

    The final factor behind the success of the ICAC is said to be its work to educate and mobile public support to combat corruption. As current ICAC commissioner Tong puts it, ultimate success against corruption “hinges on the public maintaining high ethical standards in all dealings, showing zero tolerance for corruption and reporting it wherever it occurs.”

    The lessons for the Philippines from the Hong Kong example are very clear. The same five factors as cited by Tony Kwok which have been so successfully employed there in regard to the ICAC can be equally employed in the fight against corruption in the Philippines.

    This is not to say the solution here is its own version of the ICAC – but this is not to say it isn’t either. Ultimately, what clearly works there and what would prove equally to be a huge step forward here, is the exact same:

    1. Political will
    2. Financial support
    3. Legislative support
    4. A highly professional and technical approach
    5. Public educational and mobilization against corruption

    Now don't start negative that size/population of Hong Kong is negligible compared to India. Raise our voice against corruption and other evils in our society. One person like Narendra Modi, Nitishkumar can make lots of difference. Let's fight together. Here, at least we can raise our voice.

  2. #2
    ♡♥£☋¢Ǩ¥ ★☆★ ☾ћi¢Ҝ¥♥♡ Field Marshal sens's Avatar
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    ..hial hong kong
    Live amongst people in such a manner that if you die they weep over you and if you are alive they crave for your company.

  3. #3
    SB MahaGuru Lieutenant-Colonel
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    pata nahi india kab banega wo jo bol bol kar log bahot chadhate hain apne country ko.. "super power"
    khaali baaton me rehte hai.. kaam vaam toh karenge nahi...

  4. #4
    ▐║Mirchirific Moderator║▌ Brigadier General mirchi.foreever's Avatar
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    WOW!! Awesome Read!!
    Thanks for sharing

    Seriously something very motivating after months.
    Thanks Roger! Repzz added
    I am a different person- compared to- who I was this time the last year...

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    SB MahaGuru Colonel dsocialdoctor's Avatar
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    With congress govt in center and PM as helpless as Manno, with bunch of ineeficent and corrupt cabinet , we can not expect anything better than scams and scamsters

    in india we need better govt, if at all we want to attain something

    simple isnt it

    vote and vote sensibly

  6. #6
    SB ICON Major General
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    nice one repz added !

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