News / Asia

Vietnamese Struggle to Fight Corruption

Vietnamese Struggle to Fight Corruption
Vietnamese Struggle to Fight Corruption

As in many developing nations, corruption remains a problem in Vietnam, which a recent report ranks as the fifth-most corrupt country in Asia.  Some activists say part of the problem is that many people feel ill-equipped to fight graft.  

An annual survey by Political and Economic Risk Consultancy, a Hong Kong consulting firm, indicates that in Asia, only Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines and India are more corrupt than Vietnam.

On a scale from 0 to 10, with 10 indicating extreme tolerance for corruption, Vietnam earns a score of 8.3 in the PERC survey this year.

The anti-corruption organization Transparency International ranks Vietnam 116th out of 178 countries in its annual corruption perception index.

Vietnam National Assembly member Pham Thi Loan says people are not turning a blind eye to corruption, but the issue is beyond their reach. She says people are are not tolerant of corruption, but they can not do much about it and they do not know how to prevent it.  Loan says corruption is pervasive, so how can they stop it?  She says the problem is extremely difficult, so people feel they are incapable of doing anything.

A Vietnamese activist called the “anti-corruption grandmother," Le Hien Duc, echoes that view.

Duc says people are clearly extremely concerned, but they are not well educated and do not know the proper legal procedures to fight corruption.  She says they file complaints to the prime minister and other senior officials, because they do not know those officials do not handle the cases directly.  She says people draft complaints about corruption, but do not know how to prepare them properly or even how to sign them or where to send them.

The 81-year-old activist, who was honored by Transparency International in 2007 for her anti-corruption fight, calls graft in Vietnam “extremely bad.”  She says she has received complaints from 50 of Vietnam’s 58 provincial areas.  Duc says not only does corruption exist in land and real estate management, but also is found in education and other sectors as well.

PERC’s latest survey of nearly 2,000 expatriate business executives shows that they think corruption is rampant in communities all over Vietnam.

The government scores 7.50 out of 10 as not being serious in the fight against corruption.

Legislator Loan says Vietnam is experimenting with different measures to fight corruption, but she says it is difficult to get the right balance in the fight.

The PERC report says many factors contribute to corruption in Vietnam, including the fact the public sector is much bigger than the private one, while average government salaries are low.  It says the police, the taxation and licensing agencies and the stock market are considered the most corrupt sectors.

In Vietnam, people often give police cash when they are stopped for breaking traffic laws.  Loan says it facilitates corruption, but says many people make the payments to get the problem solved quickly.

Loan says they pay the officer because it is easier than going to the authorities to pay a fine, which involves many bureaucratic procedures, and takes time and effort.  

Activist Duc sees things differently.  She says people with education understand the law, but farmers, workers and others do not, and do not understand that giving cash to police creates favorable conditions for corruption.  Duc says state policies and mechanisms should be blamed for letting policemen accept bribes.

The PERC report highlights the case of former Central Bank Governor Le Duc Thuy, who was accused of taking bribes from an Australian company in return for a lucrative banknote printing contract.  Vietnamese news media say Thuy retired this month from his position as chairman of the Financial Monitoring Committee.

PERC Executive Director Bob Broadfoot says the incident shows corruption in Vietnam has reached the point that the government must crackdown on prominent cases.

“I do not think it is so much a systematic crackdown on corruption than it is ‘let us make some high-profile examples of it’ because the government does not want to be seen to be corrupt," he said. "The government’s a one-party system and it has to justify its power, and to do that people have to be seeing the government to be fighting corruption.”

In the PERC survey last year, Vietnam ranked third after Indonesia and Cambodia in the list of most corrupt countries in the region, so this year’s ranking is an improvement.

You May Like

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

China to Open Stock Markets to Pension Funds

In unprecedented move, government to soon allow local pension funds to invest up to $94 billion in domestic shares More

Magical Photo Slides Show Native Americans in Late 1800s

Walter McClintock spent 20 years photographing the Blackfoot Indians and their vanishing culture at the dawn of the modern age More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs