Vietnam’s highest legislative body National Assembly (NA) spent a lot of time on October 26 discussing solutions to promote anti-corruption, the NA’s Web Portal said.
The participants mentioned measures from deploying more information technology infrastructure in public administrative services, increase publicity and transparency in bidding and public procurement etc. to improve and renew propaganda and education on anti-corruption, according to the newsletter on quochoi.vn.
However, a former parliamentary official, Tran Quoc Thuan, told VOA that in Vietnam’s political conditions, the crux of the matter is the need for free election within the ruling Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV).
The NA’s official website quotes legislator Nguyen Thanh Thuy, Hau Giang province, highly appreciated state agencies to aggressively investigate, prosecute, and adjudicate economic crimes and corruption.
But legislator Thuy pointed out that the amount of money and assets recovered from corruption cases only reached over 43%, about VND15 trillion ($638.3 million). The female legislator asked the authorities to resolutely recover assets related to corruption.
Ms. Thuy also proposed a series of measures to fight corruption more effectively. In which, she emphasized that the government should soon deploy synchronous information technology infrastructure to serve public administrative services promptly, enhancing publicity and transparency in the field of public procurement and state-related bidding.
Another legislator, Mr. Nguyen Minh Son, a representative of Tien Giang province, suggested that attention should be paid to the effective implementation of regulations on declaration, accountability and control of assets and income of holders of powerful positions, especially the scope of objects that must be declared and publicized, the NA’s Portal reports.
The newsletter also said that some legislators asked the Vietnamese government to coordinate with relevant agencies to study and propose a model of the agency or unit specialized in anti-corruption.
Mr. Tran Quoc Thuan, former deputy director of the NA’s Office, commented to VOA that there is a fundamental problem that the parliament and the ruling party do not disclose sufficient information about the creditworthiness and assets of the officials in the government for people to monitor and comment.
More deeply, the nature of the problem lies in the fact that the party holds the sole, comprehensive and direct leadership in Vietnam, Mr. Thuan said, so the people cannot create another political force or independent associations and groups to supervise and criticize anti-corruption.
“In Vietnam, setting up other parties or independent associations and groups is a violation of the law and handled by the state. Therefore, there is no hope for free elections or candidacy on a social scale. I just hope that within the Communist Party, there will be free elections. At that time, candidates running for the election will tell the truth about their assets or businesses of their children and grandchildren. But that is a wish, it will never be realized,” Mr. Thuan told VOA.
Mr. Thuan added that as a person of more than 50 years of age, he realized that when political and social issues, which emerged and corruption, became increasingly painful, causing discontent among the people, would lead to that the party must renew itself so as not to lose its legitimacy.
Vietnam has made progress in anti-corruption over the years and has been recognized by international organizations.
As VOA reported, Transparency World said that Vietnam’s Perceptions of Corruption Index increased significantly from 2012 to 2019.
In 2012, this index of Vietnam reached 31/100 points, with the ranking ranked 123/198 countries and territories in the global ranking. By 2019, the index increased to 37/100 points, bringing Vietnam ranked 96/198. This is the highest score that Transparency World Organization has assessed about Vietnam and is the year with the highest increase ever.
The NA’s Justice Committee: “Corruption right in anti-corruption agency!”
Ms. Le Thi Nga, chairwoman of the Judicial Committee of the National Assembly highlighted the situation of corruption among Vietnam’s anti-corruption agencies in the 2020 Anti-Corruption Verification Report.
“There is still corruption in the legal protection agencies, the judiciary, the agencies with anti-corruption functions, reducing people’s confidence in the legal protection agencies,” the Vietnam Television (VTV) quoted Mrs. Nga as saying.
According to the inspection report through inspection, examination, and reflection of the public opinion, voters and the press show that there are still many cases where the code of conduct is not strictly enforced, there are signs of “interest groups” between people with positions and powers in the state sector and enterprises, the status of people with positions and powers to “preserve,” cover up the violations of the law, etc.
The report also stated that cadres, civil servants and public employees took advantage of their positions, took advantage of loopholes in mechanisms, policies and laws to harass, cause troubles for self-interest when solving jobs relating to people, businesses still happen quite commonly.
Meanwhile, Associate Professor Dr. Tran Hau suggested that it is necessary to go deeply into the origin of the phenomenon of corruption and waste which is bureaucracy.
According to Mr. Hau, bureaucracy is born of authoritarianism, autocracy, subjective will, feudal patriarchy, distance from the people, privileged habits, group interests, etc. It is a nurturing soil for corruption and waste.
“Handling one case and another is only the tip of the problem. Until the issue of fighting bureaucracy is not raised, we will still work hard against corruption,” and “Can we stop fighting corruption? trivia in education and advocacy … but there is no more effective legal solution,” Mr. Hau stated.
Mr. Phan Trung Ly, former chairman of the Law Committee of the National Assembly, said that in the anti-corruption work, there are two solutions that need to be done better, which is to control asset declaration and recover corrupt assets.
Mr. Ly suggested to promote non-cash payments, each person should have a bank account and all transactions over VND5 million must be done via banks.
Without tightening the property declaration of state officers, you cannot fight corruption!
“The fight against corruption still faces many difficulties and limitations, there is still a situation of criminals of corruption dispersing their property, fleeing, making it difficult for investigation and handling.”
That is the presentation of Mr. Tran Thanh Man, chairman of the Central Committee of the Vietnam Fatherland Front, when reporting to the NA on voters’ opinions in the fight against corruption, on October 20, 2020.
The reality of corruption
According to Mr. Man, although the prevention and fight against corruption and negativity are increasingly strengthened, the authorities have also handled many serious, complex and frustrating cases of corruption in society … However, the amount of corrupt assets recovered is too modest, because the criminals have dispersed or fled.
Mr. Le Van Triet, former minister of Trade, when replying to Radio Free Asia on this issue, said his opinion:
“It cannot be effective against corruption because the regulations have not been implied strictly. There are many, rampant and decent corruption on the street, the police pick up people to declare them of guilt and then fine, they get the fined money and nothing goes to the state budget? As for internal corruption, there are all kinds of corruption, land corruption … There is no solution, no sanctions yet to deal with corruption strictly.”
Mr. Nguyen Khac Mai, former director of the Central Committee for Advocacy, currently a member of the founding group of the people rights, when answering Radio Free Asia related to this issue, commented:
“Any leader of any ministry, any locality, can not prove big assets, large buildings so people have the right to question and check. If it cannot be proven, it means that the property is illegal and then the state must confiscate it. But now the Vietnamese law has been introduced to the NA but can not be determined, which means they tolerate an illegal acts. And in the end, the corrupt money is still in the pockets of the relatives of the offenders, they move abroad, lose the property of the people of the country.”
According to Mr. Nguyen Khac Mai, corruption in Vietnam is something that everyone sees, but the CPV will still not be able to solve this problem, if it maintains the current party leadership, without separation of three powers, there is no freedom of speech, no social criticism … And anyone who attacks and criticizes the state is considered to oppose the state and face hard imprisonment … so we cannot rely on the people to repel this evil.