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« Chinese public skeptical about anti-graft fight | Main | China: Holiday gift-giving spotlights deep-rooted corruption »

Where does graft come from?

The countries of the developed North/West played two roles in instigating corruption in the developing South/East. First, they acted as the suppliers of corruption. This comes from multinational companies looking for business opportunities for their products in developing countries. In the process, they engaged in bribery and corruption. Much of the present-day anti-corruption drive is rooted in the competition for corruption in international trade. Recognizing this problem of corruption in international trade, way back in 1977, the United States enacted a law against corruption. Second, the developed world also acts as the demand-side of corruption. By providing safe havens for the corrupt leaders from the developing world and a safe place to deposit ill-gotten wealth, the developed North/West is responsible for breeding much of the corruption in the developing world. It is estimated that as much as 15 percent of Switzerland's GDP comes from the “shadow economy." From this figure one can fairly imagine the scale of illicit money being stashed away in Swiss banks. Therefore, it is grossly mistaken to think of the developed world as "clean" and the devloping world as corrupt. The developed world does not have any moral superiority when it comes to corruption.

From 'Nepal: Corruption and Colonization' by Narayan Manandhar in

U.S. support of the Karzai government is only facilitating the top-down control that in turn helps to drive the insurgency, and the United States is seen to be supporting the Kabul government against the interests of the average Afghan. In the absence of structural accountability, U.S.-led anti-corruption efforts—which consist mostly of urging the Karzai administration to prosecute wrongdoers—are no challenge to the regime. Worldwide, the single most effective anti-corruption tool is electoral accountability. In the United States, we can “throw the bums out.” Afghans have no such option.

From 'Accountability And Insurgency In Afghanistan' by Inge Fryklund in Eurasia Review

To mark Anti-Corruption Day on September 6 and to honour the late Dusit Nonthanakorn, former president of the Thai Chamber of Commerce and an anti-graft crusader, the Anti-Corruption Alliance Network staged a talk show at Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre featuring well-known speakers such as former deputy prime minister Somkid Jatusripitak, former central bank governor Pridiyathorn Devakula and Pramon Sutheewong, head of the anti-corruption alliance. Mr Somkid called on all parties involved to join forces to resist corruption and set the elimination of graft as a national agenda. Corruption was flourishing because government leaders lacked the will to stamp it out and the people themselves were too weak to resist the temptation, he said. He pointed out a very disturbing attitude among Thai youths, citing a recent opinion poll which showed more than 70 per cent of the young people polled agreed that corruption is all right as long as they also benefit from the scourge.

From 'Highlights of the week' in the Bangkok Post

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