In this week’s English issue of Myanmar Times news journal, there is an article about how Cambodia should learn from Singapore to fight corruption. Cambodia will be receiving $1.1 million dollars from international donors and the author is worried that most of them will be lost to corruption. So, he suggested Cambodia to emulate Singapore and bring corruption under state control. He described his experience in Singapore when he tried to hook up his phone line. He was told that it would take three weeks before his line could be activated, but it could be done in 24 hours if he pays a $35 express service fee. He described the process as ‘institutionalized corruption’.
It got me thinking. Could this ‘institutionalized corruption’ work here in Myanmar also? By bring the practice under official administration, will it really fight corruption here? Would increasing the salaries of ministers and senior civil servants make them become not tempted by illegal backhanders? No, I don’t think so. I know talking about this issue is a no-ending situation, but still I wanted to express my thoughts after reading the article.
If you want to read the full article, pls wait a few days (or a week) before it’s posted in the official website. It’s in Volume 27, No. 528.