Tolerating "corrupt officials" will lead to an adverse outcome

VietNamNet Bridge – Discussing the causes and solutions to prevent degradation of political ideology, morals and lifestyle, Dr. Vu Ngoc Hoang said the most important solutions include: controlling power; freedom of thought, freedom of speech and transparency of information; innovative management; personnel renovation; and strictly handling negative cases.

Listening to the people and party members about decline of ethics, corruption

Tolerating 'corrupt officials' will lead to an adverse outcome

In recent years the Party’s resolutions emphasized relying on the people to build the Party. Actually, President Ho Chi Minh talked about it a long time ago. That thinking is progressive, but it has not been implemented widely. In many cases, officials did not listen to the opinion of their subordinates, which are against their ideas. These officials even had a prejudice about or bullied their subordinates who dare to speak their opinions. Thus, the subordinates were dispirited, afraid and did not want to raise their voice anymore. The exchange of opinions between the superiors and subordinates, officials and the people was not established.

Without the people’s opinions and comments, self-reviewing campaigns of Party members and officials become formalistic or opportunities for fighting each other. Generally, we should not expect a corrupt official to suddenly get better by themselves. In fact, most corruption cases were detected by the people and the media, not by Party organizations. 

Party members and officials must take the initiative but also have to rely on people. It is also the thought of taking people as the foundation. We must use the people as the “tool” to train the Party and Party members. “Taking initiative” and "relying on the people" are two sides of an issue, which are in parallel and equally important. We must not underestimate the reliance on the people. It is not asking for reference from the people, but asking for the people’s opinion, consulting the people and letting them make a decision. Officials must not see the people as subordinates. They must always remember that the Party and State belong to the people and work for the people. According to President Ho Chi Minh’s thoughts: the Party is the child of the nation. The life of the people is the highest goal of the Party and State.

Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong has instructed the Government to accelerate the trial of a number of cases, particularly serious corruption and economic cases.

Strong and fundamental innovation of the Party’s leadership and the State’s management methods towards widespread practice of democracy and avoid the overlap of work between the Party and the State. The Party’s leadership is based on values, not power, as the way it did before to obtain victory. The Party should not deeply intervene in the work of the State, but it should gather intelligence, be persuasive and set an example, use equal dialogue to inspire the people with reason, not use administrative orders or authority, not impose exclusive truth, discover and introduce talents for the people to choose.

The Party must always uphold the national and democratic flags that the Party has raised since its formation, which was sometimes forgotten and neglected later. The people must be the measure to assess the Party. The party should organize regular surveys of the Party and the state organization and officials, including the use of independent assessment bodies.

In my opinion, the most important solutions include the control of power; freedom of thought, freedom of speech and transparency of information; management mechanism innovation; apparatus and personnel renovation; strictly handling negative cases. Of the above solutions, each solution has its own meaning and position and it is unnecessary to determine which one is more important. However, if we must choose a single solution, I will choose the control of power and then freedom of thought, expression and information transparency.

There are many resolutions of the Party and the State on the fight against corruption and degradation. Most recently, the 11th Central Party Committee issued the 4th resolution on this issue, which has been applauded by Party members and the people. These resolutions are generally not wrong and have been implemented in a positive way but the results are still limited. They have failed to make significant changes. Basically, the situation is still the same, and even gets worse.

We should see what is missing in these resolutions. In my opinion, we lack specific measures to control power, to conduct democratic practices, free speech and transparency of information and to perform strong innovation of personnel tasks. As I have said in the previous article, uncontrolled power will inevitably lead to abuse of power and degradation. Corruption and "interest groups" are often associated with power, officials with authority, with close links between money and power. In our country, controlling power and freedom of expression, transparency of information and the personnel task have shortcomings in many stages.

We need to research the experience in controlling power in the decentralized models in developed countries among the three branches of power in order to cross-control and have mutual adjustment among these bodies and also the experience of decentralization among agencies in the same branch of power, especially the executive and the judiciary. Party organizations do not use state power and must be under the control of the people, the state and the watchdog appointed by the National Assembly.

It is needed to better implement the annual poll of Party cells and the people's councils at all levels, the central government and the National Assembly for the titles elected and approved by these agencies; to issue laws on referendum, on freedom of speech, freedom of political expression, to research and amend regulations on charges of propaganda against the state to ensure that the people have the right to criticize "the servants" when “the servants” do wrong, are corrupt or fraudulent and “the bosses” are not jailed by “the servants”.

Other measures include: strictly forbidding slander, putting a label on, offending human dignity, making human rights violations and individual freedom of others, including the leaders and the people; issuing provisions on public service ethics; accountability and transparency of information; and the liberalization of the media. It is freedom of speech to contribute positively to bringing the people to the position of the “boss”, to participate in the control of power and to promote theoretical and ideological innovation and at the same time help people have sufficient information about the conduct of officials to choose the right persons for leadership.

In the renovation of management mechanism, we should continue to implement a full market economy, accelerate equitization of state-owned enterprises, take the private economy as the main driving force to move forward, ensure equality between enterprises of different economic sectors, ensure that the police force and the army should not be involved in doing business, resolutely abandon the governing mechanism in economics and the ask-give mechanism, reform the real estate tax regime in the direction of imposing progressive taxation on land to prevent speculation and to overcome excessive inequality in the gap of wealth which has increasingly expanded, and research multi-ownership for land and farmland.

First of all, it is needed to fundamentally change the way people's land is acquired. Accordingly, the land is only revoked for projects that directly serve national defense, social welfare, and to build public infrastructure. For other projects, the investor must reach agreements on land purchases with landowners. 

For years, abusing the current land management mechanism, land-related corruption and "interest groups" have become quite common. This mechanism must be changed to create conditions for farmers to have ownership over the main means of production in agriculture, so on that basis they can participate in social ownership.

In order to improve the quality of leadership of the Party, the Politburo, the Secretariat and Party committees at all levels must have specific plans for expanding democracy within the Party and in society, for gathering talent, intellectuals for the leadership apparatus, with the awareness that intellectuals are the representative forces for the most advanced production methods in the post-industrial era, and the knowledge-based economy. 

On the basis of learning the quintessence of national culture and humanity, freedom of thought and diversity of culture, the Party Committees at all levels have to constantly renovate thought, and improve intelligence to be able to participate in the civilization of the nation instead of conservative, dogmatic thought which is far from reality. 

We especially must pay attention to renovation of theoretical thinking and theoretical work, dramatically change the approach, taking the essence of national culture and humanity, plus regularly update new ideas and advanced technology, implement equal dialogue between different perspectives, and gather intellectuals for sustainable development in the country.

Reforming the apparatus, removing duplication and overlapping of functions and tasks of the Party and the state system and the public relation system, really overcoming the situation in our country, when three apparatuses are paid by the state budget, are must-do things. On that basis, we have to remove redundant parts of the political system, streamline the payroll and clarify the responsibilities of each official and institution. There are many cases that harm the reputation of the Party, State and national asset, but too few of them are handled. No official resigns and not many officials were dismissed. It is necessary to seriously fix this irresponsible situation.

Strongly renovating the personnel tasks in the direction of expanding the selection of officials based on elections in association with the expansion of nomination rights of political - social organizations and the nomination rights of individual candidates. Without elections, that mechanism will lead to the degradation of officials. 

With one party, it is more difficult to implement but it does not mean that we cannot do it and we must do it. With one party, the Party must uphold the banner of democracy.

Elections are for selecting leaders and for technical staff, they must be selected through examinations. The number of state officials must be slashed while their salary must be raised so they can live on their salary, not from other sources. 

It is necessary to strictly handle negative cases, all cases. All the cover of "corrupt officials" is the path to the collapse of the regime. True party members and party cells must be resilient and take initiative in joining the fight against corruption and "interest groups" and strongly support right things, especially in the fight against "interest groups" and conservatives (who do not promote innovation), which was launched by the Party General Secretary and the Politburo and the Party Secretariat.

Among the solutions, the handling of corruption cases is important in preventing such cases and dealing with the conditions and agents causing corruption.

In many cases, the transparency of information is more effective than discipline, because evil will no longer have a place to hide. Without transparent information, leaving everything vague, people will doubt everything.

Dr. Vu Ngoc Hoang

Tolerating "corrupt officials" will lead to an adverse outcome