Thursday, December 20, 2007

Crashing in Popularity

This headline made me laugh: Anti-corruption website crashes on first day.

On Tuesday the central government launched its anti-corruption website, encouraging the public to submit concerns and complaints about corruption.

But hours after the site was launched, it crashed due to an overwhelming response.

By late afternoon Tuesday there were some 22 pages of messages left on the website's guest book.

Many complained about specific cases, while others hoped the government would step up its efforts in fighting corruption. It seems many of the complaints were focused around institutions of higher learning and grass roots governments.

The huge response on the site obviously shows people are fed up with corruption and they want something done about it -- now.

"The corruption problem in China is a fatal illness," wrote one person. "Establishing more institutions will not solve the problem."

First of all, the central government needs to show it really is determined to root out corruption, by putting in more checks and balances and stiffer penalties.

It needs to have a tighter rein on provincial level officials as some have the attitude of managing their own fiefdom.

Many officials go to places like Macau to gamble all their black money away, or to Hong Kong by spending it on Gucci purses and Louis Vuitton bags.

If they are caught, they could get serious jail time or the death penalty. But some think the country is so large and the number of people who are corrupt are many so that the chances of them getting caught are slim.

Which is why one hopes the government will seriously investigate the public's claims of corruption otherwise its integrity will shrink down a few more notches.

What China really needs is a free press to be able to openly report on these allegations, but that won't happen for a while yet.

1 comment:

ks said...

the leadership in the government realises the problem and is making efforts to fight corruption. but due to a lot of family/relative/party/commrade entanglement it is easier said than done.