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Relationship between corruption and “self-evolution” and “self-transformation” - its consequences and preventive and remedial measures

Corruption is one of the most serious maladies and threats, described as the “domestic invader”, negatively impacting on all fields of the social life, undermining the Party and State’s apparatus and the people’s faith in the socialist regime, leading to “self-evolution” and “self-transformation” from within. Thus, preventing and combating corruption in line with “self-evolution” and “self-transformation” has been seen as a central task of the whole political system under the Party’s leadership.

Studies around the world and in Vietnam reveal that corruption is a social phenomenon linked with the birth of the private ownership and the formation of social classes, and the development of state apparatus, existing in all regimes at different levels of severity, creating negative impacts on the social life. As an “incurable disease” in all states, there should be effective preventive sanctions against corruption. In Vietnam, corruption is often committed by officials in the political system. These people no longer devote themselves to the revolutionary ideal. They don’t fulfil their duty and function or follow the principles of party meeting and the regulations of the Constitution and law. They are greedy, selfish, and insensitive to the people’s difficulties and problems. According to the Resolution of the 12th Party Central Committee’s 4th Plenum on the Party building and rectification, the above-mentioned things are the signs of degradation in political ideology, ethics and lifestyle as well as the manifestations of “self-evolution” and “self-transformation” among cadres and party members. “Self-evolution” and “self-transformation” occur in the political, ideological field, morality and lifestyle, undermining the Party’s role and prestige in social life.

Pursuing individualism, hedonism, and pragmatism, a number of cadres and party members have been involved in corruption. Corruption occurs in many organizations, sectors, and areas with its brazen and popular manifestations. In the past, corruption occurred mainly in the economic sectors and caused serious damage to the state and people’s wealth. However, nowadays, it spreads to the fields of national morality and tradition, such as education, health, culture, society, humanity, epidemic prevention and control, etc. as evidenced by the high school exam cheating scandal in the provinces of Ha Giang, Son La, and Hoa Binh, doctors’ blackmailing, and hospitals’ false blood test results for their evil purposes. It is a matter of concern that corruption exists in the law enforcement agencies which represent justice and social equality while “trivial” corruption, extortion, and “unofficial” spending are rather popular and cause difficulties and problems for the people.

Needless to say, corruption has negatively impacted on various aspects of the social life, particularly in terms of economy, politics, and social norms; however, more dangerously, it has led to “self-evolution” and “self-transformation” from within. Corruption is a major setback to the country’s reform process and undermines the people’s faith in the Party, State and socialist regime. In another aspect, corruption could lead to a political crisis that directly threatens our regime’s survival, while causing degeneracy among our cadres and undermining the country’s traditional moral values. The pursuit of material and benefit with the cynical disregard for ethical value has posed a threat to the country’s development, destroyed public services, upset the people, paralyzed the executive branch, weakened intra-solidarity, and created a favourable condition for the hostile forces’ acts of sabotage.

It is corruption from the inside combined with the hostile forces’ “peaceful evolution” from the outside that will possibly throw the country into disorder, gradually weaken the Party’s position, lead to “self-evolution” and “self-transformation”, and undermine the Party’s leadership over the State and society. We will fall into the trap of “peaceful evolution” laid by the hostile forces; unintentionally, we create a favourable condition for them to “win the victory without force”. Corruption and “self-evolution” and “self-transformation” impact on each other. Corruption is one of the signs of “self-evolution” and “self-transformation” and prompts “self-evolution” and “self-transformation”.

Realizing the danger of the relationship between corruption and “self-evolution” and “self-transformation”, our Party and State have formulated and implemented various preventive and remedial measures, thereby contributing to preventing the degradation in political ideology, ethics, and lifestyle as well as the signs of “self-evolution” and “self-transformation” from within. Accordingly, the whole political system has been engaged in the fight against corruption in a drastic, expeditious manner without “restricted zone” or exception, no matter who they are. According to the report by the Government Inspectorate to the National Assembly, in 2018, inspectors detected 78 cases of corruption committed by 106 people, increased by 14.7%; while investigating complaints and denunciations, they detected 40 cases of corruption committed by 87 people, increased by 66.7%. The Public Security Force’s offices investigated 427 cases of corruption committed by 889 people, demanded prosecution for 212 cases and 488 defendants related to corruption.

In spite of significant results in the work of corruption prevention and combat, this type of crime is still complex and negatively impacts on the society. To deal with this issue and prevent the signs of “self-evolution” and “self-transformation” from within, the whole political system under the Party’s leadership should focus on several measures as follows.

First, well carrying out the work of educating and managing cadres and party members, particularly senior ones in the state apparatus and the sectors which easily lead to corruption. In fact, this is a measure to prevent corruption from afar, align “building” with “fighting”, and use “prevention” as the main. To realize the Party’s resolve to prevent and fight against corruption, “self-evolution” and “self-transformation”, first of all, it is necessary to step up the work of education and ideological orientation for cadres and party members with a view to achieving a consensus within society and the Party. The effectiveness and success of the education and management work depends on the ability, qualities, morality and prestige of heads of offices and units. If they do not set examples for others to study and follow, their efforts devoted to educating and convincing the others will be fruitless. Therefore, the work of education to raise their awareness and responsibility must be a top priority with the aim of adjusting their performance of task and function. Besides, it is essential to enhance the work of managing cadres and party members and improving their ethics, working method, and lifestyle; to build up the spirit of working for the common benefits first. At the same time, it is important to promote the leadership role of party organizations, the people’s supervision role, and the role and operation of mass media in detecting and fighting against corruption.

Second, enhancing party organizations’ leadership and authorities’ management towards the fight against corruption. Party committees should consider this work as a central task while offices and organizations should include this work in their monthly meetings; they should align corruption prevention and control with the fight against wastefulness and negative signs from within. At the same time, the results of corruption combat should be taken into consideration for evaluating the party organizations’ leadership and combativeness, the authorities’ operation and management capacity as well as the task performance, capacity and responsibility of heads of organizations. The process of leadership and direction over the fight against corruption must be conducted resolutely, persistently. The all-level party committees should seriously implement the Resolution of the 12th Party Central Committee’s 4th Plenum on the Party building and rectification, the 12th Politburo’s Directive 05-CT/TW on studying and following Ho Chi Minh’s ideology, ethics, and lifestyle as well as the Regulation on party members’ don’ts; corruption prevention and combat must be seen as a routine task of every party organization, cadre and party member.

Third, continuing to supplement and complete the mechanisms, policies and laws on the socio-economic management as the basis for preventing and fighting against corruption. Regarding the state management, nowadays, the system of legal documents, mechanisms, and policies on the work of corruption prevention and combat is being supplemented. However, it has yet to be synchronous or effective. Thus, in the upcoming time, it is necessary to continue supplementing the system of legal documents on dealing with corruption. Moreover, there should be strict legal and economic sanctions against corruption and heads of offices related to corruption. We must resolutely dismiss cadres and officials who take advantage of their position and authority to enrich themselves illegally, cause losses to the State and organizations’ property, or let their relatives gain personal advantages. It is essential to step up administrative reform, review, adjust, supplement and complete legislation in order to overcome shortcomings and loopholes and ensure openness and transparency in the socio-economic management; to use the approved budget properly; to closely control capital construction investment. Organizations and sectors should make the regulations on corruption prevention and combat relevant to their particularities, while closely managing, inspecting and supervising the public property.

Fourth, promoting the role of heads of organizations in corruption prevention and combat. Realities prove that if the head of an office is highly responsible, exemplary and not corrupted, and resolutely deal with wrongdoings, the work of corruption prevention and combat will be effectively conducted in that office, or vice versa. However, we all see that most of corruption cases which were detected are related to cadres holding senior positions, including many heads of offices and enterprises; therefore, the work of corruption prevention and combat must start with these people and aim to sound a deterrent warning and prevent corruption from within. Accordingly, heads of offices must grasp and strictly implement directives, resolutions, and regulations on corruption prevention and combat in the fields under their management. At the same time, they must set examples in executing the existing regulations and laws, match their words with action, closely manage finance under the regulations, and lead a pure, simple lifestyle. All-level party committees should consider this as criterion for assessing the ability, ethics, and lifestyle of the heads of offices, while criticizing and stringently dealing with violations of regulations and acts of corruption. Besides, it is vital to step up the work of inspection, supervision, and investigation; there should be mechanisms for ensuring the practical supervision and criticism of the Vietnam Fatherland Front and protecting those who bravely fight against corruption.

Fifth, closely combining corruption prevention and combat with the fight against “self-evolution” and “self-transformation” from within. In addition to corruption prevention and combat, fighting against “self-evolution” and “self-transformation” from within is a matter of urgency. Thus, offices and organizations at all levels should well perform the work of political education and ideology to render their cadres and party members fully aware of the impacts by the relationship between corruption and “self-evolution” and “self-transformation”. Party committees, cadres and party members must keep resolutely implementing the 4 groups of solutions set by the Resolution of the 12th Party Central Committee; attach importance to setting “good people, good deed” examples; prevent, issue warnings against, and criticize wrongdoings. At the same time, they should actively fight against individualism, selfish lifestyle, and “group interest”; review and complete the mechanism for control officials’ power”; strictly handle violations of the Party’s discipline and the State’s law. Besides, they should stringently maintain the principle of democratic centralism during the Party’s operations and promote the supervision role of the people and press agencies in “self-evolution” and “self-transformation” prevention and control. Each cadre and party member should raise their “immunity” and vigilance against the hostile forces’ sabotage plot, the negative impacts by the market economy and international integration. In addition, it is important to closely combine education with self-improvement and attach greater value to building a contingent of cadres and party members with good qualities, capabilities, and working style to deserve to be both “red and expert” leaders and loyal servants according to Uncle Ho’s teachings.

Trang A Lam

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