By Melanie Manion
This booklet contrasts reviews of mainland China and Hong Kong to discover the urgent query of the way governments can rework a tradition of frequent corruption to at least one of unpolluted executive. Melanie Manion examines Hong Kong because the top instance of the potential for reform. inside of many years it completed a spectacularly winning conversion to wash govt. Mainland China illustrates the trouble of reform. regardless of greater than twenty years of anticorruption reform, corruption in China keeps to unfold primarily unabated. The ebook argues that the place corruption is already common, the context within which officers and traditional electorate make offerings to transact corruptly (or no longer) is crucially diverse from that during which corrupt practices are unusual. A relevant characteristic of this distinction is the position of ideals concerning the incidence of corruption and the reliability of presidency as an enforcer of ideas ostensibly constraining authentic venality. Anticorruption reform in a environment of frequent corruption is an issue not just of lowering corrupt payoffs, but additionally of adjusting extensively shared expectancies of venality. The booklet explores adjustments in institutional layout offerings approximately anticorruption firms, applicable incentive constructions, and underlying constitutional designs that give a contribution to the disparate results in Hong Kong and mainland China.
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Additional info for Corruption by Design: Building Clean Government in Mainland China and Hong Kong
ACO leaders countered criticism by arguing that they had not been given sufficient time to prove themselves with their new legal weapon, the 1971 Prevention of Bribery Ordinance, modeled in part on anticorruption laws in Singapore, Malaysia, and Ceylon (Sri Lanka). The new law gave expanded powers of investigation to the ACO and introduced a provision defining “possession of unexplained income or property” as an offense. Barring a “satisfactory explanation,” public officials who maintained a standard of living above that commensurate with their present or past official earnings or who controlled funds or property disproportionate to those earnings were to be considered guilty of corruption (Prevention of Bribery Ordinance 1971, Sec.
Realistically, ordinary Chinese had two choices: “Get on the bus” (actively participate in corruption) or “run alongside the bus” (be a bystander, but not interfere with corruption). Under no circumstances was it practical to “stand in front of the bus” (report or resist corruption) because the bus would surely knock them flat (Cater 1995; Blair-Kerr 1973b: 24). In the view of many ordinary Chinese, then, it was “futile and unwise, and perhaps even dangerous” to challenge or query government officials: Many people may not like to pay squeeze but they are even more frightened of mafan (trouble).
Even in its first year of operation, about 80 percent of officers in the department had a civilian background (ICAC 1975, Appendix 6). The dearth of experienced investigators dictated an initial reactive strategy—the department 40 • Corruption and Anticorruption Reform in Hong Kong mostly scrambled to respond to public reports of corruption and did not take the offensive for about two years. An important exception was the priority attached to “major personality” cases—the “big tigers” whose swift well-publicized prosecution was viewed as essential to gain public confidence.